Let me start off by stating that I am not employed by Mayer-Johnson nor do I benefit from any sales of their products (unless you buy through my Amazon link, but they are often out of stock of MJ stuff). I do love many of the MJ items, especially Boardmaker; I'll be blogging about that in future posts.
Today I brought 2 activities into my special ed prek class for our Back to School opening lesson. First we read the MJ book "Let's get Ready for School" which is sung more than read (try singing "Now it's time to put on our socks and shoes" to the tune of "This is the way we wash our clothes"!). Each page has a velcro item to manipulate. I love velcro as you will see. As we go through the book, I ask questions (depending on each child's level) such as "What is a bed for?" or "Where do we brush our teeth?". Each child gets a turn to groom the little fellow and they especially love it when I use the brush, etc, on them!
After the bus comes and takes the guy to school, I bring out my closed backpack and we begin to talk about what's inside. They are completely fascinated by this. I talk about how in my backpack are some silly things that we don't bring to school, and some things that ARE for school. Of course, all the things, logically, could be part of a school day at some point, especially in preK, but I tactfully evade this point. They absolutely love to reach in a pull things out, and of course the first to come out are the fun, non-school ones. We talk a lot about each one and pass them around...the rock is heavy, the spatula is used in the kitchen (each child's hand is a pretend pancake which I then "flip"), the big sock goes on your feet, etc. I use lots of questions about function and location. I also ask a lot of yes/no questions, which are great for the non-verbal kids (Does the sock go on your hand??) as well as for getting a laugh. And naturally, any kids working on artic repeat sounds, words, and/or sentences. Then we make a big deal of putting all the items back IN the backpack. This takes about 30 mins and if there is a little time leftover we sing a song (Like "Open Shut Them").