Last year I started feeling like I really wanted to work with our special needs children in small groups. As I was developing these ideas and thoughts, one of the Special Ed teachers approached me and asked if I would be willing to take her class as a small group for specialized art classes. Hum, too much of a coincidence! Must be meant to be! We approached the principal, who was in full support of our ideas. As a result, I get to teach two classes of Autistic children every day 1. Yesterday was hands down the most rewarding day of teaching I can remember. We started by looking at painting by Jackson Pollock and doing marble painting in aluminum pans with primary colors. The kids did great. Even the lower level children were smiling and wiggling the pans.
Once they mastered the marbles in pans we started working bigger. Another teacher donated a hard plastic pool and I brought in some tennis balls to create the same effect on a larger scale. Throughout the course of the art class, students worked on both fine and gross motor skills.
I brought salad tongs for the kids to work their dexterity while taking the balls out of the paint to put in the pool, and spoons to roll the balls in the paint.