I am a big believer in working on targets in a range of different activities to ensure students are able to transfer skills. It may also be a good idea to encourage students to complete activities with different members of staff in various lessons or you may find students become reliant on environmental factors to remember how to complete the task and are therefore not actually working on their skills.
I often use a ‘carousel’ of activities in a lesson; this involves setting up a different activity on several tables (or you could use a basket as recommended in ‘TEACCH’ strategies) which work towards a particular skill. Use a class timer to indicate how long the student should spend on the activity or even this online stopwatch and then move on to the next table (I would recommend between 5 and 8 minutes). For students who need visual support, you could have a schedule of what activities they will complete. The activities can be very short to keep students interested and can also be very sensory!
As an example, I have included a list of activities I would use for P4 writing targets:
- Finding letters in a sensory rice tray or using your finger to write letters in the rice.
- Use a whiteboard/blackboard/pens on foil for mark making to build on fine motor skills.
- Watch an adult write a letter in shaving foam/sand and then complete with hand over hand support.
- Find letters to make up a name
- Practise typing on a computer
- Use cotton buds and water to copy different patterns
- Use the interactive whiteboard to overwrite lines and shapes on paint
- Write in sand using feathers
- Make laminated sheets with hair gel (or similar) inside and practise making marks
- ‘Write’ on play dough
- Find letters displayed on the wall in the classroom
- Place large pieces of paper over the floor with lines or letters on. Students to overwrite using paint on their fingers
- Complete a letter puzzle
I could go on forever, but here are a few ideas! As for starters and plenary I tend to do something physical such as ‘dough disco’ from the amazing Shonette Bason-Wood, ‘Write Dance’ or fine motor songs on youtube.