Unit 2: Pre-Primary level

2.1 Curricular domains relevant for pre-primary services – Home based to school and community based models.

2.2 Curricular adaptation – disability specific and associated conditions

2.3 Curricular planning for individual needs

2.4 Curricular planning for group teaching

2.5 Curricular planning for urban /rural models, (curricular domains like personal, social, communication and self - expression skills).







2.1 Curricular domains relevant for pre-primary services – Home based to school and community based models.

Motor skills

Gross Motor
Here children learn to use the big muscle groups of their body. Crawling, walking, jumping, climbing are all examples of this. We are all excited by those first steps, but they lead to greater things like biking, kicking, dancing and swinging. 

Fine Motor
Learning hand-eye coordination is the focus here. Kids learn how to control precise muscle movement in their hands to build fine motor skills. Coloring, cutting with scissors, tearing paper are all activities which reinforce this development. Legos, origami, knitting, drawing, whittling and sewing help keep the mind and hands engaged as partners as the children get older.

This domain centers on the child’s ability to speak, read, and write, involving alphabetic and phonetic learning. Reading and talking regularly with your kids when they are very young is important, and the conversations you continue to have around the table or in the car enhance their ability to communicate their opinions, wants, and needs with others. Watching and hearing Mom and Dad speak is the first exposure children have to language, and navigating family interactions gives them skills to carry into the wider world. Learning the ABC’s, the “magic” words like “please” and “I’m sorry”, and the wonder of a simple thank you note are all prime examples.

Children learn cause and effect and reasoning here, as well as early math skills and counting and patterning during pre-school years. We all know the game our little ones love to play when they drop the spoon from his or her high-chair so Mom or Dad can pick it up. When we do that, we’re teaching cause and effect. 

We are all social beings and our kids are no different. Learning to play with others is a skill that is taught. Making sure a child feels safe and nurtured is part of this development as is using manners and modeling kind behavior. Kids learn what they see and we are their first examples. The things they learn to do reflexively become self-reinforcing habits as they grow older and see the effects of their manners and behavior. 

In this domain children begin to show a little independence and learn how to take care of themselves. Learning to dress and eat on their own, how to tie their own shoes and brush their own teeth are all examples of becoming less dependent on Mom and Dad.

Personal: He can climb up and down stairs placing alternate feet. He can turn bolt and open the door when he wants to go in/out of the room. He can war and remove undergarments. He can identify the toilet, and can clean himself after defecation. Needs prompts in flushing after toileting. When given the food, eats a full meal without spilling. Asks for more curry. He identifies brush and paste, brushes his teeth but needs help while cleaning tongue and washing face with soap. Can pour water on the body. Does not apply soap on the body. Needs help in bathing, combing hair and applying powder.

Social: Participates in a group game in which 4-5 children are involved. Does not wait for his turn while playing games and does not share the play material. Does not maintain appropriate manners when taken to social functions. He takes care of his own belongings in school. He does not name body parts when pointed to.

Academics: He is aware of more and less concept. He does not name body

2.2 Curricular adaptation – disability specific and associated conditions

6 Steps to Adapting Curriculum and Instruction

1.     Choose the activity.

2.     Identify your curricular goals for this activity. What do you want the children to learn, to experience, to be engaged in?

3.     What is your instructional plan for this activity? How do you want to present the information to the children?

4.     Identify the children in your classroom who might need adaptations for this activity.

5.     Based on your knowledge of each child’s goals and skills, choose and appropriate adaptation or group of adaptations. Start with the most natural, least intrusive adaptations.

6.     Observe and adjust your adaptations as needed during the activity.

                        * A change in the type of adaptation used,

                        * A change in the amount of adaptation needed.

                        * A change in the number of adaptation used.

Adaptations for Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

·        Establish a consistent routine.

·        Provide clear expectations.

·        Verbally review the daily schedule. Provide picture cues as reminders.

·        Plan many short activities or multiple components to a long activity, with clear starting and stopping points

·        Use simple and clear language. Directions or request should be explicit, concrete, short, and carefully defined.

·        Limit the type/number of new situations encountered at one time.

·        Start and finish any learning task with sure success. Children with ADD tend to spend less time on task which are difficult for them. Embedding difficult skills or concepts within tasks on which children succeed may increase time spent on them.

·        Computer generated instruction is wonderful for children with ADD. Activities and instruction are provided in short steps; and they use consistent, nonthreatening feedback.

Possible Adaptations for children with Autism

·        Establish a consistent routine.

·        Verbally review the daily schedule. Provide picture cues as reminders.

·        Provide visual cues in addition to auditory cues. For example, make a picture schedule or picture choice cards.

·        Ask parents and therapist about the use of augmentative communication (sign language, communication boards).

·        Verbally rehearse difficult situations. In other words, talk about what you will be doing and what you expect of the child.

·        Warn in advance for transitions. Provide visual cues such as a sweat band for outdoor play or a napkin for snack.

·        Accept non-speech communication. Watch for eye gaze (looking toward or away from items), body language, or facial expressions. Listen to the child’s behavior.

·        Computers are wonderful tools for children with autism. Activities and Instruction are provided in short steps; they use consistent, non-threatening feedback; and they require no social interaction skills.

·        Items such a shaving cream/gels are good as a calming utensils as well as for teaching writing techniques.

Possible Adaptations for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

·        Use total communication which involves all means of communication, such as gestures, facial expressions, pictures, demonstration, and language.

·        Use sign language. Make sure signs used are consistent between home and school.

·        Teach sign language to peers and other personnel.

·        Use many gestures, demonstration, modeling.

·        Use picture cure.

·        Signal transitions visually (flicker lights).

·        Avoid standing with your back to the source of light. That makes your face and hands hard to see.

·        Be sure to get the child’s attention before communicating with him or her. However, avoid taking the child’s face and turning it towards you.  Many individuals who are deaf find this invasive and inappropriate.

·        Use as many visual aides as possible. Visual stimulus is important regardless of the child’s language skills.

Possible Adaptations for children with Physical Disabilities

·        Arrange the classroom and outdoor play areas so that children using wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches can easily pass through.

·        Be sure tables are the correct height. If a wheelchair needs to fit beneath tables may need to be taller.

·        Place materials where they can be reached from any position.

·        Provide materials that are easier to grasp and hold (large cars and trucks, puzzle with knobs, big paint brushes).

·        Ask about adaptive equipment such as switch toys or devices.

·        Think about the speed at which you move children in adaptive seating or positioning devices. Slower speeds allow the child to look around during transition. Faster speeds may cause dizziness or unwanted physical reactions.

·        Be aware that unexpected touching may startle some children with physical disabilities. Let the child know you are going to touch, handle, or move him or her.

Possible Adaptations for the Visually Impaired

·        Maintain consistent room arrangement.

·        Add tactile cues to anything you would otherwise label with a picture.

·        Describe or provide hand-over-hand assistance with tasks requiring a visual model.

·        Provide high contrast materials (place a piece or light paper on the table as a background to colored cars and trucks).

·        Attach a penlight flashlight to a spoon if you are feeding a child.

·        Show the child how to explore the physical characteristics of objects.

·        Describe the parts of an object and how it works.

·        Many children who are blind enjoy playing with household objects. Toys are often designed to be visually interesting and to foster eye-hand coordination, attributes which do not have any meaning to a child with sever visual impairments.

·       Some children can transition more easily if they have an object to hold onto. Example, Chole carries a sandbox shovel outside for outdoor play time, or the finger cymbals to music. This is another form of tactile cure which may reduce the fear of the unknown.

2.3 Curricular planning for individual needs

Curriculum planning is a complex activity involving the interplay of ideas from the curriculum field and other related disciplines. However, the ultimate purpose of curriculum planning is to describe the learning opportunities available to students.

Thus curriculum planning is ultimately concerned with the experiences of learners.

Individualization is a process of planning and implementing learning experiences that are responsive to each child's interests, strengths, and needs. Teachers reflect on their observations of each child and then plan the most effective ways to support each child's learning and development. When learning experiences are tailored to children's interests, they are more engaging and meaningful to children. Because children may vary in their developmental progressions, it is also important that the curriculum supports teachers in planning learning experiences that are responsive to individual children's strengths and needs.

Schools must determine, for individual students, which learning areas and/or subjects are required for the Individual curriculum plan. For students who are provided with an Individual curriculum plan in only one or two learning areas and/or subjects e.g. in English and/or Mathematics, schools must ensure that these students are able to access, participate and achieve in all other learning areas and/or subjects. An Individual curriculum plan may include one or more learning areas/subjects and must cover all of the achievement standards for the learning areas or subjects selected. This means that an Individual curriculum plan cannot be developed for a strand/sub-strand in a learning area/subject. Schools identify which year level achievement standard the student can demonstrate: this will enable the selection of the appropriate year level curriculum to be provided through the Individual curriculum plan. An Individual curriculum plan is developed for the semester reporting period. Schools make decisions about an Individual curriculum plan in consultation with parents/careers and only after analysis of: 

·        student responses to assessment of the relevant achievement standards; 

·        student responses to the focused and/or intensive teaching that has already been provided; and 

·        all other student assessment and reporting data

2.4 Curricular planning for group teaching

Group work usually involves groups of students formally working together on projects or assignment, though it may sometimes take place in formal classroom settings. When setting group work tasks, it can be useful to consider student availability, resources necessary, and expected outcomes.

Student Engagement and preparation:

·        Consider student ability to engage in group work. Group work may prove more difficult for some students.

·        Clarify expectations and learning outcomes of group work with you and your students. This enables student preparation and focus.

·        Consider your student's formal teaching timetable when deciding on the quantity of group work to include. Remember, the less free time your students have, the harder it will be for them to organise times when all group members are free.

·        Consider group size. The group size can contribute greatly to group dynamics. A smaller group may find it easier to gel, allowing for participation from more reserved students. However, a larger group may allow for greater synergies as it incorporates a greater range of strengths and perspectives. When planning group work, you can reflect on the size that will best suit your outcomes.

This construction process is greatly helped by the provision of frameworks, structures and mental models that help learners to begin to organise and arrange knowledge in ways that are meaningful to them. This means that each learner will build their understanding in an individualistic way and will find different personal connections points of relevance in their learning.

As a group teacher it is going to be important to:

·         challenge students to think for themselves

·         help students to organise and structure their thoughts and ideas,

·         encourage students to vocalise and discuss their views and understandings

·         design learning activities and tasks that require students to actively engage

·         give students feedback on what they are doing well and how they can improve.

2.5 Curricular planning for urban /rural models, (curricular domains like personal, social, communication and self - expression skills).

Personal Domain: The purpose of the personal management strand is to enable students to develop skills conducive to keeping a job and being a productive member of society. Any career development program designed to educate and prepare students for work has personal management skills as its foundation. These personal management skills provide a bridge between behaviours in the classroom, the community, and on-the-job that are conducive to being a productive member of society.

The importance of social relationships, friendships, school community and work to a person’s quality of life cannot be overemphasized. To deny students these essential components is, in essence, to deny them the opportunity to live a rich, full life. It is critical that educators address these issues as part of the curriculum. It is particularly important that educators focusing on career education build meaningful, collaborative relationships with parents, families and community members.

Personal Management includes themes such as managing behaviour and conduct, social skills, sensory awareness and management, self-awareness, self-esteem, personal safety, time management, building relationships, citizenship, self-advocacy, organization and personal hygiene.

Social Domain: The Social and Emotional Behavior Domain focuses on working in groups and developing interpersonal relationships. Functioning effectively in formal and informal group situations requires that individuals understand the implicit and explicit rules and expectations. Using effective interpersonal skills is the key to success in this area. Social Skills Social skills can be broadly defined as any responses that are interactive with another person. Many of the personal care, home living, community and employment skills are interactive. Some social skills are more specifically related to influencing others and developing friendships. There are four primary social interactions that should be addressed:

       social initiation

       social responsiveness to others

       turn taking

       duration of social interaction

Communication Domain: Communication skills are among the top priorities for students with developmental disabilities. Effective communication skills enable students to express their thoughts and needs and respond to interactions with others. To be able to communicate with peers facilitates social interactions in all settings. Without an effective means of communication, individuals with moderate and severe disabilities are not able to make choices and therefore relinquish control of their daily lives. Knowing how to participate in discussions and conversations with others will enable students to make effective use of communication.