Welcome to the Sign Of The Week.
For next week I have picked a sign that teachers often request – the sign for SHARE.
Learning how to share and take turns is such an important life skill for children to learn as they begin to socialise.
Preschoolers are ready to begin learning how to share, but how quickly they will master the skill will depend on the child’s temperament, experience with sharing and their stage of development.
Here are some strategies you can use to support children with special needs while they are learning to share:
1. Show them what sharing means. For example, if you are about to eat a biscuit tell the child you are going to share it with them, and then give them some. Or start playing with a toy the child loves, and when they come to you, tell them you would like to share the toy with them. Try to model the behaviours you would like the child to learn.
2. When you see the child sharing or taking turns with others spontaneously, give lots of praise.
3. Support your students by playing games that involve taking turns and sharing. This might be challenging for younger preschoolers, but as children grow older and mature, they naturally become more interested in playing interactive games with others.
4. Certain children may have difficulties with impulse control, and some children with special needs may need more time to learn not to grab what they want. In this case, teach sharing with toys that are more neutral to the child. Pick an activity they are interested in, but don’t ask them to share their favourite toy yet at this stage.
5. Using a timer or other visual supports can be helpful to learn that the child can play with a toy for a certain length of time before they have to pass it on. Again, introduce a timer or visual with activities that are more neutral for the child, and avoid using a favourite toy. Teach the child to wait by encouraging them to play with another toy.
You can create personalised social stories to explain taking turns or sharing. Or you can use books to talk about the subject. Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney, Should I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems, and Share and Take Turns, by Cheri J. Meiners are some of my favourite ones.
Using visual supports such a symbol for sharing or the lámh sign for SHARE will help children understand and learn this new skill.
Let’s #spreadthelámh this season.
Enjoy the video, and happy signing!
PS. Do you have a colleague that would enjoy reading this article? Feel free to send on this email to them. After all, sharing is caring!
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