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    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Sensory Saturday--Sensory Folders

    Wow it has been a while since I have had a Sensory Saturday! But my classroom has been a sensory hot mess lately so I wanted to share the great strategy that I have began to use in the classroom that is both quick and easy--Sensory Folders.

     My sensory folders take into account two basic sensory needs: Alerting and Calming. To learn more about these sensory needs check out my handout on Sensory Supports for the Classroom. Unfortunately I cannot take full credit for this idea because my wonderful teaching partner also uses something very similar based on one of her student's needs.

    I created sensory folders for two students in particular who have completely opposite sensory needs. The first student is typically a lump on a log! He is very low-tone and not really engaged in our activities most of the time. For him I made the yellow "alerting" folder.

    In the folder, I provided a variety of alerting choice options such as spinning in the teachers chair, tactile brushing, or frog jumps.

    The second student is a live wire! She is in constant motion all day--bouncing, rocking, flapping. Just watching her wears me out so trying to teach when she is so wound up is totally exhausting! She got the blue "calming" folder.

    In the folder, I provided calming choice options such as joint compressions, body sock, or weigthed ball toe touches.

    You may notice that the same items can be used on both charts. This depends on the way you use them. For instance, I use a therapy ball to alert a child by having them sit on it and bouncing them while it is used to calm them by having them lie on the floor while I roll it over them providing deep pressure input. A hand massage with peppermint lotion is alerting while vanilla is calming. And while a student is lying prone on a scooterboard and using their arms to move forward provides calming, heavy work input having them lie prone and hold a jump rope while you "whip" them around in circles or in a erratic zig-zag motion is very alerting (but tiring for the teacher!!!).

    Hope these folders gave my readers some good ideas about practical sensory supports. Head over to my TPT Store to pick up a copy of your own! 

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