Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Patterns & Sequencing Activity

Ok, today was the first day we tried out one of the many cool activities our speech therapist shared with us. For those looking for hands on resources this is just one of many excellent ideas that can be done with materials that are easy to get or already in your house. For this one the only cost was a set of plastic bracelets I spent $2 on yesterday at Wal-Mart. The other items were from around the house. This idea and many others can be found in a book that my therapist was a consultant for. Its titled Early Childhood Materials and Equipment by Janice Schultz. It covers areas like gross motor skills, sorting, lacing, patterns, language and comprehension, creative play and more. It has color photos of the activities set up with an explanation of where the items came from and what to do with them.

Today we did a lesson in patterns and sequence. This helped to not only enhance the skill of order and placement but also her language skill as we emphasized concepts such as "first," "last," "next," and "after." Our therapist said the key to the success is the presentation. You have to present it to them in a manner in which encourages their success. So instead of just handing them stuff to sequence you set the table or area up in an organized format that helps them know what they need to do.

Here is how we started. We took the bracelets that I purchased and laid them out on a strip of cloth. The cloth for me was added simply to keep the background from becoming a distraction since we were doing it on the floor. It also helped to draw attention to the workspace. On the cloth we placed the bracelets in sets of fours and put a stick between each set so that my daughter can see when the set is over and it is time to begin again.

Now I was ready to present the activity. We began with some various blocks placed in random order and then did some based on colors. We even did one with candy since I had four different types of candy to work with (do note that three of them were sugar free!). You can see from this photo how the activity was presented. Above the line of rings was the sample pattern I wanted her to repeat. All of the pieces she needed to complete it were placed in a basket in front of her. It was presented in such a way as to encourage success, but still, she needed some guidance. This is where the language skills come in. We talk about which one comes first. She would physically point to the first one in the sample pattern and then realize it went first. At that point I showed her where it went. Then we talked about which one came next, which one came after that, and last, etc. Often when I would try to let her do it on her own but there were times she would pick the wrong ones. At that point I had to take her back to physically pointing at the next one in the sample pattern again. After several activities though she was doing really well and starting to get it. Positive reinforcement goes a long way with things like this. She really loves it when I get excited about her doing a good job. Of course on the candy one I let her have a treat when she completed it correctly.

The objects can either be random or related. The point is for them to repeat the pattern. For beginners you might want to start with a pattern of only two or three. The rings can be smaller too. In fact, our therapist had a chain belt that she used. The key is to have something that shows the child where the object will go and how many objects will be needed to complete it. That needs to be divided by using a rod or something similar. The sample pattern placed above the activity can also be laid upon rings which help enforce what those are for. I simply didn't have enough rings to do that. Below are a few more images of some of the other sequences we tried. Remember the length can be as long or as short as you want it to be.

Blocks in Random Order


Random Objects

Celebrating Success!


Josette said...

Since I only found your blog a few months ago, I'm enjoying going back to some of your earlier posts. Thanks for all the pictures, it wasn't till Jessie I learned about myself that I am something of a visual learner...I would never have "gotten" that post without all the great pictures to help. Thanks for sharing specific examples for those of us who need to "see" it!

Lori said...

You are welcome! I do it that way because that's the way I learn best as well. When I find a place that explains it without pictures I don't always get it, but when they have visual examples it's so much easier!!

Laura said...

This is another great idea! We have been working on copying patterns forever! I think the bracelets will help. Otherwise, it seems to be too abstract for her. I will pass the idea on to her former therapist too. She'll love the idea!movelype


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