COLINC - Collaborating for Inclusion - ERASMUS+/eTwinning Project

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PARTNER SCHOOLS

Agrupamento de Escolas de Valadares, Gaia PORTUGAL (Coordinator School) Project team coordinator: Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues

Dječji vrtić "Dječji svijet", Varazdin Croatia Project team coordinator: Sanja Hajdin

I.C. "Bonsegna-Toniolo" Sava (Ta) Italy Project team coordinator: Aurora Abattematei

1st Special Nursery school of Patras Greece Project team coordinator: Melpo Kordistou

O.Š. Velika Nedelja, Vrtec Podgorci Slovenia Project team coordinator: Silva Mori

June/2022


INTRODUCTION

THE COLINC PROJECT – Collaborating for Inclusion The project Collaborate for inclusion – COLINC - was born from a partnership between five schools from five European countries: Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Greece. It started in 2019 and ended in 2022. As a result of a shared concern with the necessity of improving educational quality, with emphasis on the rights of all children to a more inclusive education, these educators and teachers decided to develop a collaborative work process, based on exchanging and sharing knowledge and professional experiences with an intention to develop new skills, to build more innovative practices and more suited to the needs and characteristics of each and every child. The COLINC project was co-financed by the ERASMUS+ Program in the Key Action2 - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices - KA229 - School Exchange Partnerships. It was developed, simultaneously, as an ERASMUS+ project and an eTwinning Project, as it was this platform that guaranteed the process of communication and collaboration in the sharing and analysis of materials and, ideas and strategies. It is in eTwinning/twinspace, that the entire work process is recorded, from the very first beginning and also the products that were built in collaboration.


In this project, we assumed that any child, at some point in his or her life, may present difficulties, of any kind, which may constitute barriers to their development, learning and inclusion. But we also assumed that all individuals have learning and participation potential. In this framework, we believe that schools need to recognize that the diversity of their children should be seen as an opportunity for enrichment and development for all, and not as an obstacle to overcome. Although we understand the diversity of characteristics (cultural, social, linguistic, gender, developmental or other) present in every group of children, the central challenge of inclusive education, in this project was to give special attention to children with needs of special educational supports, namely children with disabilities, in line with the UNESCO alert, that identifies this issue as one of the inclusive education biggest concerns worldwide. To guarantee a truly inclusive education, we defend the necessity of decision-makers, teachers, families and the community in general, to become aware of the richness of this diversity and to became involved in the development of inclusive education programs, which included a higher level of children participation and increased interaction with colleagues with different characteristics and needs. In a second hand, we emphasized the necessity to develop, in each kindergarten or school, with the participation of families and community, more stimulating and diversified environments and adapted pedagogical methodologies and materials, to give support to each child´s individual characteristics and conditions.


This project aimed to develop teachers’ key skills to work with children who may need special educational supports and with children in general. This increases more quality of social skills of children with developmental difficulties, or other kind of difficulties and also allows a better education for children with no developmental difficulties, who share the same contexts and experiences. We intended to improve and share methods and strategies to work with children with special needs, by promoting activities, material incentives, and social relationships, through a holistic approach, in the pedagogical environment in which children attends. In each of the five country partners (Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Greece) were be involved children with and without special needs (from 1 to 8 years old), pre-school teachers, primary school teachers, special education teachers, psychologists, experts and other staff. We started from the strong conviction that this project will strongly contribute to an inclusive education, enhancing the quality of Early Childhood Education in the schools involved, ensuring better opportunities for learning, developing and participation to all children, specially to those who may have any type of disadvantage.


This publication aims to present the project in its most relevant aspects and it's results. It includes some examples of the most representative reports, over the 3 years of duration, divided in five chapters focusing: pedagogical strategies or methodologies, materials and equipment, parental involvement and recontextualized activities. The final chapter briefly describes one of the most relevant events in this process, which was the online seminar held in November 2021.


CHAPTER 1

STRATEGIES AND METHODOLOGIES


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Every child has the right to satisfy its needs Age group: 3 – 7 Key words: theory of needs, meeting the needs, self-actualization, peer interactions, educator as a teammate, open curriculum Space and materials: - space - kindergarten space, school yard, forest, gym - materials - clay, paint, aquarium, sports equipment, natural materials, pickers, balls Intentionality: Activities for children and adults which meet spontaneous needs (Maslow and Glasser) to achieve a higher developmental zone and a sense of equality. Development and encouragement of mutual spontaneous relationship of children as a prerequisite for mutual acceptance. Methods and strategies: - methods - collaboration, independence in performance, research - strategies - group work, individual approach, encouraging freedom of choice (modes, activities, play friends), educator as an equal teammate Activity description with photo documentation: According to Maslow's theory of needs (source https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html) and the Glasser Satisfaction Theory (source https://joyleng.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/joylight-23/)

Each person has needs, a child and an adult, who according to numerous documents in different countries have the right to satisfy. Meeting the need for survival (Glasser) and physiological need (Maslow) are prerequisites for the survival of every living being. When a child arrives in kindergarten for the first time, it needs time to adapt to new people and the overall environment. During this period, the child needs to meet the needs of belonging and freedom (Glasser), that is, the need for security and love (Maslow). Of


course, for a quality educational process, it is necessary to meet these needs of adults and children on a daily basis in peer activities. In children and adults, satisfying the needs for belonging, freedom, security and love leads to a higher level of work quality and work results. One of the visible activities to meet these needs was the joint work of the project partners to produce ceramic tiles for the tactile wall. By satisfying these needs, as part of our professional attitude towards work, we become more creative and achieve a better overall result than everyone would individually achieve. Through the example of adults, in our daily work with children we can see that children naturally and spontaneously enter into peer interactions, while meeting their needs for belonging, freedom, security and love. By meeting these needs, they develop their emotional and social intelligence. Here are some examples of situations where spontaneous fulfillment of these children's needs is evident. We emphasize that in each of the situations there is also a child who has certain difficulties in cognitive development. Particular attention should be paid to the fact that in the spontaneous relationship of children, these cognitive difficulties do not represent any obstacle to their mutual acceptance. Just as in peer relationships they satisfy the need for belonging, they also satisfy the need for fun and power.

Children also meet their needs for power by learning from each other. In doing so, it is of great importance that during the learning process, they are given the freedom to approach


the problem situation and the way they accomplish tasks. One of the rules to meet individual needs is - I have the right to work differently. With this approach, choosing the way something is done also satisfies the need for freedom. The individual choice of learning mode enables each child to learn at his or her level, developmental zone, and it is not important whether there are any objective difficulties, but it is crucial that continuous conditions for continuous individual development of each individual are crucial. This is the only way to achieve the need for self-actualization.

To

paraphrase the theorists in the field of sociology, we could say: respecting individual needs for everyone, thus achieving the right to equal and appropriate education conditions for each individual. What is the role of educators in an individualized approach to the development of children's opportunities? First of all, it is preparing and facilitating the stay and activities of children in a supportive environment. The supportive environment allows the freedom to choose a play partner, regardless of age and diversity of any kind, which also applies to the child's choice of activity and time spent with an adult (eg a teacher in the pedagogical process). In addition to being present as an educator in activities with the children, educator is always an equal and teammate. This means that he does not approach problem-solving and learning from the perspective of a knowledgeable adult, but from a team-mate position. Such a teammate raises the level of activity and play, playing with children, for the first next stage of the child's capabilities.

Example: a boy is trying to construct a slope, along which the object will move independently. It does not achieve the necessary slope of


the slope. The educator as a teammate intervenes by increasing the slope of the slope. After that, the children continue their game independently, at a higher level, exploring how far the object will roll on the slope. All children in this activity have more complex and multiple cognitive difficulties. A proper approach, while respecting children's needs for power, freedom and self-actualization, enables them to develop individually.

A level of knowledge, as well as the ability to develop quality intersubjective relationships between an adult and a child and children in general, is crucial for such an approach to the educational process. Reflection: By following the diverse ways and possibilities of meeting the needs of children, it has proved necessary to explore which needs are met in the open curriculum process itself. Therefore, we have agreed, jointly, with all educators, to organize an activity in which we will try to collect information from the children, on the basis of which we can conclude what needs are met and what we need to pay more attention to. Educators and professional staff: Educators: Ana Sudec and Dijana Ptiček Helena Hajdin, head of forest pedagogy program Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue principal Sanja Hajdin, coordinator Country and name of kindergarten/school: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“ Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Learning with each other Age group: 6 and 7 years old Key words: animals, songs, choreographies, sharing, cooperation and inclusion Space and materials: classroom, computer, interactive board, white board, colouring pencils, plasticine, clay, glue, animal picture with magnets,.... Methods and strategies: The work was developed in an active methodology where the students participate as subjects and agents of their own learning. The work focus is based on the answer given by the children's interest. Therefore, the songs, dances, researches and presentations based on the animals studied are strategies planned by the teacher and the students and also include the active participation of the parents. This methodology promotes inclusive activities of the different curricular subjects as well as the inclusion of the different children in the classroom, especially those that have Special Needs. How activity started: The activity emerged from the interest shown by the students for animals. Firstly, the class group was heard and this motivated the beginning of the literacy learning process. This way we used an endogenous pedagogy. Activity description with photo documentation: This activity aims at a first grade class which is made up of 19 students that attend Escola Básica da Junqueira. This class has a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and two socially disadvantaged children who need constant attention and stimulus in order to promote their learning. This class group distinguishes itself for the friendship and union among students, which leads to a good environment in the classroom. Concerning the Autonomy and Curricular Flexibility Project, we are developing the project “DESCUBRO OS ANIMAIS” (I LEARN ABOUT ANIMALS). This idea rose from the interest shown by the all the students, in particular by the child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This child has always shown great interest about the animal world. The project then became cross-sectional to the whole class and to all subjects. Procedures: 1st In Portuguese, the different letters are always introduced by songs sung by Carlos Alberto Moniz and written by José Jorge Letria. Each song is associated with an animal whose first letter introduces the letter to be learned. The songs are sung during the whole learning process and, of course, there is always choreography associated with each song. All the students participate actively and feel motivated. These moments bring about great pleasure since they all collaborate enthusiastically in the activity.


The Special Needs student also participates with excitement. He sings along with the class group and takes part in the preparation of the choreographies.

The Special Needs student shows himself very interested and motivated to learn the different letters and volunteers to write them on the board and associate them to the different animals. At the end of the activity all the students in the classroom cheered and praised him for his success. 2nd Meanwhile, the class researches the Internet, goes to the school library or listens to stories about the animals that are being studied.

3rd In Artistic Expressions all the students set their

creativity free in the representation of the animal that is being studied. They can use plasticine, clay or do a drawing. 4th When talking with the students, we came up with the idea that each one of them should research one of the animals being studied. Each student chose an animal in the classroom to work at home with their parents. The teacher gave them some topics and guidelines which should be followed by the parents at home. While researching, some parents volunteered to present their work in the classroom alongside their child.

Research work on the snail (caracol) presented by a student and her mother.


Observation of a snail with the help of a magnifying glass. Concerning the Special Needs student, he first revealed fear when observing the snail, but after seeing how enthusiastic his classmates were, he didn’t resist, and he also proceeded the same way. For his research work he then chose the monkey because it is his favourite animal. With the help of his mother, he presented his work in front of the whole class. Some of the more socially disadvantaged students did this research work with the help of a classmate that volunteered to help with this task. 5th With the animals that are being studied some charts will be built: Classification chart of the skeleton of the animals that are studied.

Register on a double entry chart on the classification of the animals according to their skeleton.

6th In Maths, some curricular contents were approached: Representation of sets/additions A socially disadvantaged student volunteered to go to the board to do the representation of sets/subtractions.

Venn diagrams


7th There was a strong collaboration with the kindergarten class to which most of the first graders had belonged to the previous year. This collaboration involved mainly songs and chants of the vowels, as well as choreographies and the sharing of knowledge. All the students involved themselves with dedication and enthusiasm and they shared what they had learned. The Special Needs student made sure that everyone noticed that he knew how to sing all the songs that were being sung. 8th We also shared the songs and choreographies of the letters with parents and other relatives.

The students were very proud and committed themselves when singing and dancing along the different songs.

Reflection: With this work methodology, students had the opportunity to build and develop their own knowledge in the different subjects in a ludic and inclusive manner. The whole class group involved itself with enthusiasm in all the activities. They also showed respect for everyone and they were always very motivated. They manipulated the animals, which were familiar to them, with the help of magnets. This helped their learning process and motivated them to want to learn more and more. The Special Needs student participated gladly in all the activities.

Suggestions for improvement: At the end of the school year, this project will end with the construction of a mock-up on the animals studied and a play done by the students for their families as well as the whole school community. Other: Educators and professional staff: Alzira de Paiva Mendes e Mónica Cármen Freitas Evaristo Alves Country: Portugal Name of kindergarten/school: Escola Básica da Junqueira, Agrupamento de Escolas de Valadares, turma 1JUN1


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: PLAY and CODE Age group: 5 Number of children involved in activity: 23 Number of special needs children: 1 Description/classification of special need: Autism Key words: inclusion, PLAY and CODE: coding unplugged Space and materials: Space: classroom section materials: Plastic colored cups, colored napkins and blank egg cards, rhythm cards Intentionality: The intention is to introduce Coding in kindergarten with different materials (egg boxes, colored plastic cups and colored napkins), through a simple and creative game. Methods and strategies: With this type of language we allow children to • develop an approach to the logical solution of problems through play and fun; • develop creativity and ability to challenge oneself; • develop cooperative work; • propose a transversal approach to different disciplines; • develop knowledge and self-awareness; • stimulate the learning and involvement of children. Activity description with photo documentation: Our small project resumes a bit of the principle of pixel art. In this first approach to coding, however, the numbers have been replaced by a color code. In fact, we created a table the size of egg boxes with colored circles on the PC. Each child must have his own cardboard box. The game consists in knowing how to reproduce the same pattern drawn on the A4 sheet inside the box thanks to colored handkerchiefs. It will therefore be necessary to fill the empty accommodations with a handkerchief respecting the suggested scheme.Another color-coded coding activity can be done with colored plastic cups and color-coded A4 sheet. Give each child a strip of color code and the number of colored glasses. Then ask each child to repeat the same sequence of colored circles with the glasses. If all participants understand how the activity works, then you can start playing!


Reflection: In our opinion, this didactic path was very fascinating. The children participated actively and with interest. Specifically, the child with disabilities interacted with his friends and showed interest and joy for the final result. Suggestions for improvement: During the activities the children had fun expressing their creativity and learned by playing. In particular, the disabled child was able to actively participate with the support of his friends, a fundamental resource for the harmonious growth of all of them. Other: Educators and professional staff: Maiorano Ada , Sporta Caputi Mimma , Campa Rossella Country and name of kindergarten/school: Sava (Italy), Kindergarten Bonsegna


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Visit to a mainstream school Age group: 4-7 years old Key words: cooperation, inclusion, peer collaboration, social skills. Space and materials: Indoor and outdoor activities in the place of the mainstream school Intentionality: Students with special needs should have the same opportunities to develop and achieve the principles of education through the cooperation with the normal children. More specifically, they should be benefited as follows: Belonging ●

Having friends

Forming and maintaining relationships

Being part of a community

Feeling good about oneself

Getting along with others, including coworkers

Being a caring parent and family member

Being happy

Mastery ● Experiencing success and becoming competent in something or some things ●

Being well rounded

Being a good problem solver

Being flexible

Being motivated

Having literacy, numeracy, technology, and communication competence

Being a lifelong learner

Reaching one's potential in areas of interest

Independence ● Having choice in work, recreation, leisure, or continued learning ●

Possessing the confidence to take risks

Being as independent as possible


Assuming personal responsibility

Holding oneself accountable for actions and decisions

Being able to self-advocate

Being adaptable and flexible

Generosity ● Being a contributing member of society ●

Valuing diversity

Being empathetic

Offering compassion, caring, and support to others

Being a responsible citizen

Giving back to the community

Exercising global stewardship

Methods and strategies: − Play together − Having lunch together − Participate in the “friendship circle” − Exchange gifts made by themselves − Help each other in educational tasks Activity description with photo documentation: Visit to the 13th Nursery school of Patras which is situated in the same neighborhood of our school for the whole day, to implement common activities. Our students went there with gifts that they had prepared and spent all day together in educational activities, play, lunch, singing, dancing and exchanged gifts. They discussed with their teachers about the principles of diversity, acceptance and equal inclusion of all children in society.


Reflection: The aim of the visit was to emphasize the inclusive dimension of education for all children and to contribute to reducing the barriers that each one may encounter along its own education process. Pre-school education offers children very important opportunities for interaction with peers. This interaction contributes decisively to the development of social and personal skills and to the construction of positive social relationships. The opportunities for each child to observe and to interact with peers, through situations that imply giving and receiving in the context of play with other children, enable the development of important communicative, social, playful and cognitive skills and learning. Suggestions for improvement: More often visits to the mainstream school, as well as visits of them to our school Other: Educators and professional staff: Educators, Special Education teachers and assistants. Country and name of kindergarten/school: Greece - 1st Special Nursery school of Patras

INDICATIVE PHOTOS 1) Preparation of paintings and giving as a gift to our friends in mainstream school


2) All students together perform in educational activities

3) Dance and children's games without borders

4) Outdoor activities and play in a friendly environment for everybody


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Lunch anticipation Age group: 7-10 years old Key Words: Behavior, social skills, personal autonomy, augmentative, and alternative communication. Space and materials: Learning support centre; computer and projector.

Intentionality: This activity is carried out every day with the presence of four students (with autism) from the first to the fourth year, who attend the Learning Support Center for the development of specific skills in different areas. The main objectives focus on the regulation of behavior, anticipation of changes in physical space, development of social skills, development of personal autonomy. Some of these students have dietary restrictions, and others sometimes deregulate their behavior when they change physical space and/or task. These are the main reasons why this activity is carried out every day. With this anticipation, it is intended to provide students with a calmer and more organized mealtime in the canteen, where they have lunch with the respective class. It is important for them and for their colleagues. On the other hand, it allows them to anticipate what they are going to eat and relieve anxiety about the foods presented. Since the students (except one) do not have the reading competence, in this activity we use words and visual clues (pictures and symbols).

Methods and strategies: Students watch the Power-point projection, and participate through: word reading, food identification (pointing).


Activity description with photo documentation: Students sit down to watch the Power Point projection.

During the activity, opportunities are provided for students to intervent, namely through questions to answer.

At the end, some students put the symbols corresponding to "washing hands" and "lunch" on their daily routine board. Some do it autonomously, others need help.


At lunchtime, one of the students needs to see visual cues. This support is important for the student to complete the different stages of the meal (soup, main course, dessert) in a calm and regulated way, without any moments that lead to disruptive behaviors.

Reflection: Being able to provide greater emotional stability contributes a lot to greater and better interaction with their peers. Lunch is a very important socialization moment at these ages, which contributes to their social development.

Educators and professional staff: Special Education Teachers and Operational Assistants.

Country and name of kindergarten/school: Portugal; Valadares; Escola Básica de Lagos (Primary school).


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: We learn and collaborate Age group: 3 – 7 Key words: self-organized activity, supportive environment, interaction, problem situation Space and materials: - space - the interior space of the kindergarten - materials - tubes, tubes with holes, grooves, cords, balls, floodlights, lamps, mirrors, lamp, fish tank, dough, tempera, paintbrushes, various vehicles, fixed road, plastic bottles, scenery for children's play Intentionality: Provide children with multiple disabilities with a supportive environment that will lead them to pursue self-organized activities, social interaction, initiate problematic situations and produce positive feelings - pleasure, satisfaction, happiness. Document processes with photographs as a form of pedagogical documentation. Group reflection of professional staff. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, material manipulation, problem solving - strategies: expanding experiences, individual approach, collaboration Activity description with photo documentation: Our kindergarten is continuously cooperating with the Center for upbringing and education Tomislav Špoljar (CTŠ), which provides children with multiple disabilities separated from the regular education system. One of the forms of cooperation is the joint activities of children in the center or in the kindergarten. During one of these visits, we monitored the extent to which children with multiple disabilities organize their self-organized activity. We have tried to understand the area of their interest and the problematic situations that interest them as a starting point for their learning and development. 5 children aged 8 and 9, 2nd year pupils of CTŠ, came to visit. First, we extracted the activity of a boy and centers of activity in which he was active for 2 hours stay in the kindergarten. From the 11 activity centers offered, the boy independently selected: - 3 centers where in interaction with other children he self-organized activities; - 1 in which he participated in an activity organized by an adult. According to the photos, as a pedagogical documentation of the activity, it is evident that the boy (striped shirt) is preoccupied with noticing the relationship of the material in a stimulating environment but does not interact with other children. He interacts with the


material individually, interested in some cause-effect relationships of the subject as well as phenomena in the environment. Interaction with others is poor.

The same behavior is visible in the center of light and shadow. The boy studies light reflections on different substrates, still without interaction with other children.

In the activity organized by the adult, he performed the intended task independently until the end and successfully, still without interaction.


The boy self-organizes a series of cognitively challenging problem situations, highly motivating for development, all without achieving social interaction. The other boy (blue T-shirt) stood out just by engaging in social interactions. At the construction center, whose construction was secured, the boy interacted and collaboratively self-organized learning with a young child of 3 years of age. He did not interact with older children in kindergarten even though they were present in the space at the same time.

The boy was also active in symbolic games (role-playing activities).


Reflection: In the group reflection of all professionals, we concluded that we do not have the knowledge to work with children with different disabilities and that we are not qualified to work with children with multiple disabilities. We have confirmed our assumption that in a stimulating pedagogical environment, children will find the most appropriate materials and relationships for their individual development. There is great professional responsibility for influencing and facilitating individual progress for children whose developmental disabilities we do not know or know about, which means we cannot find ways to meet their needs. Suggestions for improvement: How to integrate children of different difficulties into one class, and how justified is it to form separate groups of children of different difficulties who cannot interact with each other? What are the reasons, triggers or needs that children with disabilities meet when interacting with younger children? We do not have enough knowledge about ways of understanding children of different and multiple difficulties, and especially not about the difficulties we have not encountered in our practice so far. How to organize the integrated work of children with disabilities and what kinds of professionals do they need for an interdisciplinary approach to children in the educational process? Educators and professional staff: Ana Sudec, educator Dijana Pticek, educator Helena Hajdin, head of forest pedagogy program Kristina Ivanusec, educator Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Magdalena Dugan, educator Petra Fischer, educator Sanja Dretar, educator Sanja Hajdin, coordinator Tea Saric, educator Country and name of kindergarten/school: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“ Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: NAVIHANCI Age group: 3 and 4 years Number of children in the activity:17 Number of children with SN: 2 Description/classification of children with SN: Gifted child: 2 Key words: mathematics - sorting Space: playroom and forest Materials: waste material (sleeves) and dry sticks/branches in woods

Intentionality: During the playtime the children were allowed to play spontaneously with creativity and relaxation in the activity. The children immersed themselves to the unconstructed offered material in the playroom and relaxed play in the forest. They were motivated even before the activity in the playroom and nature. They had a lot of perseverance, but most of all, imagination. During the activity, the children with PP were creative, spontaneous, curious, and above all independent, each had the opportunity to contribute their ideas, learn from their peers, feel safe and accepted. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, independence in performing activities, tactile stimuli (tactile stimulators), manipulation of materials, problem solving, cooperation. - strategies: collaborative learning, self-organized activities of children, dissemination of experiences, individualized approach, cooperation, group work, educator as an equal teammate, promotion of freedom of choice (friends for play, activities, way of playing, ...) Activity description with photo documentation: The child uses strategies of thinking, cooperating, disseminating experiences… According to Glasser, the need for survival (related to the physical body) was satisfied; the need for love and acceptance; the need for fun (related to fun and creativity through play); the


need for freedom (related to the mental body) and the need for power (related to the child's personality - self-esteem, leadership, assertion). Interior space: The child discusses the criteria for sorting sleeves, sorts them into groups, builds pillars, houses, builds long and short rows, and compares. He feels satisfaction when he succeeds. Outdoor space: Before coming to the forest, we talk to the children about the rules, that we are careful with sticks, that we dont wave them around or towards each other, to pay attention to safety… In the forest each child chooses his / her branch / several dry branches and compares with a friend, discusses the classification criteria (long - short, thick - thin, high - low), improvises walking with sticks, fishing, building stairs, walking up the stairs…


Socio-emotional, cognitive and sensorimotor level of development were dominant. Reflection: For the field of math activities, I planned to introduce the children to basic math terms: long, short, thick, thin… and thus having their first experience with math in relation to nature. Children generally like to play with unconstructed material in this case with waste tubes or dry branches in the forest. The game in the forest started spontaneously, from picking dry sticks to compare them. In this case, I would especially like to highlight the game in the woods, where the children feel free and eager to have fun. The children had fun in the woods and enjoyed the game immensely. Of course, I paid more attention to the boys and realized that they prefer to get involved in activities that take place outside in nature, without guidance and without constructed material. The activities took place over a long period of time. Suggestions for improvement: / Other: / Educators and professional staff: Martina Šoštarič, Irena Kupčič. Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenija, Vrtec Podgorci.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: “ A COLORFUL PINEWOOD FOR EVERYONE ” Age group: 5 years old Key words: Inclusion, balance, rules Space and materials: Pine forest area, delimited by a fence to reduce spaces that are too dispersive for pupils with disabilities The materials were donated by volunteers for the construction of a fence available to all pupils. Intentionality: Make people aware of the need for the intervention of local authorities connected to the school and collective work for the good of the community. Methods and strategies: Service learning: everyone collaborates, making their time and materials available to everyone, to carry out interventions for each individual who can use them. Starting from a brainstorming on the needs of pupils in the school, the pupils themselves came to the conclusion that a more limited space was needed for children with special educational needs. They imagined and designed with drawings and digital programs, the creation of an enclosure by choosing the space, the materials and the colors. The children, aware of having to ask for help, involved parents and municipal bodies; finally they have concretely contributed to the creation of this space. The aim was to create an area for balance and motor skills, in which they agreed to enter four at a time and rotate with the other companions, staying for a maximum of 5 minutes. Activity description with photo documentation:

Recovery of material through service learning with donations from parents and municipal bodies

Simulation of the space that the enclosure will occupy after a long brainstorming


Design your own fence as we imagine it

Designing the enclosure with children's graphics programs (Tinkercad)

Construction of the fence thanks to the contribution of volunteers

Use of inclusive space for the development of balance in compliance with the rules organized and provided by the children themselves Reflection: This path aims to achieve wide-ranging educational and social purposes, as it raises pupils' awareness of the problem and stimulates their creativity towards the solution.


Suggestions for improvement: Involving pupils in all phases of the project educates awareness and promotes meaningful learning Other: Educators and professional staff: 2 curricular teachers and two support teachers Country and name of kindergarten/school: Italy I.C.Bonsegna-Toniolo Kindergarten”Iris Malagnino”


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Construction of “Eat Fears” and the little monsters of emotions Age group: 6-8 years old. The group 2VC is formed by 17 pupils. There are 5 students in the class with special educational needs and two students taking advantage of Universal Measures. The group 3VC is formed by 22 pupils. There are 2 students in the class with special educational needs and 6 students taking advantage of Universal Measures. Key words: emotions, fears, joys, sharing, inclusion Space and materials: the activity was developed in the classroom and in the respective houses in order to involve families. Material resources: pencils, paper, eraser, scissors, painting supplies, fabrics, wool, sewing threads, buttons, needles, thimble, sewing machine, styrofoam, plastic, padding for cushions and books: “Emotional”, “Ball of emotions”. Human Resources: teachers, students, family, operational assistants. Intentionality: Starting from textile materials, in common use, we intend to create pedagogical resources to work on emotions / fears, developing, simultaneously, orality and expressiveness. Methods and strategies:  Dialogue with children / students; • Exploration of the books mentioned above; • Elaboration of the individual project, affection doll, drawn on paper, representative of fear / emotion; • Brainstorm for the selection of materials to be used in the construction of the dolls; • Elaboration of the monster “Eat fears”; • Individual creation of the respective affection doll according to the project prepared by each student; • Involvement of families in the construction of dolls; • Appreciation, when presenting to the class, of projects developed individually in order to motivate and reinforce the commitment applied in their execution; • Assignment of the name to each of the dolls according to the emotion / feeling it represents to be later explored in the classroom; • Construction of the dolls in fabric: a doll was built in a large stitch and each student created a doll the size of the palm of the hand from the previously elaborated drawings. Activity description with photo documentation: This activity started from the exploration of the books “Emocional” and “Ball of emotions” that served as a starting point for the further development of activities in the classroom.


It was proposed to the students to draw their “little monster” and then present it to the class, being attributed an emotion. This emotion will be worked on by all students, developing activities at the level of portuguese and artistic expressions.


After presenting the students' work and the respective association of emotions, we started to build what will be the “Eat Fears”, the giant “Monster” that will absorb negative emotions and make positive emotions part of itself. “Eat Fears” was conceived with the contribution of everyone, who also participated in its construction.

Finally, each student builds his “little monster”. Part of the work is done in the classroom and another part is carried out at home, thus articulating with the respective families. After all the “Monsters” are built, one of them will be chosen weekly and the emotion associated with it will be worked on. Orality, written expression, citizenship, and artistic and dramatic expression will be


developed. This project was developed together with other teachers from the same school and from the same group, during the attendance in the training action “BONECOS DE AFETO TEXTILE WORKSHOP”, having been transmitted to teachers from the same school who did not attend the action, so they can develop this same activity, as it fits into the Autonomy and Curricular Flexibility Project. These are some examples of the work already done by the students.

Reflection: This work proved to be very positive and fruitful. The familiarization with materials that are prohibited (needles, scissors...) make the task more attractive for students. There was a great deal of involvement on the part of the students, showing the growing commitment of everyone and the willingness to collaborate on common projects. Despite the concern with maintaining a safe distance, the spirit of mutual assistance was always present, checking the importance of collaborative work. The contribution of the image in the books explored was important, serving as a source of inspiration in the elaboration of the individual “monster“. It was a great stimulus for students' creativity. The impact on students was very positive, through their commitment and attitude during the tasks, there was a growing sensitivity to the potential of the textile materials that surround us daily and that can be used as very interesting resources for the development of different projects. . Suggestions for improvement: The only constraint felt was the fact that there could be no greater contact between everyone and also the fact that the material had to be distributed in individual kits, given the hygiene standards that we have to comply with. It would be more interesting to build a bench with all the materials, allowing students to move around the room, independently selecting the materials to use in their "little


monster". Other: Educators and proffesional staff: Full teacher of class 2VC (Conceição Lobão), full teacher of class 3VC (Sónia Catarino), Phoenix teacher (Guiomar Pereira) Country and name of kindergarten/school: Portugal/ Agrupamento de Escolas de Valadares/ Escola Básica de Vila Chã


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: D’Abramo V.-D’Ippolito G. Age group: 5 age Key words: let's play with coding Space and materials: Indoor: using graphic-pictorial materials, colors, paper and easy-to-use materials Outdoor: garden school Intentionality: Acquire computational thinking with simplified coding practices Methods and strategies: Role- playing Brainstorming Cooperative-learning Activity description with photo documentation: the approach to coding was of a playful nature, the children were put in a position to code the deliveries administered with the use of a grid.


Reflection: the use of new technologies applied to teaching makes the learning process innovative and engaging, making the kindergarten alive and participating in change Suggestions for improvement: Other: Educators and professional staff: D’Abramo-D’Ippolito Country and name of kindergarten/school: Italy Fragagnano(Taranto)/Platone


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Children’s rights Age group: 4-7 years old Key words: International children's day, equality, diversity, Space and materials: Different corners of the classroom H/Y, pictures, scissors, papers, glue, markers, hand knitting yarn. Intentionality: All children must be protected against discrimination on grounds of race, color, sex, language, religion, origin, belief, legal status of themselves or their family members. Children need to grow up in an environment that provides them with the necessary material goods (shelter, clothes, food) and ensures their physical, mental, emotional and social development. Preschool is the ideal time for an introduction to human and children’s rights. The educational goals of preschool education for human rights are to fit into the children's environment and in particular his or her personal experience within the school environment, the family and the relationships that he or she creates with adults and other children. Learning the children’s rights aims to: ✔ learn children their rights ✔ raising children's awareness of "Children's Rights" ✔ recognize children for their essential rights ✔ recognize human needs ✔ cultivate feelings of self- confidence ✔ enhance empathy ✔ respect for yourself and others ✔ sensitize children to diversity ✔ encouraging reasoning, analysis and critical thinking ✔ encouraging change in behavior and character ✔ emphasis on skills acquisition and its practical application Methods and strategies: ✔ TELL- SHOW- DO technique ✔ Introduction in the topic using pictures and videos from children all over the world and discussion ✔ Edit pictures from children’s rights ✔ Sensitize children for children’s rights ✔ Make a team craft for children all over the world


Activity description with photo documentation: We observed pictures of children from other countries and commented on them. We looked at their clothes, their houses and compared them to ours. Then we saw a lot of pictures of children's rights (love, toys, friends, food, water, home, school, medicines, etc.) and talked about them. We heard songs that talk about children from all over the world : « If all the children of the Earth», «These hands» and we made a team craft that depicts children worldwide. Reflection: The knowledge of children's rights helps children to preserve their rights from encroaching. Learning that they have rights that include food, clothing, a loving home and education and a world without war, makes children raise awareness to those who don’t have the above. Thus, they become more responsible and more sensitive to those that, due to circumstances, don’t enjoy a loving home and education. Suggestions for improvement: More activities that raise awareness towards the people that are different from them. Other: Educators and professional staff: Educators, Special Education teachers. Country and name of kindergarten/school: Greece - 1st Special Nursery school of Patras

INDICATIVE PHOTOS 1) Recognition of different races. Use multiple resources to speak about similarities and differences. (IT, Mix and match, music)


2) Children’s’ rights for home: Discussion and matching homes with children of different races

3) Outdoor activity: Dramatization of children's rights through a team game. Immitating the different characteristics of every race and dance all together without discrimination of colour, race, ethricity.



ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Early counting and writing Age group: 4-7 years old Key words: letters, numbers, counting, writing, educational games, books Space and materials: Different corners of the classroom Whiteboard, pencils, papers, index words, empty boxes, bottle caps Intentionality: Children start to learn from the day they are born. As they grow and develop, their skills become increasingly more complex. During early development, children learn skills that are important to the development of literacy (writing and counting). This stage, known as emergent literacy, begins at birth and continues through the preschool years. Children see and interact with print (e.g., books, magazines, grocery lists) in everyday situations (e.g., home, in preschool, and at daycare) well before they start elementary school. Gradually, children combine what they know about speaking and listening with what they know about print and become ready to learn to write and count. There are some early signs that may place a child at risk for the acquisition of literacy skills. Preschool children with disorders often experience problems learning to write and count when they enter school. Other factors include physical or medical conditions (e.g. chronic ear infections, fetal alcohol or drug syndrome), developmental disorders (e.g., mental retardation, autism spectrum), poverty, home literacy environment, and family history of language or literacy disabilities. Literacy skills could start developing in early childhood education, even in special schools, when a teacher foresees that a child asks, wants, is ready to start writing and counting. Methods and strategies: − Copy letters from words already written in pieces of paper − Trace the letters on index cards − Start with the letters of their name − Use of class materials (recyclable as well) to count and recognize quantities (e.g.Junk Boxes Counting) − Montessori counting activities


Activity description: Some children of our school, despite their mental problems, are recognized by their teachers as ready to write and count and also despite that they are attending a special preschool setting. They are asking to learn the letters and form them so as to make words. The first step is to write on a whiteboard, as to be used to the writing procedure later on a paper. A good start is to begin from the daily routine of Day Month Year. They are copying the relative words on the whiteboard. For counting, they are experimenting with everyday waste materials which have been turned into educational staff by the teachers. Junk boxes and caps are used to put the same number of caps into the appropriate box with the number on it. Also, other materials of the school are used for counting. Reflection: The most important thing is to make the writing and counting processes fun! Put away the workbooks until the time comes when the child is interested in them, and instead incorporate writing and counting activities into their daily play. We want children to associate writing and counting with enjoyable experiences that they are happy to take part in. Effectively incorporating support for children's varying writing and counting skills provides a gateway to developing other critical literacy skills and significantly contributes to later reading and counting achievement. The knowledge teachers gain from assessing children's writing samples and counting procedures can be used to select appropriate, individualized strategies for scaffolding and expanding children's writing and counting efforts. Individualizing instruction provides meaningful and approachable experiences for all children, setting the stage for writing and counting success for years to come. Suggestions for improvement: The class teacher as well as the speech therapist in some level, may help to prevent problems, identify children at risk for writing and counting difficulties, and provide intervention to remediate literacy-related difficulties. Prevention efforts involve working in collaboration with families, other caregivers, and teachers to ensure that young children have high quality and ample opportunities to participate in emergent literacy activities both at home and in daycare and preschool environments. Children who have difficulty grasping emergent literacy games and activities may be referred for further assessment so that intervention can begin as early as possible to foster growth in needed areas and increase the likelihood of successful learning and academic achievement. Other: Educators and professional staff: Educators, Special Education teachers, Speech therapists.


Country and name of kindergarten/school: Greece - 1st Special Nursery school of Patras

INDICATIVE PHOTOS Using multiple materials and stimuli



ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Spatial perception Age group: 4 - 7 Number of children involved in activity: 18 Number of special needs children: 2 Description/classification of special need: a) Gifted child Keywords: spatial perception, symmetry Space and materials: - space: children's living room in kindergarten - materials: colorful sticks, spoons, forks, wooden circles, pebbles and boxes, plastic bowls, plastic cones, Lego cubes, dominoes and figures, sponges, scissors, plastic stoppers Intentionality: The activity is organized in a stimulating space and includes stimulating material. Pedagogical materials were adapted to the development of spatial perception, understanding the position and relationship of symmetrical objects with regard to: • objects being in a symmetrical sequence from both sides of a center • objects being freely placed outside a central line while staying at the same distance from the line • objects being symmetrically rotated • objects being placed symmetrically from the center of the work surface after removing the visual border separating the two sides This activity is suitable for the development of creative thinking in children as well as for encouraging the development of potentially gifted children. Methods and strategies: - methods – researching, developing independence in performing activities, manipulating materials, problem solving, cooperation - strategies – collaborative learning, self-organized children's activities, expanding children's experiences, encouraging freedom of choice (friends to play within activities, way of playing, …) Description of activities with photo documentation: While painting the masks for the upcoming carnival, we noticed that several children aged five and six paint at a level beneath their chronological age, without creating shapes and without coloring in the shapes.


These drawings show the pictures of masks drawn by children aged five and six who paint beneath their chronological age and those by children who draw in accordance to their chronological age. Therefore, we decided to carry out activities in which pedagogical material adapted to the development of spatial perception and understanding the position and relationship of symmetrical objects was used. In the first stage of the activity, the children were offered colorful sticks which they used to create an equal pattern on both sides of a center. The children did very well in this activity, but we noticed that while making the pattern the children often didn't put the sticks in the opposite (diagonal) location, which can be seen in the photo below. They did, however, always use correctly colored sticks.

In the next stage, the children were offered different, previously listed materials in pairs. In addition to the materials, a round table was prepared which we visually divided into two equal parts. With the help of the offered materials, the children freely placed the objects all over the inside of the circle, but always at an equal distance from the central line.


Due to the many stimulating materials, the children immediately showed great interest in participating in the activity. They noticed very quickly how the objects needed to be placed so that they were symmetrical and they chose how to place the objects so that they were symmetrical themselves. Some of the children chose to place the objects freely within the semicircle, while some of them placed the objects in two symmetrical rows. During the activity, we noticed that the children struggled the most with rotating objects like spoons and forks. Over the next few days, we continued the activity. Children were able to notice and determine certain positions of the objects in a space, and they looked for what was different in other objects. In the following days, the children continued to line up objects so that they mirrored each other through games they organized themselves. They encountered new problem situations such


as having to place objects at an incline in relation to the central line.

Dominant level of development: a) cognitive Reflection: Spatial perception is the ability to understand and interact with the environment around us, which involves avoiding obstacles when walking, reaching out to grab a pencil, or determining left-right. In order to encourage children's spatial perception, we selected a variety of materials that were adapted for the development of spatial perception, understanding the position and relationship of objects in symmetry. The prepared materials got the children interested in participating in the activities and in continuing the activities in the following days. In addition to the offered materials, the children very quickly began to find more different materials and with the help of Lego cubes they built equal rows of cubes which they then put in symmetry. Suggestions for improvement: In addition to children whose development corresponded to their chronological age, potentially gifted children also participated in the activities. We believe that the activity would be more challenging for younger children and children whose spatial perception is delayed in relation to their chronological age, and that they should be included in the continuation of the activity. Educators and professional staff: Ana Sudec, educator Magdalena Erdelja, pedagogue Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Country and name of school/kindergarten: Croatia, Dječji vrtić „Dječji svijet“ Varaždin


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Musical didactic games Age group: 2 – 3 years Number of children in the activity:10 Number of children with SN: 0 Key words: theory of needs, attention, concentration, sound search. Space and materials: Space: playroom, and other interior space of the kindergarten (hallway, wardrobe). Materials: bells.

Wardrobe. Bells. Intentionally: When a child enters the kindergarten, his or her social environment suddenly becomes significantly broader. Every child must first and foremost feel accepted, safe and happy. This and a friendly, creative environment, backed by professionalism, is a condition for him to develop his interests, knowledge, abilities and values that will enrich and make him happy. Children's restlessness is something completely self-evident. We are talking about a kind of energy that never seems to “run out”. It is different when it is no longer just a matter of restlessness dictated by mischief and pronounced vivacity, but also of difficulty concentrating. These difficulties are being faced by a little girl, who never had set boundaries in personal relationships, and she also has speech problems. We were developing auditory perception, attention to sound, were developing and extending attention and concentration for children in the group, and especially for the girl with problems, through musical - didactic play. Methods and strategies: Methods: research, independence in performing activities, manipulation of materials, problem solving, cooperation. Strategies: collaborative learning, individualized approach, cooperation, educator as an equal teammate. Description of the activity with photo documentation: We introduce the game with the story of Jaka the bear, who had an instrument (bells) and played and played for so long and walked around until he got lost. This is done by one of the educators, who leaves the playroom with an instrument, plays on it all the time and hides. Another educator sends


one child from the playroom to look for Jaka the bear. When the child finds Jaka the bear, he praises him and gives him an instrument to play on. Jaka the bear has another musical instrument with him so they can play together. The educator encourages the children to listen. A child who is invited to look for a sound, or for an educator who plays on the musical instrument, experiences the joy of successfully solving the task and music. We were extending children's attention and concentration with the activity. Some children returned to the place where they first heard the sound of the musical instrument while repeating the activity, but over time they listened carefully to detect where the sound was coming from. According to the theory of needs in the activity, we recognize the need for security and belonging and the cognitive need. We also recognize the need for love and acceptance and the need for fun. Children and the girl participated in the activity. They feel safe, accepted, and they trust the educators, because otherwise they wouldn’t leave the playroom and go explore where the sound is coming from. The cognitive need stood out, as the activity satisfied the needs for knowledge, research and curiosity.

The educator attracted the attention of the children.

Lasting children's attention.

The girls' attention and concentration dropped, as they are very short lasting. Other children have a longer attention and concentration span.


The girl distracted the attention of the other children. The girl listens where the sound is coming from.

She solves the tasks successfully.


The children participated in the activity, which confirms that they feel safe, accepted and they trust the educators, as otherwise they would not have left the playroom. Cognitive level of development was dominant. Reflection: At the beginning of the game, the children had to be accompanied and encouraged, later they went to the sound of the musical instrument without any problems, based on a positive experience. Some were returning to the place where they first successfully found Jaka the bear, others recognized exactly where the sound was coming from. There are children in the group who find it difficult to maintain attention. Everyone participated in this game. Suggestions for improvement: We can hide the musical toy in the playroom. As we do so, the children wait in front of the door until we call them. The musical toy can be hidden in a box, on a shelf, on a cupboard, under a blanket, ... Over time, we encourage the child to hide the musical toy from other children in the playroom. These musical didactic games are suitable for small group. Other: / Educators and professional staff: Blanka Pavlović and Tanja Golob. Country and name of kindergarten: Slovenija, Kindergarten Podgorci.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: what we feel Age group: 1-2 years old Number of children in the activity: 6-10 children Number of children with SN: 1 Description/classification of children with SN: Child with today’s SN**: newcomer coming to the group Key words: child, sensoriomotor. Space and materials: - space: playroom Stars - materials: sensory bags (buttons, pompoms, wood beads, rice and couscous), corn, pompoms, snow, ice, water, sugar, lemon juice, audio book (farm animals), gloves made of shelleshammer, different dishes. Intentionality: Our intention for all activities was that we enable children to get to know two different tastes (sweet, sour), soft and hard items, different materials, different state of matter (liquid and solid), listen to the sounds of animals who live in the farm and guess the animal. They visibly enjoyed the activities. The children have learnt: - that they prefer sweet flavors to sour ones, - that animals have different types of skin or hair, and not all are the same - to turn ice into water, which can be transferred from one container to another, - soft and hard materials. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, tactile stimuli - strategies: individualized approach Activity description with photo documentation: Sensorimotor level of development was dominant. The activities were carried out during the week from 24 January to 28 January 2022. They took place over several days, as there were activities for several days. It is important to point out that this week was the introduction of a newcomer to the group, who had some difficulties integrating. On the first day, we did an art activity linked to the season – winter clothes. We glued the pompoms on the cut-out shapes of shelleshammer gloves. At first the children just played with the pompoms and squeezed them and then with a little help spread the glue and stuch them where they wanted on the glove. In the activity there were six children. The newcomer wasn't in the kindergarden that day.


On the second day it was snowing. We brought ice cubes from home and put them in the playroom. We also poured water into a large bowl and put a floating duck in it and left it outside overnight. They learnt about it all by touching it. Children responded by saying “ušššš” that means “brrrr” to indicate that they were cold. In the playroom we also learnt about snow, which we shaped into a ball and put in a bowl. But it melted to water quite quickly. The same happened with ice. The children played with it for a while, moving it from one bowl to another. While ice turned into water which was even more interesting for them because water is more familiar to them through everyday use. The only thing that mattered to one of the boys was to get the floating duck off the ice so that he could take it to play. He tried to remove the ice around the duck in every way he could. After a few attempts he succeeded. The children enjoyed the activity, which was evident from their non-verbal and in some cases verbal communication. The newcomer was not present for the activity that day.

On the third day we prepared sensory bags for them. We put water and different materials in them. In the first bag we put water with pink coloring, pom poms and buttons. In the second bag we also put water but with green coloring, pompoms and some soft stars. In the third bag we put some water with oil and wooden beads. The fourth bag was filed with rice and the fifth bag was filed with couscous. With their help, we pasted all the bags on the table. They had a chance to play with them for longer than just that day. Children accessed the bags extensively but more individually. We encouraged the children to feel the contents of the bag (hard and soft),


naming their properties of the objects in the bag and trying to get as close as possible to what hard and soft objects are. On the board in the book corner, we had some glued illustrations of animals. Animals were made of different materials so they could touch and stroke them. During the transition and calming activities, we also used the same illustrations and put them on the tables.

Children could feel the materials and stroked animals in couples. We encouraged the children to name the animals but most children in the group don’t speak yet. They used imitation animal calls. The newcomer was present at the activities, but still had some difficulties in the morning when he separated from his mother. He showed sadness several times during the day and expressed it by crying. We tried encouraging him to feel the sensory bags to get a sense of what is hard and soft. After a few attempts to show how to make the sensor bags interesting, he laughed and touched himself. On the fourth day, we organized an activity to stimulate the children's sense of taste. We squeezed lemon juice into one plate and poured some sugar into the other. Each child tasted lemon juice and sugar. They had quite similar reactions, all of them liked sugar more than lemon juice. We also tried putting both plates in front of them at the same time, where the most interesting response was from the boy who pushed the lemon juice plate away from him and pulled the sugar plate even closer to him. The children wanted to "taste" the sugar repeatedly, and the lemon juice made their faces a little scrunchier. We also asked them at fruit snack time that day whether the fruit was sour or sweet. Two older girls told us when they thought it was sour. One of the boys also repeated after them. The newcomer, who was in kindergarten for the third time that day, was in a slightly better mood, but didn’t want to try the lemon juice and only tried the sugar.


On this day, we also combined an art activity with learning about the touch. The teacher and I made the birds and put paint on them then put them in a bag and zipped it. The children spread the paint over the birds through the bag, covering them with paint. The children visibly enjoyed it, some of them squishing the bags, turning them over and trying to get to know the contents in another way - by opening the bags. The newcomer participated in the activity, tossing, and turning the bag, trying to open the bag and painting his birds.


The fifth day was a day to learn about the sense of hearing. Throughout the day we listened to music and different sounds. We listened to Avsenik's Golica, sections of the Animal Carnival (a section from each animal), a recording of sounds from nature (wind, rain, bird calls…), and a recording of different animal calls, as well as the calls of farm animals with the help of an audio book. Everyone sat at the table listening to the farm animals in the book. The teacher had the newcomer in her arms, who was in a bit of a bad mood, but calmed down at every sound and listened curiously to see which animal it was. Also, the t eacher first lowered the sound and then we asked the children if they knew which animal was making the noise. Some named the animals, but most of them imitated the animal calls that were played. Then we looked at which animal was in the illustration. Here some children also named the animal, while others just imitated the sound. After all the activities that day we gave corn to the children at the table for them to feel and get to know it. Then we put it in a lower plastic container so that they could get to know it with their feet and try to stand on it barefoot. After the activity, we also took some corn to the goats near the kindergarten.


Through the activities of the whole week we have identified the children's need for fun, as all the activities were carried out in close connection with playing games, which is particularly important for children. The activities also fulfilled the children's need for freedom, which was recognized in the activities through that the children were free to choose whether or not to participate and also awakened the children's desire to discover the new and the unknown. Reflection: Their reactions were surprising. They all actively participated and explored the activities. Most of the activities were repeated later, because the more you give children something to do, the more they expand their knowledge and learn about new subjects. I also think it is worth pointing out that the newcomer also followed the activities with interest and was comfortable listening to the music or the animal calls. The children followed all the activities with interest and explored them again and again. We repeated all the activities except the one where we would train taste. We did not learn about smell, as the children are too young for this activity. The children had the sensory bags with the contents taped to the table where they often went, they took the bags off the table and threw them, bit them, tried to get the contents out, and peeked through them at the other children. They also had animals on the board in the book corner to feel and pet, and a few times we brought illustrations of animals to their tables so that everyone could work together and have space to explore the different materials. The painting through the sensory bag was repeated in the painting of the carnival masks, where the children again showed their pleasure in feeling the contents of the bag, laughing, some vocalizing, and most of them enjoying the activity, especially when we opened the bag and took out their product (a bird or a mask). While we asked the children questions during all the activities, most of the time, because of the age of the children, we answered them ourselves. Later, instead of corn, we offered the children a sensory trail (consisting of several stations), which some of them walked with interest, while others only walked a single station then went away. If there had been an individual approach to getting to know each sensory station, perhaps they would have responded a little better than they did now when they have been offered the whole sensory pathway.


Suggestions for improvement: If the activities were repeated, each activity would be offered to the children in a sequence of several days. We have been learning about it day by day and later through other topics, repeating and encouraging the children to use these tools themselves. We would do the sensory trail individually with each child to get more out of it and perhaps learn a bit more about the different materials they walked on.

Other:/ Educators and professional staff: Monika Bujan, Manuela Leben Bezjak, Silva Mori Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia, OŠ Velika Nedelja, kindergarten Podgorci


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Inclusive Education – Inclusion of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder Age group: 6 years Key words: autonomy; integration; socialization; communication. Space and materials: materials in the activity room and in the outdoor recreational space. Intentionality: promote autonomy in relation to hygiene and food; participation in activities; interaction with peers; communication Methods and strategies: creation of strong affective bonds; construction of a table with photographs of the school's physical spaces, of the people involved and the main tasks of the daily routine; systematic monitoring of the child; activities in which there was musical background; viewing books in groups with other children; motivation for the game through materials to the liking of this child.

Activity description with photo documentation: Initially this child was crying and screaming. As he doesn't speak, he simply imitates sounds, it was necessary to understand his wants and needs. After this phase, a work of affective proximity was developed, of interaction with games and games outside. In this process, the collaboration of the peers proved to be essential. With the books, an attempt was made to develop communication, although only more contextualized words emerged. Regarding their autonomy in relation to hygiene and food, the journey had to be very persistent but the results were very positive.


In the activity room he started to be autonomous in the choice of his task.

After noticing some routines and rules, he no longer manifested himself through shouting and showed serene behavior during the routine.

Interacting with peers.


Developing moments of play and interaction.

Reflection: all the goals achieved were possible due to the persistence and the fact that the child understands most of the messages transmitted. Suggestions for improvement: in order to enhance the acquired social interaction skills, it is suggested to expand the restricted means of contact, namely to provide the opportunity to articulate and interact with other teachers and staff of the school community.


Other: Educators and professional staff: Luísa D'Alte Sílvia Ferreira Country and name of kindergarten/school: Portugal Kindergarten Campolinho 1 Agrupamento de Escolas de Valadares


RELATÓRIO DE ATIVIDADE Name: “Positive Door” Group age: from 3 to 6 years old Número de crianças na atividade: 20 Number of children with EN: 3 The three children have an autism spectrum diagnosis, but with different levels of participation. One has a serious cognitive, communicational and autonomy impairment, with a very low level of participation, that has been improving. Another has good cognitive abilities, participating in one-on-one activities. Despite not speaking, it has been developing favorably in this area, as well as in autonomy. The last one does not register cognitive impairment, but presents difficulty in relating to peers, resistance to eye contact, rejection of certain textures, the need for well-defined routines, and his attention disperses quickly. Key Words: School, Feelings and To grow Space and materials: Activity room and materials collected and brought by the children.

Intentionality: This activity, part of the “Involve to Include” Project, aims to promote Positive Education in schools, so that students have access to high levels of subjective well-being in the form of positive thoughts and emotions in education, contributing to school success. It is intended that each child reflects on what they like most about school and/or the contribution of education in their future, putting thoughts or emotions in a creative/interactive way at the door of the classroom and daily, opening the Positive Door to Education. In this way we can develop social and emotional skills. This activity was focused on the child with difficulties in interacting with his peers. working in small groups was intended to encourage the relationship with his colleagues.


Methods: autonomy in the execution of activities, manipulation of materials, problem solving and cooperation. Strategies: brainstorming about the topic, definition of project stages, small group work, cooperative learning and encouraging freedom of choice Activity description with photo documentation: In the green room of Junqueira Kindergarten, children were challenged to freely express their feelings about the school and the activities carried out with a view to assess the impact on their ages, what do they learn at school and what the school can enhance. The children used words like: we learn, we are happy, we have friends, we discover new things, we help, we play. The educator asked how and where this happens: Child - It happens in the activity room and when we are together; Educator - So when we enter through the door we change? Child- Yes! Sometimes we arrive sad and angry but then no more! Educator - Are we transformed? Child - Yes as in a machine. Educator - And what will this machine be like? Shall we do a project?

The children gave their contributions by designing parts of the machine and once it was finished, the materials to build the machine were collected.


The children were always coming up with new ideas saying they had to have a crank to get “things” out; that it had to have buttons and code, a hand to put ours on before entering and even a mirror to see our emotions.

The door remains active as a transforming machine that allows us to regulate emotions, which tells us how we leave the room and how we enter each time we look in the mirror, what we want to show others and what contributions we are making to make this machine really work.


Children have fun pushing the buttons and every morning they don't forget to run their hand over the palm “reader” and look at themselves in the mirror. They give alerts to colleagues, telling them to go to the machine to regulate themselves and adjust behaviors. Which development domain was dominant: socioemotional. Reflection: Portuguese Pre-School Education involves pedagogical activity in a playful guise, giving the work carried out in kindergarten a fun connotation, in which play, socialization and mutual help are privileged, without haste and without pressure. Therefore, the vision of the school, for these children, is a positive one. This activity allowed our children to become aware of what they are doing in this context, of the learning they have been carrying out and of the difficulties they are experiencing - in other words, it has allowed them to promote self-awareness as a learner (a dimension of Social and Personal Formation). Learning was promoted such as the development of respect for others and their opinions, in an attitude of sharing and social responsibility, the development of a critical and interventionist attitude, being able to rehearse different strategies to solve the difficulties and problems that arise. For children with educational needs, this small group activity allowed them to interact with their peers, although I have been very encouraged by the adult. Suggestions for improvement: Other: The Valadares School Agrupamento is developing the Involve to Include Project. This project is part of the National Program for the Promotion of School Success - Personal, social and community development plan, aimed at nine Basic Schools of the Valadares School Group. Its general objectives are: ● Contribute to the prevention of absenteeism/school dropout ● Promote students' social and emotional skills ● Increase family participation in the educational process ● Promote positive communication at school ● Promote school participation in/with the local community One of the activities launched was the POSITIVE DOOR Contest. Educators and professional staff: Educator Luisa Moreira Operational Assistant Maria João Country: Portugal Name of kindergarten/school: Junqueira Kindergarten


CHAPTER 2

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENTS


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Draw with shaving cream Age group: 3-5 years old Key words: sensory stimulation, psychomotor development, social skills. Space and materials: Snoezelen room, music, mirror, shaving cream.

Intentionality: It is through involvement that the child learns to deal with different sensations and respond to different challenges in the environment, adjusting his behavior whenever necessary. By touch, children know the world as explorers discover the shape, the temperature and the texture of materials. It is in this autonomy of exploration and sensory discovery, that children overcome inhibitions and limitations, relax and reduce tensions, improve communication and understanding and have more adapted motor responses and behaviors. Due to the fact that it is a small group, which includes a child with very significant limitations in terms of global development, it is an opportunity for psychomotor development, for children to create emotional bonds, learn from each other, in a climate of cooperation and imitation. When a small group remains regular, an environment of closeness and bonding starts being built between peers, creating emotional security.

Methods and strategies: Explore your own image reflected in the mirror; Put on the foam and let it explore freely; Ask to make a drawing.


Activity description with photo documentation: With the use of listening to calm music, in the snoezelen room an activity of exploring the image and self-recognition was provide, followed by sensory exploration of the shaving foam (texture, smell). The group was asked to draw a drawing, being the indicator the “pencil“.

Reflection: This free sensory exploration allowed the discovery, mutual help, the imitation of behaviors of peers. This pleasurable sensation aroused curiosity and attention, encouraging interest in learning in a happy and playful way among peers. These types of activities encourage the participation of children with more difficulties and increase their involvement and interactions with peers. Suggestions for improvement: Explore this activity by adding colors gradually, introducing textures and using black light. Other: Educators and professional staff: Educator Elisabete Oliveira and Special Teacher Education Isabel Pedrosa. Country and name of kindergarten/school: Portugal – Escola Básica de Lagos – Kindergarten.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: “ Me in the nature ” Age group: 4-5 years old Key words: Recovery, fine motor skills, sustainability Space and materials: Pine forest area The materials were recovered by the children with a game of search and classification: pine cones, twigs, leaves. Intentionality: educate to the recovery and knowledge of the gifts of nature Methods and strategies: through classification and seriation activities, the natural materials of the forest are collected and selected: they are used to count, build shapes and decorate corners of the classroom. They are also reused to write in the earth, to compose letters of the alphabet, to create ice sculptures in water and to create "natural" paintings. Activity description with photo documentation:

Collection and classification of materials

Ice sculptures

Free from construction

Spontaneous writing with recycled materials


Collection of flowers, divided by color, to form natural colors

Natural paintings with recycled materials

Mother's Day crafts with pine cone petals

Observation, with magnifying glasses, of the beings that live in nature


Writing with natural materials Reflection: This path aims to stimulate creativity, to develop problem solving, to sensitize pupils to the reuse of natural elements and to respect nature as a gift. Suggestions for improvement: Laboratory teaching offers various opportunities for sensory and motor experiences, allowing for meaningful learning. Other: / Educators and professional staff: all the teachers Country and name of kindergarten/school: Italy-I.C.Bonsegna-Toniolo Kindergarten”Iris Malagnino”


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Art in nature Age group: years 5 Key words: observation, description, creativity Space and materials: Indoor, outdoor. Natural paint materials Intentionality: The project proposes a virtual journey, which will project us into the world of art and which will see 5-year-old children engaged in the observation of the natural villages present in their reality that change in every season. From monet to pollock, from kandinsky to miro' it will be a journey of observation and description that will lead to the production of works elaborated by children. With the observation the children will become active protagonists transforming themselves into small artists and will try to reproduce the landscape known and observed using various graphic-pictorial techniques. Methods and strategies: Laboratory teaching: in which there is a sharing of the experience and everyone actively participates expressing themselves according to their abilities Didactics for scenarios: children are the protagonists, the teacher proposes, guides, acts as a director but it is the children who realize. These methodologies involve all children simultaneously on several channels: communicate-represent-reproduce. In fact, each of them will be able to independently choose the methods of representation on the sheet. In this scenario, the project contributes to promoting the active role of children in the learning process. Activity description with photo documentation: The children first observed the surrounding nature, then they observed on the lim some works of famous artists and finally according to their creativity and using various graphic techniques they made their paintings. Children will be involved on a sensory level but above all the process of inclusion will be consolidated.



Reflection: All the children lived and shared the experience in a collaborative, engaging and inclusive atmosphere as these experiences were an extraordinary human and cultural solicitation Suggestions for improvement: Other: Educators and professional staff: Ilenia Nocera, Liliana Martano , Carmela Convertini Country and name of kindergarten/school: ITALY kindergarten PLATONE, Fragagnano


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Creative with Clay Age group: 4-7 years old Key words: clay, creativity, teamwork, artcrafts Space and materials: Indoor activities in the class and the art laboratory Clay, water, colors, clay forming utensils, clay wheel, models Intentionality: Most children, when given a piece of ordinary soft pottery clay, are instinctively motivated to explore its inviting soft and responsive sensory qualities. They poke it, squeeze it, hit it, pick it up and pound it down, and so on. Each time they act on the clay, the clay adjusts and responds. These changes mean very little to us as adults, but for a child these changes in the clay are magical. The child is naturally fascinated, motivated, and empowered to keep experimenting. The same pleasure applies also to children with special needs. Every child needs experiences that match his or her developmental level, and a simple piece of soft clay is a perfect match if the child is ready. Children that are old enough to squeeze your finger can squeeze a piece of soft clay. If they can notice a change in the clay, they are learning that their actions have consequences. This is empowerment. It encourages more experimentation. The child’s brain is taking shape along with the clay. Such self-initiated activity can be the perfect match for the developmental needs of the child. Clay stimulates the child’s curiosity. Intelligence, imagination, and creativity are engaged and fostered. Many new neurons and synapses in the brain are being generated when a child is engaged by the immediate tactile and visual feedback provided by clay. It is a great benefit for children with mental retardation too. Manipulating a piece of clay develops the child’s large and small muscles. Clay play fosters eye-hand coordination. Soft clay is receptive and responsive to all kinds of emotional expression. Clay is so fascinating that some children work for long periods without any adult motivation to maintain their interest. It can be a great way to extend the attention span of children with typical development but with special needs too. Finally, makes the teamwork funny and promotes inclusion through action.


Methods and strategies: TELL – SHOW – DO technique The teacher makes a figure with clay and then the children imitate her. For clay wheel use, more intensive education is needed. Free play technique Pieces of clay are given to children and either they look at a photo or model and repeat or are left totally free to expand their imagination creating whatever they want. Activity description with photo documentation: When giving clay to a very young child the first time, I do not instruct the child on what to do with the clay except to clarify that it is to play with—not something to eat. Other than making sure they do not eat it or throw it, I simply watch to see what hey do with it. Good adult supervision consists of observing and encouraging self-initiated experiments that correspond to reasonable limits of play. If a child is too hesitant, I let the child watch me explore the lump of clay myself. I encourage them that it okay to pinch it, poke it, pound it, and so on. Since some children have learned to avoid getting messy, I show them how easy clay wipes off my fingers with a moist cloth or sponge. Sometimes they will just practice wiping the clay off their fingers at first. This is fine. It is learning. If the child is very young, it may be best to wait and try it again each month until you feel comfortable with the child’s responses. Most of the time I keep my hands off the clay. Very little instruction is needed. The things they make are generally not kept or fired. If something is fired, it can be glued after firing if it comes apart. The clay is kept soft between sessions by adding a small amount of water before storage in airtight plastic bags or containers. When using the clay wheel, a few instructions re givan from the teacher and then I'm helping them to familiarize with the procedure. Then I let then alone to create.



A short video of working on Clay Wheel


https://youtube.com/shorts/G4fPbPpPaOg

The final products:

Reflection: Today’s urban children come with the same instincts and motivations as children in any tribal village. A child's mind has the same needs to create imaginary tools, cooking vessels, animals, dolls, and so on. These are used in imaginary play as they learn about and practice coping with the worlds into which they are moving. A child that learns at an early age that anything that can be imagined can be created is more likely to be more creative and intelligent than a child that only plays with manufactured toys that have been designed by adults. Clay, like almost no other material, allows the immediate materialization and realization of the imagination at virtually any developmental level. Many toys are well designed for pretending and imaginary play, but not many are good for imagining and creating new objects and new toys. It also promotes teamwork as two or three children can work together and produce pieces of art.

Suggestions for improvement: Depending on the age and mental level of the students, They may then carry on a dialogue between the two clay toys. With a bit of practice, this kind of creative thinking and making becomes second nature for the child. Adult supervision can become more and more passive—only needing to express profound wonder and amazement to urge the child to continue the creative play with the pretend theater of characters. With more open motivational questions, it may soon become elaborated with props such as clay cooking pots, cars, trucks, and so on all made as needed. Once enough objects have been created, an open exhibition will be held, inviting parents and the local community.

Other: Educators and professional staff: Special Education teachers, assistants, art teacher Country and name of kindergarten/school: Greece - 1st Special Nursery school of Patras


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Dental health Age group: 4-7 years old Key words: mouth, healthy teeth, infected teeth, how to clean techniques Space and materials: Indoor activities in the class and later in the bathroom. Paper, glue, pencils, mouth model, pictures of teeth and different foods. Later on, toothbrush, toothpaste, Listerine, mirror, towel. Intentionality: Poor oral health in young children can cause pain, infection and lead to problems associated with eating, speaking, sleeping, breathing and learning. However, these problems can be accentuated in children with special needs. Children with special needs may be at a higher risk for dental problems for various reasons: required medications can sometimes be harmful to dental health, some children are prescribed soft diets which also can lead to dental problems, others may have physical limitations that make it difficult to carry out dental hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing. Finally, poorly developed teeth and jaws can lead to mouth breathing, a common cause of oral and overall general health problems. For these and other reasons, special needs children - including those with physical and/or neurological disabilities are more likely to develop gum disease, lose teeth and/or experience other oral and general health problems. Discovering a dental problem before it gets worse can become a challenge because they may not be able to communicate as other children do. So they need intense training regardless of their kind of problem or how severe or light it is. More able kids can help their classmates to achieve these goals easier. Methods and strategies: TELL – SHOW – DO technique The first step ("TELL") is to discuss a topic, such as brushing teeth, in a way the child can understand. The second step ("SHOW") is showing the child how it's done in a non-threatening way. Once the child feels comfortable with the second step, the final step ("DO") is doing the actual procedure. Throughout the Tell-Show-Do learning process, it's important to constantly provide positive feedback and reinforcements; this gets children engaged and eager to brush regularly. Whether the child has a special need or not, school assistants can reinforce proper brushing by examining areas that were not cleaned properly and showing these areas that may need to be more focused upon, especially near the gum line. Before proceeding to the real process, students can be taught the technique by imitating the procedure in a mouth model.


Activity description with photo documentation: Here we are presenting the activities which have been preceding the hands-on process, which include games and crafts representing teeth, “theory” of the mouth and teeth, healthy and infected teeth, materials we use during the cleaning process, foods that help healthy teeth or not, use of dental floss.

Reflection: The intense training of dental health helps children ages 4 through 7 develop good oral health habits that can last a lifetime. This group of activities: • Helps children ages 4 through 7 understand the importance of their teeth. • Provides basic information, appropriate to their age and experience, about keeping teeth clean and healthy. • Introduces the dentist as a friendly doctor who helps them take care of their teeth. •Children can learn better, through different activities which help them have a broad view of all factors that affect their dental health in a game-like way.

Suggestions for improvement: Depending on the age and mental level of the students, the dental health program could start earlier in the school year. Cooperation should be established with parents, as to use the same techniques and procedures at home, as we use at school. Other:


Educators and professional staff: School nurse, Special Education teachers, assistants. Country and name of kindergarten/school: Greece - 1st Special Nursery school of Patras

More indicative photos


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: A Rainbow: Art and STEM Age group: 4-7 years old Key words: Team building, cooperation, interaction, observation, interest and support, discovery, manipulation, textures, materials, fine motor and social skills Space and materials: Indoor activities in the class Different kinds of paper, pasta, wool, tempera colors, rice, salt, glue, stones, used CD, newspapers, tablet, cards of rainbows

Intentionality: This activity mainly involves the ideas of team building and early science subjects to promote inclusion and learning. The skills learned from team building are important parts of personal and group development in children. During team building activities, children have the chance to communicate with each other and work towards a common goal. By practicing being an effective team member and team leader, children develop confidence in their own abilities. Learning how to work with others and communication are important by-products of team building. Team building with children means you are developing their ability to work together toward a common goal. This makes the work or job easier because the children are working together. When a team works together to solve a challenge, everyone in the group wins and all children have a positive experience. Conduct team building activities with children that emphasize cooperation and collaboration, not competition. The skills learned from being part of a team are necessary for positive action in everyday life in school, work, and the community. Also, giving children opportunities to look carefully at different materials, to sort and classify them and


to investigate how they behave will help to build their understanding of the world. Finally, supporting the main activity with enriched materials gives them more opportunities to learn.

Methods and strategies: Semi-structured activity. The teacher gives instructions and the children perform the activity. The instructions are not very strict because the main goal is to interact with each other and let them choose themselves the colors and materials. The shape of the rainbow is only given and then children choose what to put for each color. The same happens with the CD rainbow prism and the rainbow cards. Teacher gives only the stimulus and children follow up the activity. Activity description with photo documentation: Main activity Together with the children we decided on the theme for the artwork. Spreaded a large piece of paper on the activity table and have children work together as a team to create a piece of artwork based on the chosen theme that was the rainbow. Encouraged children to share ideas and divide duties to create a masterpiece. On the activity table put also the different materials to form the rainbow that have prepared baofor (see above Materials). Painting a rainbow encourages children to practice the three C’s critical in their cooperative play development stage: communication, cooperation, and coordination. It also focuses on creative thinking, motor skills and sharing ideas. For our students with sensory processing disorder, it improves bilateral coordination and core strength.

Children work together

Exercise fine motor skills


Reflection: Kids with or without special needs love art! The benefits of art for kids go way beyond fun. Studies have shown that the process of creating art actually helps support young children in almost all areas of their development. Benefits we have seen to our children after this activity: 1. Builds Skills & Improves Academic Outcomes Making art can drastically improve your child’s fine motor skills and enhance their creative problem-solving abilities. Over time, studies have shown that building these skills translates into better academic outcomes for kids in other subjects including writing, literacy, mathematics, and science 2. A Voice Beyond Words Children often use art to help them process their experiences and deal with overwhelming emotions. Art provides kids with critical sensory input and can help children express their feelings in a multidimensional way even if they lack the vocabulary to describe their feelings with words. Even if they aren’t the ones creating the art, just being around art can provide children with enough sensory input to kick start their imagination and engage their curiosity. 3. Encourages Innovation Art encourages creativity and imaginative thinking, two skills that are increasingly linked with long-term professional success. Art forces children to engage in out of the box thinking and can help them hone their creative problem-solving skills. 4. Boosts Confidence & Self-Esteem Deciding what kind of art to make and what materials they will use are some of the first opportunities for young children to exercise autonomy and make decisions for themselves. By making their own independent choices to express what they are thinking/feeling children build confidence in themselves and their abilities, and learn to feel more comfortable expressing their feelings. 5. Facilitates Bonding Art can help facilitate communication and bonding between children even if they don’t know each other or don’t share many common interests. Creating art in small group settings encourages cooperative behavior in children, giving them opportunities to practice crucial social skills like sharing, taking turns and working together. Finally, whenever we invite students to participate in science activities, our main goal is NOT for them to master a set concept, but simply to allow them to explore the activity in their own way. Giving this freedom to children inspires them to make predictions and critically think about the world around them in a pressure-free setting.

Suggestions for improvement: They can experiment with more forms of materials to make rainbows. It is also a very good topic to make some experiments such as rainbow volcano, rainbow cabbage, rainbow rain, rainbow flower and egg experiment in which they change colors. Also, hunt for treasure in rainbow rice and rainbow sensory bottles. Other: Educators and professional staff: Special Education teachers, assistants, art teacher


Country and name of kindergarten/school: Greece - 1st Special Nursery school of Patras


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Development of gross motor skills Age group: 2-4 years Number of children in the activity: 9-11 Number of children with SN: 1 Description/classification of children with SN: Child temporarily with SN*: a child in need of adaptation in terms of an individual approach Key words: Fine motor skills training Space and materials: - space: Playroom - materials: paper plates, pinchers, food tongs, food grippers, colored cubes, strings, wooden stringing beads, pom-poms, weave cloth toy, strings. Intentionality: Most children have progressed in terms of fine motor skills by developing individual movements and grasps/holding that children do not usually consolidate at this age. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, independence in performing activities, manipulation of materials, problem solving, cooperation. - strategies: collaborative learning, self-organized activities of children, expanding experiences, individualized approach, cooperation, group work, educator as an equal teammate, encouraging freedom of choice (friends to play, activities, way of playing,). Activity description with photo documentation: Level of sensorimotor development was dominant. Paper plates and pinches: I drew squares on paper plates and painted them red, blue and green. In between are empty white spaces. On the second plate, the squares are colored with yellow color. Children must pin a pin of the same color as the color on the plate. Some children pin a white pin on a white space.


Food tongs and colored cubes: Children try to arrange cubes of the same color (blue, red, yellow, green) on the colored sheets with food tongs. At first, they have some difficulty holding the tongs and use both hands to help themselves, but later they refine their grip.

Stringing wooden beads and shoelaces, food tongs Children string wooden beads (circles) of different colors on shoelaces. None of the children used a particular color sequence. When they got tired of the activity offered, they resorted to food tongs to put the balls in a box.


Food tongs and colored pompoms The children used food and food tongs to classify the pom-poms into paper cups.

Weave cloth toy and strings/ shoelaces The children used wooden cloth toys to push the strings through the holes. We introduced the exercise to the children as sewing. Reflection: During the first few days of the activity itself, I noticed that the children's fine motor skills were quite poorly developed. It improved significantly in the following days and improved further each week. The biggest progress was made with the laundry pinchers. Now the game with pinchers is daily offered to children in one of the corners. Suggestions for improvement: / Other: / Educators and professional staff: Manuela Majhenič, Anja Majcen Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia, Kindergarten Podgorci, OŠ Velika Nedelja.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Didactic games Age group: 1 and 2 year olds Number of children in the activity: 6 Child temporarily with SN*: difficulties with adopting to a new invorement, and accepting new people. Key words: Play, didactic, cooperation Space and materials: Space: playroom Materials: didactic games Intentionality: Children were actively involved in the activity, their attention span was long. At the end of the week you could see children cooperating, intenting to communicate and help one another. They all and each gained a sense of security, acceptance and inclusion. Methods and strategies: - Methods: method of play, method of conversation, discourse, demonstration, method of observation, independence in performing activities, cooperation. - Strategies: collaborative learning, individualized approach, cooperation, group work, educator as an equal teammate, encouraging freedom of choice (friends to play, activities, way of playing,…) Activity description with photo documentation: The children had different didactic games available to them. Children could choose between different didactic games to play with. Which incerased the internal motivation of a child. They could choose to play with a didactic toy individualy or at the presence of an adult, who raised their play to a higher level. The children could choose between the magnetic fishing game, various labyrinths, different puzzles. A child on photo 1. only observed others play. At the end of the week the child played too, and even more the play was cooperative, as seen on photo 9. Socio-emotional and cognitive level of development were dominant. Reflection: The children actively participated in the activities, they were mentaly active, they searched for solutions to different problems and experienced pleasure, when they found a solution. The children were connected by the games. At the end of the week you could see children cooperating, intenting to communicate and help one another. Children were active involved in the activity, their attention span was long, Suggestions for improvement: Additional didactic games, changing the games out after a longer period. Other: / Educators and proffesional staff: SILVA MORI, MANUELA MAJHENIČ, LIDIJA BRUMEN Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia, Kindergarten Podgorci, OŠ Velika Nedelja.


Photo 1:A child without a sence of security only observes the other's play. He can play activly after he feels safe.

Photo 3: The expression on the face of a child satisfiing the need for fun.

photo 2: Age 12 months: at first observation, then imitation of the activity.


Photo4, 5: play side by side-every child has their own activity, which they chose independently.

Photo 6,7: secure attachment allows for more curiosity, perseverance, interest, and enjoyment in problem solving.


Photo 8: The play with a didactic toy in the presence of an adult, who raised their play to a higher level.

Photo 9: Cooperation: alternately inserting different shapes. The children were waiting for the other to be able to perform the activity.

Photo 10: Help, collaboration - When the balls falls to the ground, other children pick them up and return them to the child.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: MAGICAL DECEMBER Age group: 1 – 5 years Key words: Happy December Space and materials: Space: playroom, Materials: Toys from the permanent corners (eg. Construction corner, Home corner, book corner), - Book „Our magical December“, - Color pencils, oil paints, coloring books, A4 paper, harder paper of different colors, markers, glue, sparkes, scisors, cotton,... - Different shapes of soft pillows. Intentionality: - Encouraging curiosity and joy towards artistic activities, art and difference, - Use and development of skills, learning about artistic means, research and experimentation with artistic means, - Development of cohesive movement, balance, - Learning about the meaning of cooperation in a group - Listening to the language and involvement in the communication process, - The child learns it is important to help and cooperate to feel good and comfortable, - The child learns there is a purpose behind the way objects are placed in a certain space, - The child uses phrases to describe where an object is placed (eg. up, down, in front of...) Methods and strategies: speaking, listening, observing, encouraging, play. Together with the educator we were very mindful of the developmental characteristics of the children when it came to individual activities. In most of December the children in the group were the same and the size of the group met the recommendations issued by the NIJZ due to the Covid epidemic. We watched their behaviour and responses closely as they were meeting new friends, learning about their new space and meeting new educators. We designed a number of rich and diverse activities for the children. We managed to envelop a wide variety of activity areas and thus enabled the children to experience themselves, others and their surroundings in all areas. The children were mentally and physically active, relaxed, curious and above all, creative. The youngest children in the group aged 1 were very curious and happy to receive help from the older children (image 2). Activity description with photo documentation: - Drawing and coloring with pencils, - Developing graphomotoric skills, - Handling and cutting with scissors, using glue, making different shapes (Happy December motifs, decorating the playroom and Christmas tree), - Following the instructions on the activity cards on the Christmas tree (making snowflakes, Christmas elves, snowball fight...), - Making Christmas cards (finger painting), - Composing soft pillows into a sequence; crawling and rolling on the pillows..., - Crawling though a tunnel,


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Cooperating in the daily routines: body care/hygiene, meal time (breakfast), hygiene tasks (washing hands, changing diapers), uses a napkin.

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Photo: 5

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Photo: 11 Photo: 12 Reflection: Since it was the month of December, we wanted to make it as magical as possible despite the unpredictable times. We utilised the book Our Magical Christmas to make that happen. We did a lot of artistic creating, talked about the upcoming holidays and decorated our playroom. We also created some decorations for our magical Christmas tree. I have to mention the age differences between the children in the group. The older children have a way of playing corresponding to their age; however, the younger children were the ones' “demanding” all their attention and decided how the play would proceed, which the older children did not like. Conflict/disagreements were happening, especially between siblings. Together with the educator we were trying to offer the younger children other activities and tried to turn their attention to other activities; however, it was not so simple (emotional connection between siblings), so the distraction only lasted a short period of time. “Display of the sibling relationship while paying (sisters aged 1,6 and 4,6; photos 11 and 12). The older sister got angry at the younger one because she was demanding her attention.” Suggestions for improvement: Global normalization of the state of Covid epidemic and consequently returning the children into their parent groups. Other: The activities were carried out in December and during the Covid epidemic, so the kindergartens were closed due to the epidemic, only the necessary child care was provided. The activities we planned for December were based on joint gatherings of all groups in the kindergarten: decorating a christmas tree, cheering and singing songs by the christmas tree, a puppet show and a visit to Santa Claus, and gifting children. However, all planned activities were customized and carried out in separate and small-scale groups. We also carried out the gifting of children in the way of drive-in Santa Claus. Educators and professional staff: Martina Šoštarič, Anja Hribar Country and name of the kindergarten: SLOVENIJA, KINDERGARTEN PODGORCI


RELATÓRIO DE ATIVIDADE Name: Mathematics Group age: 4 and 5 years old Number of children in the activity: Number of children with SN: 1 Francisco attends Pre-School Education for the second time. At the beginning of his frequency, he presented marked difficulties in terms of communication, especially expressive language, locomotion (walking, sitting, standing up), personal autonomy, and in bimanual activities, with a diagnosis of Psychomotor Development Delay, associated with Epilepsy, resulting from oncological disease. He depends on a third person to carry out all activities of daily living and school. His strengths are the ease with which he relates to others and the ease with memorizing songs. At this moment, his language has improved considerably, expressing himself with complete sentences and a richer vocabulary. Locomotion has evolved considerably, he sits and stands up autonomously and walks with more confidence. He is supported by a teacher of Special Education two times of fifty minutes a week. Francisco benefits from support in Physiotherapy, three times a week, and in Occupational Therapy, once a week, and in conjunction with Physiotherapy. He will soon be supported by Speech Therapy. The Vila Nova de Gaia City Council offers Francisco the Adapted ICT Workshop. Key words: colors: red, yellow, green, blue, purple and orange; numbers: one, two, tree, four and five; circle Space : activity room Materials: Small translucent plastic circles and lightbox Intentionality: Taking advantage of the fact that one of the child's strengths is his relationship with peers, this activity aims to promote the development of fine motor skills while exploring mathematical concepts: numeracy / counting concepts in an attractive way. The light table had recently been introduced and aroused a lot of interest from all the children in the group. Methods: tactile/sensory stimulation, material handling. Strategies: small group work. Activity description with photo documentation: The activity started by letting the children freely explore the counting material. Francisco spread the pieces on the table but did not try to pick them up.


We presented the color cards and asked to identify them. Then we ask them to separate the circles according to the same color for everyone. The colleagues were faster than Francisco, however he managed to catch some.

Then they were asked to separate each one a different color. Francisco did not show any difficulty.

Subsequently, cards with numbers up to five were introduced. They were asked to identify the numbers, first in order and then randomly. Next, we ask the children to separate circles according to the card number shown. Whenever Francisco stopped, the educator asked if he was finished, asked him to identify the number and count the pieces he had already separated, until he got the number of pieces that was requested.


Which development domain was dominant: cognitive. Reflection: The first instructions served to put Francisco at ease, comfortable, because color is a concept that he dominates and likes. Despite the material being very attractive Francisco was distracted a few times but not as much as when he works alone. The encouragement of their peers helped to carry out the activity, as well as the fact that they served as a model, worked very well. The activity lasted almost half an hour and after 20 minutes the child was already showing signs of tiredness. For this reason the last part, which consisted of associating the color with the number, was not carried out. The light table and the translucent material (translucent construction blocks) are very popular with children. They have been very beneficial for the development of my group. Acetate sheets with appropriate pens for drawing were also provided. Children who normally do not seek out drawing began to do so and their development in this area was notorious. With the translucent construction blocks children have been developing their spatial notion, imagination and creativity. Suggestions for improvement: I think it would be a good option to reduce the time of the first stages (exploring the colors) so that we can take advantage of Francisco's useful time to explore the notions of quantity / number. Another improvement would be to propose a record of this activity with ink that Francisco likes so much. Other: Educators and professional staff: Educator: Ana Marques Special Education: Teacher Mónica Evaristo Assistant: Maria Manuela Silva Country and name of kindergarten/school: Portugal Agrupamento de Escolas de Valadares Junqueira Kindergarten


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: I ... I COUNT Age group: 5 Number of children involved in activity: 23 Number of special needs children: 1 Description/classification of special need: Autism Key words: inclusion, develop logical-mathematical skills Space and materials: Space: classroom section, garden materials: Legumes, games, paper plates, paper cups Intentionality: We aim to aim at the development of logical-mathematical skills through workshops and activities with which children explore the world and learn to organize their experiences through conscious actions such as grouping, counting, ordering and orienting themselves. The child's relationship with mathematics begins quietly around the age of 2/3, often without adults noticing! Introducing children into this world requires us teachers not to force their thinking, but to exercise attention, awareness and participation, looking for suitable, above all playful ways, and taking advantage of the many opportunities that the rich context of the school offers. Methods and strategies: Laboratory didactics were used, in "cooperative learning" mode. Each child will always be an interpreter and absolutely never a passive listener, put in a position to take part in the project activities in an always concrete and autonomous way. The methodological approach in particular, he will tend to give confidence to the student, encouraging him, never making him feel inadequate Activity description with photo documentation: Through various activities, the children were introduced to the "mathematical" world. They performed groupings, associations. The aim is to associate the number with the same quantity with various different activities and materials, as illustrated in the various photos.


Reflection: The teaching of mathematics to infancy children brings with it a fundamental objective: to support the little ones in the construction of a structured thought, which will be formed, in its entirety, in the years to come. Suggestions for improvement: Make sure that the teaching of mathematics in kindergarten takes place clearly with the necessary methods and the correct tools for the age and learning phase in which the children are. Other: Educators and professional staff: Maiorano Ada , Sporta Caputi Mimma , Campa Rossella Country and name of kindergarten/school: Sava (Italy), Kindergarten Bonsegna


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Different needs during activities - Swamp Every child has the right to satisfy their needs - Part 2 Age group: 1 - 7 years Key words: open curriculum, freedom of choice, needs of children, individual development Space and materials: - space - internal space of the kindergarten, rooms, hallway, staircase - materials - plants, branches, bark, fabrics, magnetic tapes, tempera, pens, papers, scissors, glue, insect models Intentionality: Activities of children 1-7 years old on the subject of Swamp. Organize different activity centers so children can freely choose where to stay and with whom. Keeping track of the children in which activity centers they reside. Photo-documenting all the activities of all children to understand their decisions, interactions, communication and play (learning). Group reflection of all professionals, and later reflection with the children when looking to the photos. Methods and strategies: - methods - tactile stimulation, research, manipulation, independence in performing activities, cooperation - strategies - encouraging freedom of choice, collaborative learning, dissemination of experience Activity description with photo documentation: Swamp activity is organized throughout the kindergarten through 15 activity centers. Of these, 12 centers were intended for activities of children aged 3-7 years and 3 for children aged 1-3 years. For children aged 1-3 years, activity centers are equipped with materials that are appropriate to stimulate sensory integration. The materials varied in structure and were sophisticated, easy to model. They also made it possible for children to get their hands into the materials themselves, which further stimulates the senses of touch, smell, sight, hearing.


Various materials were prepared for the children aged 3-7 years in the activity centers, which enabled the children to choose what to explore - to learn, to play through the game, and according to their individual actual developmental stage (according to Vigotsky) to advance at an individual, appropriate pace of development. The materials were divided into activity centers according to the principle of adequate material - an adequate tool that a child can use independently, with the help and cooperation of another child or with the help of an educator. At the same time 6 educators and 15 children aged 1-3 years participated in their activities in the room, while 54 children aged 3-7 participated in activities throughout the kindergarten (3g - 15; 4g - 12; 5g - 17 and 6g - 10). Of the 54 children in total, there were 4 children with identified disabilities. No special working conditions have been created for children with disabilities, since all children were moving completely independently. Swamp activity centers: - a microscope on a computer and a bird habitat and design of a swamp model on the staircase handrail


light table

arts - tempera

overhead projector with insect models and for fluid projection and swamp habitat model -

- models of insects and pencil drawing, cutting and pasting, sensorimotor bags


- magnetic tapes and fabric The whole activity was carried out in the usual way of working in an open curriculum. Each child has achieved some level of individual development. At the same time, the different needs of the children were met, depending on their individual needs. All activity centers were color coded. During the activity, all the children had cards attached to their clothes, and recorded the center where they were at the activity with different colors (felt-tip pen). A significant part of this activity is the group reflection of all kindergarten professionals, with an analysis of the centers in which each child resided. Reflection: In order to be able to reflect on the needs of children in the open curriculum, pedagogue Sanja Dretar made a statistical analysis of the records on which the children recorded their stay in each activity center. The charts themselves indicate the activity centers listed and documented in the report. It is possible to read in which activity center how many children participated, not at once but during the entire duration of the activity (total duration of the activity was 3,5 hours. As a general conclusion about the activities of children with disabilities, it can be seen from the graph that these children changed their activity centers less frequently, which was further checked in the photographs. With all the above, it is evident that all young children (up to 4 years of age) are less likely to leave centers where there’s no educator. We can assume that, at that age, children first meet the needs of belonging and security. The same conclusion can be drawn from the behavior of children with disabilities. The fact that, with the physical proximity of an adult, young children, as well as children with disabilities, can independently perform activities of different cognitive, social and physical development is very important. In doing so, care must be taken to meet the needs of security and belonging. For children in the age of 5, according to the chart, we have concluded that they have very different interests and can satisfy them in self-organized and collaborative peer and peer activities. It is characteristic of children 6 years of age that they were in all centers of activity during the whole activity. Comparing their notes on the centers they were staying in, it is very important that we could see from the photographs that it was very important for them to


“complete the task” of staying in all the centers, with less focus on the length of stay in each center, which also affected superficial execution of possible levels of individual development. We attributed this behavior to the need of children of age to meet the needs of power. We interpreted their "running" of centers as - "I managed to do everything", "I am successful", which satisfies the need for power and emphasizes the need for self-realization. These are just prerequisites for further follow-up. As a conclusion of reflection, we would point out that every learning process for children should be organized through the presence and involvement of the caregiver in the activities, in ways that children need. At the same time, it is very important that he can do everything on his own (Maria Montessori). According to our data, we conclude that giving children with disabilities an adult a sense of security. At the same time, they can self-organize activities. Especially for them are good and useful collaborative activities with children of different ages. Through peer-to-peer collaboration, children with disabilities naturally choose the activity of a younger or older child, or a peer that most closely matches their current level of development in a particular area. It is very important to be aware of the fact that a child with disabilities does not have to have difficulties in different areas of development, but the difficulty can be in only one or in different areas, as well as with different intensity. Educators and professional staff: Educators: Ana Sudec, Dijana Pticek, Kristina Ivanusec, Magdalena Dugan, Petra Fischer, Sanja Dretar Helena Hajdin, head of forest pedagogy program Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Sanja Hajdin, coordinator Country and name of kindergarten/school: Kindergarten „Djecji svijet“, Varaždin Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Joy in fall Age group: 1-7 Key words: individual level of development, preparation of the spatial and material environment, freedom to choose activities and partners in the game, documenting the process of activities, reflection of activities with the child Space and materials: The space of the group of children from 1st to 3rd year: - leaves, chestnuts, branches, stumps, baskets, maize, seeds, moss, plants, plasticine, glass containers, water Kindergarten yard: - Construction of dwellings - moss, bark, clay bricks, wooden pebbles, twigs, leaves, clay - Making a portrait (picture) of autumn fruits - B2 paper, flowers, plants, twigs, pumpkins, chestnuts, acorns, grapes, carrots, leaves, cherry tomatoes, figs, herbs - Pre-mathematical skills and research - numbers, autumn fruits (leaves, chestnuts, acorns, cones, corn, tomatoes, pomegranates), deep pots, water, magnifiers - Digital magnifier - computer, projector, digital magnifier, wooden pebbles, leaves, mushrooms, grapes, acorns, chestnuts, pomegranate, cabbage, comfrey, chestnut husk, bark - Cabbage grating - grate, cabbage, dish - Pre-reading skills - plastic letters, chestnut, acorn, corn - Corn rust - corn cobs, containers - Pressing grapes - press, grapes, bowls, jug, glasses, strainer - Making mobile installation - reapers, twine, leaves, twigs - Exploring autumn fruits - magnifying glasses, wooden pebbles, moss, chestnut, acorns, pumpkins, cones, corn cobs, mushrooms - Conservation of solid quantity- corn cobs, large shallow bowl, shovels, grapples, buckets, funnels - Traditional game - pumpkins, hoops, dishes - Drawing a corn cob - paper, pencil, corn cob - Corn in clay - clay, corn cob, twigs, a knife for spreading - - Making a wreath - twigs of ivy and birch, leaves Intentionality: Organizing different activity centers in a way that allows children to freely choose the space for play and materials, ways of using and manipulating materials according to the individual stage of development of the child. Documenting the process of the child's activity so that the educator, based on the reflection with the child (after the activity), creates new conditions for the child's development from the current zone to the next


developmental zone. Methods and strategies: Encouraging free choice, independence in performing activities, tactile stimulation, research, material manipulation, collaboration, collaborative learning, expanding the experience Activity description with photo documentation: Activity description with photo documentation: At the beginning of fall, in October, in the room of children from 1 to 3 years and in the yard of the kindergarten, we various equipped activity centers on the theme of fall. The activities include all kindergarten children from ages 1 to 7 years, about 80 of them, of which 5 are children with special needs (developmental difficulties) and 22 children identified as potentially gifted. In this description, we will focus on potentially gifted children, and children of different interests in activities with the same material. The materials (fall fruits) that are needed for the implementation of the activities, the children independently collected during their stay in nature in the program of forest pedagogy, and part of the materials, along with kindergarten staff, was collected in cooperation with parents. To implement this activity, educators prepare a spatial and material environment that allows individual approach to the child, that is, activities that, according to socioconstructivist theory, enable the development of the child's thought process. To enable such activities, it is necessary to provide simultaneously equipped, different activity centers so that children choose the space and materials and the way of using the materials according to their individual stage of development. The presented activities, all centers and materials in them were made available to children on the same day, as one activity for all children in kindergarten - and due to specific protection measures against COVID-19, children used them at different times. In the preparation of activities, all educators participated in arranging, equipping and carrying out activities. Each educator was in activities with the children from their group, but all the children were able to use all the the material during the day, just not at the same time.



In such activities, the role of the educator is to understand the child's ways of action and document the process of the child's activities so that the educator can, in reflection with the child, create new conditions for a higher level of development of children's activities.

The educator can check and understand child's assumption, understanding the process of the child's activity, only on the basis of the reflection of the activity with the child. In order for the educator to conduct the reflection, it is necessary to have well-prepared documentation (photos, videos ...) of the children's activity process. The educator does not do reflections with the children during the child's activity, but does it after the end of the activity with the help of the collected documentation of the child's process.

Reflection: By carrying out various activities, in different spaces equipped with different materials on the theme of fall, we have enabled each child to freely choose activities as well as the way of his individual learning that corresponds to the child's current development zone and also provides opportunities for the child's transition to the next developmental zone. During the activity, educators collected photo documentation and videos of children's processes, on the basis of which the educator will conduct a reflection with the child, as a continuation of the activity. In addition to documenting, the educator can also be an equal


teammate to the child. In addition, the educator can supplement the materials during the child's activities, if by observing the child's activities he notices that the child is missing something and so that he can continue his research. Documenting the child's process, in addition to reflection with the child, provides quality support and provides a basis for new activities (ideas, materials ...) that support the child's transition to the next zone of development. Suggestions for improvement: Continue to design activities that are equipped with a variety of materials, thus enabling the child's individualized approach to different activities in different ways. This way of working enables the simultaneous work of children of different levels of development. This means that children of different mental ages, regardless of chronological age, can simultaneously participate in activities, in different ways of solving independently set ideas, which start from their individual experiences and interests. This way of working allows for a complete individualization of the approach, and thus respect for each child, regardless of differences. Educators and professional staff: Educators: Ana Sudec, Dijana Ptiček, Petra Fišter, Sabina Copak, Kristina Ivanušec Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Sanja Hajdin, coordinator Sanja Dretar, pedagogue Country and name of kindergarten/school: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“, Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Kids don't build boundaries Age group: 4 to 7 years Key words: research activities, reverse inclusion, collaborative learning, collaborative play Space and materials: - space - outdoor space (courtyard of the Center for upbringing and education Tomislav Špoljar - CTŠ) - materials - cardboard tubes, tubes with holes, cardboard grooves, balls, plastic caps, thick straws, boxes with holes, thistle darts, pickers, cups, blank papers, felt-tip pens, soft balls, small balls of different materials, millet Intentionality: Joint activities and collaborative learning of children in the regular kindergarten program at the age of 4-7 years and children of the special program at the age of 7 years. Creation of material and spatial conditions, by professional staff, for free joint play of children, documenting children's activities, monitoring and understanding their interactions, communication, collaborative learning. Conduct reflection of activities by professionals, and after that reflection with children based on observation of photos Methods and strategies: - methods - research, independence in performing activities, tactile stimuli, manipulation, problem solving - strategies - collaborative learning, children's self-organized activities, broadening experiences Activity description with photo documentation: At the same time, a variety of materials were offered in different places in different spaces, which in content became different centers of activity.

Children were free to use the premises and choose from the materials offered. The activities were attended by 18 children from our regular kindergarten program (of which 3 were


children with special needs) and 4 children from the special program from CTŠ. Activities with children were carried out by 2 kindergarten teachers and 1 assistant from CTŠ. The implementation of the activities was attended by observers from 18 partner countries' expert staff, who at the same time interviewed a teacher from CTŠ. From the course of the activities, it is evident that the children first put the materials in very different relationships, with different play situations, problem situations for learning, and situations involving interaction and cooperation of the children. For example, activity with caps was dominated by creative expression. By stringing caps and straws on the millet, the kids created mobile, while grouping the caps to create a picture

Pickers and ball activities were dominated by movement activities and self-initiated organization of children's activities. Nurturing social relationships and self-esteem, children developed coordination, balance and other motor skills. In this activity, there was the highest interaction and communication between children from kindergarten and

school, who had never known or seen each other before. In search of new play ideas and encouraged by the free choice of the material offered in the space where they could move freely, the children individually embarked on a joint activity. Activity was dominated by walking, which turned into faster and safer movement and running of children in circular benches, and the spontaneous joy of children began to prevail


in play.

In the thistle dart activity, children simultaneously developed social skills with precision.

Research activity and collaborative learning were developed with the following materials: boxes with holes, tubes, tubes with holes, grooves, balls. Problem situations have also been reported as a natural stimulus for creative problem solving while learning. In the original activity, the children encountered two new problematic situations: how to release the ball from more height and how to extend the path the ball passes to allow the ball to move as long as possible. The children mutually manipulated the materials and adapted them to new ideas which they tried in different creative ways to solve a particular problem. By rotating the boxes and manipulating the tubes and grooves, they reached a higher height. Adding the box to certain positions and relationships (which are determined by the length of the tubes and grooves) gives a longer path that the ball passes.


When they solved this problematic situation (height and length), they became interested in a new problematic situation: how to make the ball go a long way without stopping at the joints of the tubes and grooves? Through cooperative play, children became co-creators of the new play, and by reaching problematic situations and solving them, they achieved a higher level of cognitive development.

Reflection: The kindergarten experts noted that a relatively large number of children who were in the joint activity was crucial for the good cooperation of the children and their interconnection, and that the quality of their cooperation was contributed by the play outdoors, the variety of materials and the freedom to choose activities as well as partners. to play. The kindergarten staff and CTŠ staff have agreed on future cooperation and a visit to the kindergarten. Suggestions: The quality of this mode of work can be improved as often as possible by the joint activities of children in the premises of the school or in the kindergarten. Educators and professional staff: Educators: Dijana Ptiček and Ana Sudec Ljubimka Hajdin, principal Sanja Hajdin, coordinator Country and name of kindergarten/school: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“ Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Drama play Age group: 4 AND 5 YEARS OLD CHILDREN Number of children in the activity: 20 Number of children with SN: 1 Description/classification of children with SN: Child temporarily with SN*: key words: dramatization, inclusion, connecting, strong area Space and materials: - space: Playroom - materials: costumes (bear, hare, owl, mouse, squirrel and snowflakes), little rhythmic instruments, accordion, gift, comb, book, a blanket, carrot made of cloth, forest decoration, christmas lights.

Intentionality: The purpose was to produce dramatization for children. Involve all children in the group in dramatization. Present the show to other children from all groups attending kindergarten. Deliver an important message to children and employees. To connect the whole kindergarten and group in kindergarten. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, independence in performing activities, problem solving, cooperation - strategies: collaborative learning, expanding experiences, individualized approach, cooperation, group work, educator as an equal teammate, encouraging freedom of choice (friends to play, activities, way of playing,…) Activity description with photo documentation: For the children and educators from kindergarten, the children from the CAT MURI playroom prepared a dramatization titled Jeee Santa Claus Is Here. All the children from the oldest group participated in the show. The dramatization was designed so that children could choose from three options for participation. I gave the children the choice of roles in dramatization. They played several roles through the game. The children had the opportunity, through their own experience, to decide which role suited them best.


After repeated dramatization, the children split their roles according to their strong areas. We have a boy in the group who does not communicate with the educator. The boy chose to play small rhythmic instruments and sing songs where he did not have to verbally communicate with the other children. His strong area is music. Through the singing of songs, he slowly opens up and sings. Children with strong language skills chose roles where they needed to communicate with each other and be loud and courageous enough for role-playing. Children who love to dance and express themselves through dance have chosen the role of snowflakes. What was interesting about the role allocation was that each of them chose a role of their own choice, that their choice was balanced in terms of the number of children in each group (singing, playing and dancing). After repeating it several times, we decided to present the dramatization to the children and the kindergarten employees. We wrote them an invitation. The kids were excited about the play. By playing, we enchanted the children and kindergarteners of the kindergarten with a happier and anticipated holiday season. At the initiative of kindergarten teachers, we also presented the dramatization to the parents of children from the group. The parents attended the show in large numbers.They were very pleased that all the children participated in the show. After the show, we were treated to coffee and biscuits, which we baked in the morning. We told the children, kindergarten staff and parents through dramatizations that not only material goods were important. It is important for us to understand each other well that we are surrounded by friends who help us in a disaster.


Reflection: I was pleased with the activity. I have managed to achieve all the goals I have set myself. I managed to get all the kids involved in the show. Everyone was able to express themselves in their own powerful field. At the same time, in observing and switching roles, I also learned about their strong areas. I wanted to bring joy to the kids to play and perform, which I also managed to do. Their motivation increased when we made costumes and dressed them up. They very much participated in the preparation of the space. With the dramatization we managed to connect the whole kindergarten with the children and all kindergarten employees. We also invited technical and management staff to the show. After successfully playing the show, we decided to present it to our parents as well. The parents were excited about the show. To my greatest satisfaction, each parent was able to accompany their child in dramatization, dancing or singing and acting. I think that our kindergarten would need more activities to connect with each other as much as possible. Suggestions for improvement: I was satisfied with the activity and have no suggestions for improving the activity. We played in a playroom where there was not much space. We wanted to create a pre-holiday atmosphere and played a show with the twinkle of Christmas lights, which is shown in the photos. Secondly, you should have more lighting, but this is just a technical flaw. The main objective was realized.

Other: / Educators and professional staff: Andreja Žnidarič, Danica Fras Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia; Podgorci Kindergarten; Primary School Velika Nedjelja - educational unit Podgorci


CHAPTER 3

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Easter workshop with parents Age group: 2-4 years old children Number of children in the activity: 11 Number of children with SN: / Key words: easter, children, parents Space and materials: - space: playroom - materials: Tempera paints, cotton ear buds, glue diluted with water, paper napkins and hard-boiled eggs

Intentionality: As educators, we had the opportunity to gain insight into child-parent cooperation. Encouragement from parents for children to create independently. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, independence in performing activities, manipulation of materials, cooperation. - strategies: collaborative learning, expanding experiences, individualized approach, cooperation, group work, encouraging freedom of choice (friends to play, activities, way of playing,…) Description of activities with photo documentation: Children took part in painting Easter eggs. The biggest problem was separating the napkin layers, but we did not notice any other problems. The teachers and the children's parents helped them to solve the problems. According to the needs theory, the meeting with parents identifies the need for security and belonging and the cognitive need. We also recognise the need for love and acceptance and the need for fun. Sensorimotor level of development was dominant.



Reflection: During the activity, we observed the children's independence in painting or gluing napkins on the eggs. Children who often do not want to take part in a guided group activity, left their parents to paint the eggs. Children who are encouraged by their parents to be independent, completed the activity quite independently. They only needed some help separating the napkin layers. Suggestions for improvement: At the next meeting, we would ask parents to encourage their children to be independent and to express themselves at art creation. Other: Eight children didnt attend the parents workshop. Three of them were sick. Five families did not respond to the invitation, or thought that the child would not participate in the activity itself. Educators and professional staff: Manuela Majhenič and Anja Majcen. Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia, Primary school Velika Nedelja, kindergarten Podgorci.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Workshop with parents Age group: 2-3 years old children Number of children in the activity: 5 Number of children with SN: / Key words: cooperation, parents, kindergarten, teachers. Space and materials: - space: lawn - materials: corn cobs, pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, wheelbarrows, buckets, shovels, baskets, tubs. Intentionality: An educational institution should gradually grow out of family life; it should take over the activities the child already knows from home and continue them… The institution's task is to deepen and broaden the sense for the values that permeate his life at home (John Dewey, 1954). For successful education, it is important that the functions of family and kindergarten are integrated and intertwined as much as possible. That's why cooperation between parents and kindergartens is an important aspect of the quality of pre-school education. The common goal of the cooperation is to enable optimal child education and development and a happy and healthy childhood. Parents and kindergarten staff share responsibility for their children's education, so we strive to work with parents in a quality way, through adequate and accessible information, a wide range of programs and direct cooperation between the kindergarten and parents. We decided that throughout the year, children would learn about the cultural heritage of our ancestors' dishes and about the production and processing of food. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, independence in performing activities, manipulation of materials problem solving, cooperation. - strategies: collaborative learning, expanding experiences, individualized approach, cooperation, group work, educator as an equal teammate, encouraging freedom of choice (friends to play, activities, way of playing,…) Description of activities with photo documentation: The children learnt about old farming customs and the old way of producing pumpkin seed oil, an indispensable product in the diet. So, together with parents, children hulled and shelled corn and removed pumpkin seeds from pumpkins. The children thoroughly enjoyed the scattering and shovelling of the corn into the buckets. We played around by driving the children in wheelbarrows. At the end, we all feasted on roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed cheese spread, fruit and tea. According to the needs theory, the meeting with parents identifies the need for security and belonging and the cognitive need. We also recognise the need for love and acceptance and the need for fun.


Socio – emotional level of development was dominant. Reflection: Cooperation between the kindergarten and parents is based on common educational goals and objectives: -the all-round shaping of child's personality, -to ensure the successful, harmonious, and healthy mental, physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of the child. Good cooperation with parents contributes to a positive climate and quality of life for all involved in the process and inspires confidence and well-being in the children. The latter was achieved, as the meeting was held in a pleasant, happy, relaxed, and positive atmosphere for all participants. Suggestions for improvement: / Other: / Educators and professional staff: Blanka Pavlović and Tanja Golob. Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia, Primary school Velika Nedelja, kindergarten Podgorci.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: - Parental Involvement – Horse Riding for Therapeutic Purposes - Hippotherapy Age group: 8/9 years old Number of children in the activity: 18 Number of children with SN: 1 Description/classification of children with SN: Difficulties in terms of body posture, balance, manual eye control; fine and global motor skills; difficulties in memory of academic content; communication and verbal language. All these problems are associated with the SN child pathology - Joubert Syndrome. This child is well integrated in this group and is very cherished by all her peers. Key words: horse therapy, parents, self-esteem, communication, language, cooperation. Space and materials: - space: classroom; Equestrian Center of Quinta do Outeiral - Serzedo - materials: pictures, cardboard. Classroom Presentation (mother and child)

Intentionality: -

For the group to learn what horse riding with therapeutic purposes is and the benefits for the SN child; to develop the language and communication of the SN child; With the preparation of the presentation, develop fine motor skills and coordination; Increase self-esteem; Facilitating social interaction; Participation of the parents in the classroom activities; Bring parents to school.


Methods and strategies: - methods: research the theme with her mother, tactile stimulation, manipulation of materials, cooperation; collaborative learning (teacher/parents). - strategies: expanding experiences, individualized approach, cooperation, parental involvement. Activity description with photo documentation: At first, the teacher visited the child at her horse therapy to understand better how it works and the benefits of the sessions.

Child showing a skill called - Airplane

Child with the therapists Teacher visit to the equestrian center Later on, the SN child and her mother presented to the group a research, they both made, and her experience of Horse Riding for Therapeutic Purposes. They talked about what the SN child does in the horse, the benefits, purposes and showed some pictures of when the teacher went to visit the child at the therapy. The mother helped/guided her child during the presentation. The group was very interested and they questioned the child and her mother. Although she has language issues, she felt motivated to answer some simple questions to her friends.


Mother and child presentation

Showing the work to the colleagues

The cardboard presentation on the classroom wall

Which level of development was dominant: a) socio-emotional; b) cognitive.


Reflection: The visit of the teacher to the horse center was very encouraging for the child who was very proud to show her accomplishments/capacities, which led to her improvement of self esteem, not only for the visit of the teacher but for her presentation. The whole class was very curious and kept the attention on her and asked a lot of questions to the mother and to the child. The interaction was very positive and allowed to improve her social skills, as confidence, increased her capacity for initiative and achievement. This activity also possibilitated the development of communication, especially oral expression. It was very clear that the child felt proud of her presentation, supported by her mother and she felt encouragement to answer the colleagues' doubts. Her fine motor skills were also expanded. We can conclude that the collaboration between parents and school enhanced the development of the SN child and also for the rest of the group. Suggestions for improvement: To visit the equestrian center with the group, while the SN child attends the therapy session. Other: This therapy is one of the options offered by the Municipality to the children with SN. Educators and professional staff: Teacher Isabel Ramos Country and name of kindergarten/school: Portugal/Agrupamento de Escolas de Valadares Cadavão Basic School


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Family Day celebration Age group: 6 to 9 years (two school classes: 1st grade, and 3rd grade) Number of children in the activity: 35 (16 from the 1st grade, and 19 from the 3rd grade) Number of children with SN: 4 Description/classification of children with SN: 1st grade: Children with SN** on the day of the activity: 2 (Global Development Delay, Rett syndrome). 3rd grade: Children with SN** on the day of the activity: 2 full-time students (Autism Spectrum Disorder; PHDA; challenging and opposing behavior; Global Development Delay). Key words: Family participation; socialization; affectivity; creativity. Space and materials: - space: classrooms - materials: Tiles, paper, paints, brushes, tables and chairs.

Intentionality: This activity was carried out with the intention of celebrating Family Day. With the main objective of promoting an interaction between family and students and to strengthen the union and communication among all. It is also intended to increase in families the appreciation of joint activities that promote family time, observation, dialogue, joint decision making. The activity is also an opportunity for parents to understand the development of their children and their skills. Students with SN participate autonomously with the support of the family . The goal is to promote not only academic skills but also social skills and to develop relationships among students. Methods and strategies: Cooperative learning, manipulation of materials, parental involvement.


Activity description with photo documentation: The classroom space was reorganized and the parents/students were divided into small groups. Two tiles were distributed to each child/student and their family member, who jointly chose a design model to outline or, if they wished, they created a free design. Being condition the two tiles together create a unique design. One of the students needs an adapted brush in order to promote a better palm grip. In this sense, some strategies were transmitted to parents on how to use, and how to help in the execution of the task.

Reflection: Throughout the activity, children and parents were happy, observing a constant dialogue. The fact that the space is divided into small groups allowed parents to get to know each other and promote communication between families. In addition to observing their children's skills, it allowed them to understand the difficulties of children with SN and how they are overcome. Suggestions for improvement: Other: Educators and professional staff: Ana Isabel Silva, Teacher Lurdes Ferreira, Teacher


Isabel Pedrosa, special education teacher Mónica Evaristo, special education teacher Country and name of kindergarten/school: Portugal; Valadares; Escola Básica de Lagos (Primary school).


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: A spaceship: from children's imagination to its construction Age group: From 4 to 6 years Key words: Spaceship; children; family; cooperation; learning Space and materials: Kindergarten outdoor space; construction material such as wooden pallets, styrofoam, screws, ... Intentionality: This group of 25 children has always shown a lot of interest in knowing more about outer space. In fact, since the beginning of the school year they call themselves astronauts. Based on this children's interest, the kindergarten teachers started a project about astronauts. Together with the children, they started by recording what the children already knew about outer space and what they did not know yet and would like to learn. During these conversations, the children also mentioned that they would like to build a spaceship. In order to begin construction, the children first had to discover the difference between a rocket and a spaceship, because it was a doubt they often had. After some research through encyclopedias and videos, a small group of children more interested in this topic discovered that what they wanted to build was a spaceship because it was something that went into space and returned, unlike the rocket. After this discovery, each child in this small group designed a spaceship inspired also by the videos and images they had seen in the encyclopedias. Then, there was a moment of sharing with the rest of the group and there were votes to decide which of the spaceships would be built. During this sharing, some children mentioned that their parents could help with the construction because they were very good in DIY. And then, over the next few days, the kindergarten teachers contacted these parents who were immediately available to help. Both the teachers and the parents managed to find some material and a day was agreed on the Christmas holidays to build the spaceship. Methods and strategies: Children participation: involvement in the experiential learning process Research and cooperation Family participation


Activity description with photo documentation:

Parents during construction. The child participated whenever possible and always under adult supervision.

The final spaceship. It stayed outside so that all kindergarten children could play.


Reflection: Throughout the activity, the children's commitment and involvement were notorious, since it started from their interests and ideas. It is also worth highlighting the democratic environment experienced by the group and which led to the votes when making decisions. In addition to this, it is also possible to observe the partnership that it is possible to establish with families and how much it contributes to the children's learning process. As a fundamental part of the project work approach, one of its stages is dissemination. For this reason, this sharing with the eTwinning community was considered relevant, as it is through sharing our experiences and learning that we learn from each other. It is also through these shares that we really realize that, regardless of the country in which we live, children are happy and learn with pleasure if we know how to listen and appreciate them. Suggestions for improvement: For the next initiative, it would be interesting to involve more families. Other: We, Diana and Sofia, as students of the initial teacher education at the Polytechnic of Porto, would like to thank Educadora Eduarda for the invitation to participate in this project. This participation is the result from the collaborative protocol between Kindergarten and Porto Polytechnic, School of Education - Teacher Training Institutions (TTI). This was the first time that we participated in this project and it was a moment of learning in our initial training of great importance for our professional development and for the enrichment of our experience in the scope of project work. Educators and professional staff: Maria Eduarda Ferreira Diana Pinto e Sofia Pereira (students of the Porto Polytechnic, School of Education) Country and name of kindergarten/school: Portugal - Jardim de Infância de Francelos


ACTIVITY REPORT Name : EDUCATIONAL GARDEN DELIVERY Age group: 5 Number of children involved in activity: 23 Number of special needs children: 1 Description/classification of special need: Autism Key words: inclusion, school - family collaboration Space and materials: Space: garden Materials: Tempera colors, brushes and a lot of imagination, earth, plants Aim/intention: Establish a collaborative relationship between school and family. This project consists of a functional improvement intervention of the internal garden of the our school. In fact, there is an internal garden that is not exploited as well as not being functional to school life and usable by the pupils. Its recovery would allow instead to add important spaces to favor moments of meeting, socializing and working with outdoor educational activities. The intervention more properly concerns the creation of a space with pots for the care of plants and flowers, the creation of a space with benches and a passage path with the function of a "meeting area" during the break, a "reading area" to be able to read together. The garden is therefore to be considered a resource that integrates and completes the internal spaces of the school. Giving back to the school its own garden as a social and learning space will allow it to give life to a concrete laboratory space, expanding the educational context from the classroom to the surrounding environment. Methods and strategies: A working group made up of teachers and parents was set up. A shared practical design was drawn up as a strategic path to follow for a redevelopment project of the school's spaces and garden that could have real executive success. Activity description with photo documentation: The collaboration between school and family is of fundamental importance for the success of the training project, for the learning of the student and for the well-being of all. Many activities, events, it is possible to realize them, thanks to the support and collaboration of


parents, always ready to satisfy every request. On the occasion of the set-up in our school, some parents voluntarily painted, decorated and embellished some spaces of our complex, to make the learning space of our children more colorful. Furthermore, again thanks to the support of the parents, each child brought a plant to plant in large planters, look after and water. Thanks, too, to our school that has provided our little ones with adequate tools, watering cans, and utensil holders for the joy of the children.


In addition, from home, they have carried out activities of dough, baking biscuits, together with their children, for the realization of an extracurricular project.


Reflection: Collaboration between school and family is very important. In addition to being an opportunity to get to know each other better, it offers a good learning opportunity and is an alternative and fun way to make children better understand the importance of collaboration and helping each other. Suggestions for improvement: Increase parental participation in school more and more. In fact, it has been shown that a good relationship between family and school induces pupils to: • Achieve better learning outcomes. • Promote greater self-regulation and general well-being. Other: Educators and proffesional staff: Maiorano Ada , Sporta Caputi Mimma , Campa Rossella Country and name of kindergarten/school: Italy Sava, Kindergarten Bonsegna


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: “ All in the pine forest ” Age group: 3-4-5 years old Key words: help, collaboration Space and materials: Pine forest area The materials were donated by the parents. Intentionality: educate for school-family collaboration Methods and strategies: organize real learning corners with the precious collaboration of parents. Through periodic meetings between schools and families, projects for setting up and improving school environments are established. Activity description with photo documentation:

Painting of the "tree of life" on the front wall of the school by grandparents and parents

Donation, design and restoration of furnishings for the Pineta involving children in the painting


Works in progress

Reflection: Children reflect the example of adults: observing the involvement of their parents in a common environment offers great opportunities for solidarity teaching Suggestions for improvement: parents and families feel very involved when involved in school projects

Other: Educators and professional staff: all the teachers Country and name of kindergarten/school: Italy I.C.Bonsegna-Toniolo Kindergarten”Iris Malagnino”


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Taking care of the earth Age group: 3 age, 4 age Sez. C and Sez. D Key words: let's play with the earth Space : Outdoor: school garden indoor:classroom Material: clay, earth,seedlings Intentionality: The goal is to try to sow the awareness of need to take care of the Earth and all living beings that live there. The project aims to offer itself as an activity in which children come stimulated to use their senses to get "in touch with nature" and develop different skills, such as exploration, observation and handling. Methods and strategies: Conversation, listening, watching, handling, playing. The classroom in the garden is a flexible experience, adaptable to each individual child, to the different didactic and time needs that it involves directly both pupils with special educational needs, both children and possess different skills that can be useful for the realization of a common project, allowing them to participate and acquire new ones skillsThe entire exploration project is combined with the maturation of the self and of the individual growth processes, the laboratory activity favors the personalization of the interventions, allowing everyone to proceed according to their own levels, feeling part of the group. Activity description with photo documentation:

With the collaboration of “legambiente” we plant trees in the school garden


Outdoor class

We water

We make clay pots for our plants R

Reflection: The activity stems from the awareness that one of the favorite activities of children is working with the earth. In fact, through its manipulation they can observe the color, smell it, feel free to get their hands dirty.Digging, sowing, watering develop eye coordination. manual as well as their creativity Suggestions for improvement: Other: Educators and professional staff: Bolognino-Grassi-Borraccino-Scarcia-Convertini-Moscato Country and name of kindergarten/school: Italy- Fragagnano(Taranto)/Platone


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Celebrating birthdays by making an online birthday card Age group: 1-7 Key words: virtual activity, partnership between family and kindergarten, birthday celebration Space and materials: Space: kindergarten, homes of kindergarten's employees, homes of kindergarten students Materials: information technology (computer, tablet, mobile phone...) Intentionality: In times of uncertainty, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the impossibility of close contacts and socializing in person, much of the communication between families and kindergarten took place through information technology and applications that facilitate our communication. In addition to establishing continuity of work according to the plan and program, by organizing virtual activities, with the idea of jointly creating birthday cards through the application Aggie.io, we wanted to bring a stronger emotional component to our virtual gatherings. Birthday celebrations are a source of positive emotions, and by paying attention and importance to the child on his special day, we show the child love and affection and fulfill the child's need to belong, one of the basic human needs. We fulfill the need for belonging and acceptance by frequent emotionally pleasurable interactions with people around us, which include long-term and mutual care for the well-being of others. Methods and strategies: - use of aggie.oi application for the purpose of maintaining social relations on the occasion of celebrating a birthday for an individual child, cooperation between kindergarten and family, group work, mastering practical skills in the use of information technology (computer, mouse, tablet,drawing application ...) Activity description with photo documentation: In addition to organizing virtual activities and the implementation of kindergarten programs, We came up with the idea of birthday celebrations in a virtual environment. In order to keep the children happy by celebrating their birthday, we decided to start a joint drawing of a birthday card for each child who had a birthday at a time when we were not able to organize a celebration in kindergarten. Educators opened a link via the Aggie.io application through which each child, together with the parent, could draw something for the celebrant, and all the drawings made one big birthday card. The application allows multiple people to use it simultaneously ,that is, a greeting card. Stages of creating a virtual greeting card on the web application Aggie.io.


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The finished birthday cards were published in the comments on the social network


Parents also shared family photos of their children’s birthday celebrations.

After the reopening of educational constitutions in May 2020, some children continued to attend the kindergarten program. We continued to carry out the activity of drawing common vitriolic greeting cards for those children who could not attend the program. Children who attended kindergarten were allowed to do a partition for friends who were at home. Kids draw a shared virtual birthday card.


Reflection: Birthdays help the children to know themselves more clearly and define them in relation to others, and to make them notice that they are in a more important position than other children since their special day is being celebrated. Celebrating a birthday not only raises a child’s self-esteem, but makes the child feel loved and important. By paying extra attention to the child's birthday (or other important dates in the child's life), we strengthen mutual relationships and a sense of community and belonging, establishing and strengthening existing relationships. By celebrating birthdays at a time when we couldn’t be together, we made it possible for children to feel connected to their friends. At a time when we cannot be physically together, it is especially important to remind children that they have a “network” that takes care of them. Social distance does not mean social isolation. Although we can now mostly gather only with the distance, information technologies greatly help us to feel togetherness and belonging even through small tokens of attention, such as drawing a virtual birthday card. Educators and professional staff: Ana Sudec, educator Dijana Ptiček, educator Kristina Ivanušec, educator Sabina Copak, educator Petra Fišter, educator Lara Loparić, educator Sanja Hajdin, coordinator Helena Hajdin, head of forest pedagogy program Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Sanja Dretar, pedagogue Country and name of kindergarten/school: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“, Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Cooperation with parents Age group: 4-7 Number of children involved in activity: 36 Number of special needs children: 2 Description/classification of special needs: a) Child with disabilities: Keywords: cooperation, spatial perception Space and materials: - space: kindergarten courtyard - materials: cones, cubes, props for sports activities, ropes, colored paper, pictures for the brain gym Intentionality: The goal of the activity is to carry out a joint activity with the children and their parents through partnership with the parents. The activity is an opportunity for the children to show their parents their developed practical skills and an opportunity for the parents to spend time with their children and play with them. The activity allows the parents to familiarize themselves with their children's opportunities for further development as well as their current level of development. Methods and strategies: The activity uses methods of developing children’s independence, peer collaboration and cooperation with parents. Prior to the start of the activity, a joint activity was arranged with the parents which would expand the contents and activities of the partnership with the parents, and between the kindergarten, parents and children. In cooperation with the educator, the children created a pre-prepared obstacle course in the kindergarten yard, designed as a stimulating environment for the development of spatial perception. The obstacle course was created for the purpose of developing: ● Balance – balancing on a short, raised surface ● Movement in a space covered with obstacles, as well as mastering the perception of another person's movement, since the movement of people requires a different perception than movement around objects, which are static ● Movement across several types of ropes which were laid together to form “crossroads“ on which the player had to keep moving on the rope on which they started the movement ● Brain gym – movements imitating pictures on display


● Papers of various colors arranged for two players moving like mirror images, imitating each other with the touch of a specifically colored paper Description of the activity with photo documentation: Arrangements were made regarding which day of the week the parents could stay longer in the kindergarten and spend time playing with the children in the presence of the educators, pedagogue or the other guidance staff members. Given the epidemiological measures in place, we considered this form of cooperation with the parents appropriate, while also being the minimum necessary to meet the needs for mutual joint activities of the children, parents and kindergarten. An activity organized in such a way does not lead to a large number of participants gathering at the same time. Simultaneously, all parents who choose to do so can participate with their own children as well as other children in the activities.

Regarding the parent workshop, activities were planned in advance with the goal of organizing an environment stimulating for the development of spatial perception while developing gross motor skills and fostering the possibility of developing social skills through the cooperation of a small number of participants or all of them. The obstacle course was split into five parts, which the players (parents and children) passed and then played in no defined order with the time that they had. At the balancing part we noticed the playfulness of the children and the parents as they cooperated, with the parents


playing more cautiously, despite the platform provided for balancing being very close to the ground. At the part with the obstacle course which involves mastering the perception of other people’s movement, we noticed that the children take the initiative and show the parents how to pass the obstacle course. We also noticed that in cases where the parents saw that the children did not know how to pass the obstacle course while mastering the perception of other people’s movement, they moved aside and helped the children pass between the cones despite not being advised to do so by the guidance staff. When walking on the ropes laid together to form "crossroads", children and parents could choose which rope to walk on to reach the goal. Older children, who have a more developed degree of spatial perception, noticed the "crossroads" without any problems and followed their respective ropes to the finish line. Younger children and children with less developed spatial perception did not notice the "crossroads" and most often walked in a straight line, changing ropes, all the way to the finish line. The next part was a game which included papers of various colors arranged so that two players could mirror each other’s movements, imitating each other when they would step on a piece of paper with a certain color. The children and the parents played this game longer than the others. Children mimicked their parents’ movements, but we noticed


that the younger children paid more attention to the color of the paper. For example, if a parent stepped on a red piece of paper with their right foot, the children stood on the red piece of paper with both of their feet or with the left foot, so the parents started touching the paper with both of their feet. The dominant level of development: a) sensorimotor b) socio-emotional Reflection: Throughout the activity, the children were very motivated to show their skills and abilities while being unconcerned with the rules. This allowed the guidance staff to become aware of the developmental stage of each child with regard to mastering spatial perception skills in situations which included moving and overcoming obstacles. The parents were also made aware of these developmental stages through conversation with the guidance staff. Suggestions for improvement: It is recommended that similar ideas or activities be carried out once every 6 weeks so that parents and professional staff alike can monitor the development of each child through playtime activities; we strongly oppose “testing” children Educators and professional staff: Ana Sudec, educator Magdalena Erdelja, pedagogue Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Country and name of school/kindergarten: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“, Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Learning letters in a virtual community Age group: 3-7 Key words: virtual learning, family-kindergarten partnership, community, togetherness, pre-reading skills Space and materials: Space: kindergarten, homes of kindergarten's employees, homes of kindergarten students Materials: IT technology, everyday objects that can be found in the household Intentionality: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, working in kindergarten meant that we need to work under changed and unpredictable circumstances. In order to maintain communication with parents and children, when we could not see each other and socialize in person and with those who stayed at home due to the epidemiological situation, we have launched joint virtual activities on the social network and other education platforms. Kindergarten educators and staff suggested interesting activities and ideas for playing and learning from home on a daily basis, based on the planned contents and activities for that period of school year. In addition to connecting with parents and children, through the exchange of content, activities and suggestions for further activities, the intention of such activities was daily communication with families and establishing continuity of work, to return children and parents a sense of community and belonging to their friends and kindergarten as a whole. Methods and strategies: - cooperation between kindergarten and family, expanding the experience, learning by creating new content Activity description with photo documentation: The activity was carried out in late March and early April 2020. When planning the activity, we were carefull to plan activtiy in the way that all children have everything they need for the activity at home (due to the impossibility of frequent visits to stores, to prevent coronavirus infection, but also not to create unnecessary costs for parents to buy materials). The content of the activities was designed in a way that it gives the child as much independence as possible when performing tasks. The educator made a short video in which she shows the children how we can learn letters in a fun way. The task is to choose one letter of the alphabet and find as many things in your home that start with the chosen letter. The educator explains the task to the children on the example of the letter "k" and shows them that she has found a basket (Croatian - Košara), a book (Croatian – knjiga), a cube (Coratian –kocka), a box (Croatian – kutija), a hat (Croatian – kapa), keys and a brush (Croatian – kist).


The video was published in a closed Facebook group „Dječji svijet u prirodi“, who's member are educators and parents of the children attending the kindergarten. The task was intended for children in the year before going to school, as part of the program related to the initial learning of reading and writing, but also, with the help of parents and older siblings, many younger children (3 to 7 years) were actively involved in this activity. The educator invited parents to post photos of the child in the activity and/or videos in the comments so that we could learn more from each other and expand our knowledge. 28 families participated in this activity, 1 of which is a family of a child with special needs (hearing impairment, 5 y/o), and we covered almost the entire Croatian alphabet through joint efforts.


Reflection: The response of parents and children to the activity was excellent and serves as a motivation for further development of the implemented activity with letters and as a motivation for the joint creation of new activities, arising from the ideas of parents and


children. Through the activity, many children chose the same letter, but at the same time showed diversity and creativity in finding new items. This kind of activity is great for virtual learning at a time when staying in kindergarten is not possible for longer period of time. The activity provides a lot of space for development and elaboration. As a continuation of activities (development), we proposed searching for different objects that begin on a certain letter, those that have not yet been found and mentioned in the game, ie, supplementing the alphabet, collecting pictures and written words as in the dictionary, collecting names on the same initial letter and making a crossword puzzle, etc. Parents accepted and supplemented our suggestions, accepted new challenges, and shared their ideas and successes with others. The mother designed an individualized crossword puzzle for her child. The child is 6 years old and recognizes and knows how to write all the letters.

By collaborating with parents through social media by designing activities together and sharing mutual experiences and results of completed tasks, we continue to build a learning community. Suggestions for improvement: - to connect with kindergartens and schools from Croatia and the Balkan region by publishing a project on eTwinning, to get to know and enrich our vocabulary by learning different words that start with a certain letter and the names of the same subject in different languages (the project is approved and starts in January 2020) Educators and proffesional staff: Ana Sudec, educator Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Sanja Dretar, pedagogue Country and name of kindergarten/school: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“, Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Cookie Party Age group: 4-7 years old Key words: collaboration, knowledge, involvement, cooperation, empathy Space and materials: Indoor activities in the school kitchen Flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, orange, vanilla, pan, weight counter Intentionality: Some of a child’s most important cognitive development happens during their preschool years. By taking an active role in the early childhood education process, parents can help ensure that their child has all the support they need to develop to their full potential. Parent involvement helps extend teaching outside the classroom, creates a more positive experience for children and helps children perform better when they are in school. It is essential for parents to support the learning that happens in preschool settings at home as well. Parents who are in tune with what is happening in their child’s preschool classroom or child care facility are better able to establish a connection between what is learned at school and what takes place in the home. This connection is a key component of a child’s development and supports further learning. Not only does family or parental involvement help extend teaching outside the classroom; it creates a more positive experience for children and helps children perform better when they are in school. In this activity we invited parents to make cookies together to learn and to have fun.

Methods and strategies: In our regular communication with the parents it was proposed that due to Easter preparation that they could come to school and make cookies together. The method was Show and Do, but the one who showed was not a teacher but a parent. Teachers of the school had a supportive role for the details of the educational process but the parents guided the activity and gave directions for the step-by-step cookie recipe. Siblings of our students with typical development came also in this activity that turned into a very successful inclusion and collaboration.


Activity description with photo documentation: Based on the principles of collaboration, involvement and cooperation this activity was planned carefully as all parts (teachers, students, parents) to feel comfortable and productive. One parent was reading the recipe and the others )parents and teachers) were guiding the children to implement it. The ingredients

A short video about weighting activity of the cookies' ingredients: https://youtu.be/XbTeWyWQMyI Adding and mixing the ingredients:


Collaborating and creating

The final products:

Reflection: Working in partnership with parents as a part of the school life is central to the development of the children. Consulting them about children’s early experiences helps plan for effective learning at the setting, and helps teachers support parents in continuing their children's learning development at home. All contributions from parents should be encouraged and welcomed. Helping out during sessions, sharing interests or information and taking part in school activities, all provide the opportunity for parents to learn about children’s learning, in the setting and at home. Some parents may be less well represented than others in early years settings. These include fathers, parents who live apart from their children, and working parents. This may mean that different strategies are needed for involving them and that consultation is necessary to find out what works


best. In our cookies’ activity we invited parents from different background and we were very happy to see that all of them cooperated perfectly. They were happy to work together with their children and to show their skills or to learn together with the children. It was a successful activity that gave a new dimension to the life and daily routine activities part of the school curriculum.

Suggestions for improvement: As all of the participants enjoyed the whole procedure, it is good to plan more often to implement such activities. For example, in the annual plan of activities that is set from the beginning of each school year, we can plan on a monthly basis indoor and outdoor activities with the participation of parents. Other: Educators and professional staff: Special Education teachers, assistants, art teacher Country and name of kindergarten/school: Greece - 1st Special Nursery school of Patras


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Improving language skills through play Age group: 4-7 years old Key words: language skills, speech therapy, parents, collaboration, training, play, games, educational materials Space and materials: Indoor activities in the school class Educational materials, paper, pencil, memory games, match games, time cards, lego bricks Intentionality: Studies show that when parents are actively involved with their child’s early childhood education, they are more likely to stay involved when their child enters elementary school. By encouraging parent participation in educational tasks, can help support children beyond their early years and make their families an important part of their education well into the future. Parental and family involvement in early childhood education will help improve learning outcomes for children by ensuring that they have all the support they need to succeed. Part of this process involves detailed documentation, so teachers and parents have a complete picture of how a child is progressing and can act accordingly. Based on these principles, we tried this year the idea of the parents' involvement in the education of their children. We chose language education as most of our children have speech problems and difficulties in expression. The intention was to „teach“ the parents how to educate their children at home.

Methods and strategies: TELL – SHOW – DO technique At the first stage we explained parents what should be the subject taught and gave them some general directions. At the second stage they spent some time watching the teachers how they teach the subjects and the educational techniques they use. At the last stage, parents were teaching their children in the class with the intensive supervision of the teachers, who could interfere and correct or give additional directions, if it was necessary. Siblings of our students were allowed to participate in the activities and give the dimension of inclusion. Activity description with photo documentation: During the routine school staff meeting, we decided which parents to call to train them to teach their children at home. They were chosen related to the needs of certain children but also the cooperation that we had with the parents. Those parents were always very close to the school and asked often for the process of their children. We invited them to a meeting to explain our idea. They were excited with the activity and liked the idea very much. We gave them directions, notes and books to prepare them.


Then on a certain day that was planned about one week before, they came to school. Intervention was given to pairs for three boys of our school – two autistic and one with mental retardation. At first the parents watched the teachers in a how-to-do procedure and then they did the same with close supervision by the teachers. 1) Severe autistic boy. Due to his very severe autistic conditions (comorbidity with ADHD) all methods to try to get his attention to teaching were used. Parent and teacher involved. All the class space employed and not just the school table, as to gain the most responsiveness possible.

Here is a short indicative video: https://youtube.com/shorts/yRqH3CD1iyc?feature=share 2) A boy with mild autism. Was presented more complex activities and the result was quite interesting in responding to his father.


Here are two indicative videos of activities: https://youtu.be/XapEP-qPoY0 https://youtu.be/eJ8UxxE157c 3) A boy with mental retardation. Lego bricks used to enhance his speech and language skills. Mother was taking notes on the methods.

And a short video of the activity where mother is conducted by the teacher about the steps of teaching: https://youtu.be/a4XakGWGCTg

Reflection: Establishing partnerships with parents is an important step for educators in offering the best possible learning experiences and opportunities within their preschool. In order to develop and enhance the skills of young children, teachers must make an effort to ensure that they are in constant communication with families as well as seek out parent involvement activities to integrate them into their child’s learning process. There are a lot of benefits because as a parent: a parent knows his child better, learning happens all day everyday, conversations with those who matter, a comforting environment for learning. Parents were successfully able to understand and learn the strategies taught by the teachers, and apply them when interacting with their child, which had a positive effect on their child’s communication development. As a result children showed improvement in their verbal and nonverbal communication skills, including understanding, vocabular, and the frequency with which they communicate. Parents were just as effective at helping their child as teachers were. In fact, when it came to understanding


language, parents were actually more effective than their tutors. Children with a variety of language difficulties, including Language Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Developmental Delay, also made substantial progress when their parents were involved. Suggestions for improvement: The success of this activity makes us very optimistic for such activities in the future. It will be planned more effectively and on a routine basis next year. School’s speech therapist can “teach” parents methods of communication skills and alternative communication systems to use at home, for the children who will not develop language. Other: Educators and professional staff: Special Education teachers, assistants, art teacher Country and name of kindergarten/school: Greece - 1st Special Nursery school of Patras


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Teacher – child – parent: the triangle of success Age group: 4-7 years old Key words: cooperation, teamwork, methods, materials, enhanced communication Space and materials: Indoor activities in all over the spaces of the class. Educational materials, cards with words and numbers, trivia, memory games, color pen, paper Intentionality: Parent involvement in early childhood education can extend the experiences that a child has in the classroom to real-world activities that happen in the home. A parent who understands what their child is working on at preschool has a better sense of their child’s competency and which areas they need to work on to improve confidence and ability. One of the most difficult challenges for early childhood educators is figuring out how to better engage parents in their child’s learning. By establishing good lines of communication between your childcare center and parents, as well as making a strong effort to involve parents as an important partner in their child’s education, you can make a positive impact on their learning ability. Both educators and parents can turn to each other and ask questions like: “what are you doing that is leading to more success?” or “is there anything going on at home?” These conversations lead to better overall development for the child as they have a strong support team. Having in mind that many educators become for the parents a shoulder to cry on, to vent at, and to hear concerns about what is happening with the children in their care, we decided to bring parents at school and to work all together cooperatively in various educational tasks.

Methods and strategies: Semi-structured activities in teams. Teachers gave general directions to each of the small teams and let them interact freely. The main strategy was to let parents feel comfortable at school. Teachers’ roles were to supervise and keep notes on the procedures.


Activity description with photo documentation: Teachers, students and parents formed a small team and speeded across the classrooms. Educational tasks given to each team they played freely. Teachers took notes on the activity process to discuss it later with the parents. During the process, the following terms were fulfilled: Face-to-face interaction among team members on a constant basis. A mutual "we are all in this together" feeling of positive interdependence A focus on the development of small-group interpersonal skills in trust building, communication, leadership, creative problem solving, decision making, and conflict management Regular assessments and discussion of the team's functioning in setting goals for improving relationships and effectively accomplishing tasks Methods for holding one another accountable for agreed-on responsibilities and commitments


Teachers taking notes

Short video about the activities: https://youtu.be/z5XBSMlQeNA Reflection: Collaboration is a dynamic process in which individuals come together and share their knowledge, experiences, resources, and strengths to promote growth and development. When it comes to caring for preschool children, these individuals are family members and preschool teachers. Collaboration builds on the expertise, interests, and strengths of everyone involved in the process. By acknowledging that each of these individuals has something meaningful to offer, collaboration creates opportunities to set goals and objectives, make plans for implementing those goals, monitor progress, and solve problems jointly. It assumes the thinking that "all of us are smarter than one of us". The goal of collaboration is to ensure progress and growth for each preschooler, their family, and ultimately, the classroom and program. While working with others is one of the most rewarding parts of a teacher's job, it can also present challenges. It requires dedication, commitment, problem-solving skills, and a willingness to learn, change, and be flexible in order to address the multiple and often complex needs of children. A successful triangle is formed then, for the benefits of the students.

Suggestions for improvement: To establish effective parenting relationships which can help teachers effectively support families from all backgrounds, including those that may be experiencing hardship. Work on a regular basis in teamwork in the class. Also to organize outdoor activities and trips with them. And finally to call experts to give lectures in the fields.

Other: Educators and professional staff: Special Education teachers, assistants, art teacher Country and name of kindergarten/school: Greece - 1st Special Nursery school of Patras


CHAPTER 4

RECONTEXTUALIZED ACTIVITIES


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Draw with shaving cream Age group: 4-7 years old Number of children in the activity: 5 Number of children with NE: 5 Description of the children with NE: Three children with moderate to severe autism. They have comorbidity with other handicaps such as ADHD, dysphagia ect. And express a very small attention span. None of them has speech. Difficult to cooperate with others. Two children with moderate mental retardation / Down syndrome. More able than their autistic peers but still very limited cognitive abilities. Small attention span as well and also problems with short memory. Thus they are communicative and happy to cooperate. They can perform easy tasks by imitating but they don't express initiatives. Key words: expression, creativity, exploration of materials, sensory activities, team work

Space and materials: - space: school class -materials: shaving foam, different colors, water, activity table Tempera colors, shaving cream

Intentionality: 1. The discovery, mutual help, the imitation of behaviors of peers 2. Curiosity and attention, encouraging interest in learning in a happy and playful way among peers


3. Children discuss and play together 4. Increase fine motor coordination Messy play is a popular educational activity to strengthen team building. It also improve gross motor skills. Children love to play in a totally free way and explore the materials in way. It is an opportunity for psychomotor development, for children to create emotion learn from each other, in a climate of cooperation and imitation, reduce tensions communication and understanding and have more adapted motor responses and behavior

Methods and strategies: Apply shaving cream on the activity table and mix the colors Let it explore freely and mix and match and make new colors. Children can play individually but it is strongly advised to work in teams Activity description with photo documentation: This activity was based on “Draw with shaving cream” developed by Portugal - Escola Básica de Lagos – Kindergarten, designed for children between 3-5 years old. We chose this activity to recontextualize because it is fitting very well to the needs and abilities of our students. With the use of listening to calm music, in the classroom an activity of exploring space was provided, followed by sensory exploration of the shaving foam (texture, smell). The group was asked to play freely and mix the primary colors to make new colors. It was used also to teach how from primary colors we can make many more colors just using their hands.

All children had no problem developing the activity. They were happy to do it and work both with peers and individually.


This activity developed socioemotional and cognitive domains, but the most developed was sensorimotor.

Reflection: The activities focused on creativity and peer tutoring. We also use these methods, as all of our school children are with SN. Simple activities help to understand step by step the processes. Help was given to children to start the activity as they were not used to this kind of activity and materials. We had to be very careful though, as some children may put the mixture in their mouth, especially the severe autistic children. But no problem performing this activity because of the smoothness of the materials and the perfect smell of the shaving cream! It was a very good idea that we recontextualize from the Portuguese school that fitted very well to the level of our students. Suggestions for improvement: In a second stage we can use brushes or pencils to „write“ on the coloured foam and encourage children to „read“ what they have drawn. Also can use „balck light“ to make the process more spectacular. Other: Teachers involved: Katerina Nastouli, Io Krontsi. Country and name of the primary school: Greece_ 1st Special Nursery school of Patras


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: We learn and collaborate Age group: 4-7 years old Number of children in the activity: 10 Number of children with NE: 10 Description of the children with NE: Two thirds of students from our school collaborated in this activity. Four of them are moderate to severe mentally retarded, four are moderate autistic and two with syndroms (Cornelia de Lange). Their performance in school tasks is moderate and the main goal of the school is to socialize them, because mainly the autistic prefer isolation. Our goal is for all children to cooperate and take part in team activities. A good method to be successful is through play Key words: indoor and outdoor activities, athletics, imitation, gross motor skills Space and materials: - space: school class and playground -materials: gym materials, theater puppets, activity corners, used CDs, colored water drops, tubes, tubes with holes, grooves, cords, balls, various vehicles, fixed road, plastic bottles, scenery for children's play Kindergarten stuff as kitchen, gym instruments, water drops


Intentionality: Symbolic and functional play and research. To produce a play for children and to include all the children in the group, or almost all as some can’t move easily due to severe movement handicaps. Perform gym activities to improve gross motor skills. To cooperate and learn daily living skills that will be useful throughout their entire life. Also to know their own body and realize how to take care and to be healthy. Provide children with multiple disabilities with a supportive environment that will lead them to pursue self-organized activities, social interaction, and initiate problematic situations. Methods and strategies: Method of play through active learning, observation of the others and imitation, research, material manipulation, problem solving. Strategies of expanding experiences, individual approach, collaboration, social exposure. Exposure to different stimuli to observe social interaction. Activity description with photo documentation: This series of activities was based on "We learn and collaborate" developed by Croatia, Kindergarten „Djecji svijet“ designed for children between 4 and 5 years old. As the level of our students is not high enough to make a performance we decided to recontextualize this activity in order to match the abilities of our students. The imitation happened in a free play environment and not in the prefixed performance. Though, we tried to be as close to the goals and strategies as the Croatian school. So the children played with puppets and imitated how to cook in a kitchen oven. Also we performed outdoor activities to improve gross motor skills but also tried some experiments with used CDs (rainbow) and water drops (hide and seek).


Outdoor activities

Reflection: All the activities were successful. We have managed to achieve all the goals set as: to get all the kids involved in the activities. Everyone was able to express themselves in their own strong area. Bring joy to the kids to play and imitate. Their motivation increased when we experimented and saw “strange” things happen. They very much participated in the preparation of the activities. Through a variety of activities we were able to connect the entire kindergarten and students with various handicaps. It is good to plan more activities like this to connect children and teachers as much as possible. No doubt that there is great professional responsibility for influencing and facilitating individual progress for children whose developmental disabilities we do not know or know about, which means we cannot find ways to meet their needs.


Suggestions for improvement: More activities like these will enrich the educational methods. We will try to make a simple performance that the most able children will have a role and act. Less able children may have a non speech role but participate in the performance as well. Maybe we will choose a children's tale with animals, which is the favorite theme for our students. Preparing a performance, making the costumes and the scenery and involving the audience, such as parents, will be very useful in our school process. Other: Teachers involved: Christos Souvaliotis, Katerina Nastouli, Io Krontsi Country and name of the primary school: Greece, 1st Special Nursery school of Patras, 2 Classes


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Playroom Age group: 4-7 years old Number of children in the activity: 6 Number of children with NE: 6 Description of the children with NE: Six children from our school participated in this activity. Four of them are moderate to severe mentally retarded and two are autistic (one mild, one severe). Their performance in school tasks is moderate and the main goal of the school is to socialize them, because mainly the autistic prefer isolation. Our goal is for all children to cooperate and take part in team activities. A good method to be successful is through didactic play where the children learn while they have fun. Also they discover materials and their purpose in a fun way. Key words: Play, didactic, cooperation, take turns. Space and materials: - space: school class -materials: educational materials as dimensional cubes, pyramids, spheres, boxes, animal miniatures Nursery school stuff , materials, instruments

Intentionality: A repetitive action which a child finds fun is called ‘functional and didactic play’. Experts describe the functional and didactic play as the ‘first play’ of a small child who uses something to entertain himself. This can include opening and closing things, throwing things, stacking blocks and knocking them down, pushing a toy here and there and banging objects together. Even though these activities are repetitive, it is a way for the child to know more about their world and the properties of physical objects they handle. This can prepare them to develop more complex skills going ahead and help them hone their


gross and fine motor skills. The functional and didactic play age of children can last from babyhood and extend to the age of kindergarten. Our students with special needs still find a lot of fun in interaction with materials and their peers. Methods and strategies: method of play, method of conversation, discourse, demonstration. Activity description with photo documentation:

This series of activities was based on "Playroom of Tinka the Caterpillar'' developed by Slovenia, Kindergarten Podgorci, OŠ Velika Nedjelja. Designed for children between 1 and 2 years old but we decided to recontextualize this activity because the mental level of our students matches the abilities of the chronological age of the Slovenian students. The children had different didactic games available to them. They could choose to play with a didactic toy individually, in peers or in the presence of an adult, which raised their play to a higher level. The children could choose between the dimensional cubes, animal miniatures and the educational box with figures. Individual play

Functional play side by side and in peers (two autistic children, one severe, one mild)


Taking turns (two MR children)

Collaborative play (one mild autistic, one mild MR)

Reflection: Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. Children love to play with simple items like blocks or animal replicas. Although they enjoy the sensory stimulation provided by these items, the benefits of playtime go far beyond sensory stimulation. It helps the child build his fine and gross motor skills along with his pre-literacy and thinking skills. For example, the above functional and didactic play activities benefited our students very much. Didactic play is integral to the academic environment. It ensures that the school setting attends to the social and emotional development of children as well as their cognitive development. It helped our students to adjust to the school setting and even to enhance children’s learning readiness, learning behaviors, and problem-solving skills. The children actively participated in the activities, they were mentaly active, they searched for solutions to different problems and experienced pleasure, when they found a solution. The children were connected by the games. At the end of the school year you could see children cooperating, intending to communicate and help one another.


Suggestions for improvement: Functional and didactic play is an essential element of a child’s development. So it is the job of the school to encourage it and not stop the child from doing it. We can enrich this environment with using toys or objects in conventional ways so e.g. our students can focus on the physical characteristics of the object and explore it as he sees fit. A cardboard box will be as exciting as a toy train set. Additional didactic games will be added, changing the games out after a longer period and let them explore and enjoy! Other: Teachers involved: Melpomeni Kordistou Country and name of the primary school: Greece, 1st Special Nursery school of Patras, 1 Class


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Spring Explorers (recontextualization of an activity of Croatia's partners) Age group: 3 to 6 years old Number of children in the activity: 20 Number of children with SN: 2 (L. e N.) Description/classification of children with SN: N. is a child who reveals serious difficulties in democratic coexistence and citizenship, evidencing problems in interpersonal relationships due to his unstable behavior, his difficulty in socio-emotional self-regulation and his inability to demonstrate any capacity for tolerance, dialogue or sharing. It refuses touch or displays of affection, despite the fact that the adults work in this direction every day. Key words: seasons, spring, exploration, investigation, sharing, cooperative work Space and materials: - space: Kindergarten Room Kindergarten outer space D. Maria do Sameiro farm Imagination - materials: Living Beings Panel: - Background paper, paints, brushes, images of living beings, scissors, glue, black marker

Vegetable garden (Plants and Animals): - Rakes, seeds, plants, stones, watering can, paper, markers, sticky paper, ice cream sticks, collection containers, plants and animals found outdoors Seed Germination Experience - container, cotton, beans, water


Visit to the Farm: - Living animals (chickens, ducks, rabbits, lollipops, goats) and vegetables (palm, orange, pear, …)

Memory game: - Toilet paper rolls, scissors, colored pencils, sticky paper, game storage box, box cover

Intentionality: This activity is a recontextualization of Croatia's “Joy in Fall” activity, where nature is explored in different ways. It was the activity chosen because the World Knowledge Area is the one in which N. shows a greater interest and curiosity. That said, the spring explorers project could be an asset to work in his most fragile areas. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, independence in performing activities, tactile stimuli, manipulation of materials, problem solving, cooperation - strategies: collaborative learning, expanding experiences, individualized approach, cooperation, group work, educator as an equal teammate, encouraging freedom of choice Activity description with photo documentation: The activity started at the beginning of the school year due to the group's curiosity to discover the Seasons. On March 21st, the group began to discover plants (sunflowers) and animals (big worms and snails) in the kindergaten. That's where the motivation came from to investigate more about Living Beings, Animals and Plants in Spring.


From the explorations made in the Kindergaten's outdoor garden, from the investigations carried out on the internet, books and at home with the parents, the children discovered that: - the Living Beings and Vegetable Beings, can be Aerial, Terrestrial and Aquatic;

- it is possible to sow seeds or plant plants, which then produce trees, flowers and fruits; - visiting a farm is a good idea to discover more about Living Beings, Animals and Plants; - it is possible to build a game of pairs with what they have learned about Living Beings.

All the children, in a team work, were able to meet their needs of belonging to a group where they are important and loved, freedom to think, question and discover for themselves, and have fun while building their own knowledge. Which level of development was dominant: a) Sensorimotor b) socio-emotional Reflection: The activity developed within a constructivist methodology where the child is intended to be the builder of his knowledge. In this way, the adult only guides and stimulates the global development of each child, respecting their individuality, leading them to know the possibilities that surround them, try them out and, with this, build their own knowledge.


Regarding N., through this project, he could be seen in his explorations and discoveries, which boosted his self-esteem; their discoveries allowed him to get closer to their peers, through sharing and even dialogue; the involvement with nature helped to harmonize the disruptive behaviors of N. having demonstrated affectionate attitudes towards the animals and his peers. The activities carried out also allowed the development of several skills in all children, such as: - knowledge of the physical and natural world (living beings, animal/plant differences, different materials from nature, phenomena and transformations, respect for the environment, preservation of nature); - democratic coexistence and citizenship (listening, debating and negotiating in a solidary way, accepting different perspectives, showing tolerance, capacity for dialogue and sharing); - imagination, creativity and aesthetic sense; - appropriation of scientific methodology; - artistic language, through the visual arts; - language, oral and written expression; - mathematics in the organization of information collected in a pairs game. This project proved to be ideal for helping to work on essential issues, both pedagogical and interrelationship. On the one hand, it make possible to start from the children's questions, their doubts, what they wanted to discover about spring. On the other hand, the fact that it was such a sensorial and manipulative project appealed to all their senses, which proved to be a strong enhancer of the involvement, participation and learning of all children. Ultimately, the Explorers of Spring project, due to its highly sensorial content, in addition to allowing consistent work in all areas and domains of Pre-School Education, proved to be an asset for the learning of all children, namely for N. that improved his democratic coexistence, his interpersonal relationships with peers, self-regulated socially and emotionally, and even showed demonstrations of affection. Suggestions for improvement: The activity in question continues to take place in the Kindergarten where, at this moment, the “Family Week” takes place and all family members were invited to participate, in person, in moments of contact with nature, exploring, discovering, creating and learning together with the children. Educators and professional staff: Teachers Sara Batista and Luísa Azeredo, and the Operational Assistant, Carla Santos Country and name of kindergarten/school: Jardim de Infância de Valadares /Agrupamento de Valadares


ACTIVITY REPORT Recontext Slovenia Activity “Jaka the Bear”

Name: Orquestra do Pautas (“stave orchestra”) Age group: From 3 to 6 Number of children in the activity: 20 Number of children with SN: 1 Description/classification of children with SN: A boy (6 years old) has many difficulties in personal relationships, resistance to collaborate with peers, short times attention and concentration in group activities are observed. He does not handle group exposure, criticism, or frustration well. Key words: Attention, concentration, cooperation, belonging, disinhibition. Space and materials: - space: Activities’ room - materials: Orff Instruments / Musical Sheet/ CD (Pautas Orchestra)

Intentionality: When it comes to the boy that we previously referred to, we need to promote participation in larger groups, disinhibition, attention and concentration. His own difficulties are a barrier to cooperate and feel himself as a member of a group. We pretend to involve the child in small group activities or with more competent pairs expecting that in situations of shared responsibility and no individual exposure we will get higher levels of involvement and participation. He will not have to deal with group exposure or criticism. We expect him to get success, self-esteem, confidence and a feeling of belonging. Methods and strategies: - methods: Musical activity, manipulation of materials (musical instruments), cooperation - strategies: expanding experiences, cooperation, co- responsibility, group work. Activity description with photo documentation: The children were invited to listen to the musical piece “The Turkish March” by Mozart Faced with the challenge of being able to make an orchestra, some children immediately said that it was difficult and that they did not know how to play instruments.


The instruments that the children already knew were presented (triangles, clubs, tambourines and maracas) and 4 groups were created, trying to respect the children's choices with the need for balanced groups.

The musical sheet was read, and it was explained that each group of instruments plays in turn according to the musical sheet. The educator plays the role of conductor of the orchestra. With the CD playing, the children should play their own instruments at the right time, respecting the rhythm and the time of each group of instruments. We played line by line and repeated some times before playing with CD and without interruptions. Children played with enthusiasm and wanted to repeat again and again. It was a joyful and successful activity.


Reflection: The boy was tense, couldn’t choose an instrument and seems very distracted. During the activity, it was necessary to reinforce the importance of paying attention and of all children helping each other so that they all play their instrument at the right time. As long as we repeat the activity the boy gained trust in his own capacities and now assumes his role in the group. The activity involved all the children who often asked to repeat. We observed that attention and concentration was developed with the repetition of the activity. All wanted to know if they played well and suggested filming to show to their parents and families. “Everyone participates in this learning”; ”Everyone is important”; ”Everyone is responsible for the success of the activity”, “ We all help each other”, “We are a team” …were some of the expressions children used to evaluate the activity. Great motivation is observed for several weeks and we will make a performance for parents. A musical approach that begins with a short story to motivate and curiosity or a material ( like we saw in Jaka the Bear) that is attractive Suggestions for improvement: We may explore different rhythms and musical genres, introduce different instruments and give opportunities of free exploration, different groups, a child as orchestra conductor. Other: Educators and professional staff: Luísa Moreira Maria João Pereira Country and name of kindergarten/school: Portugal Junqueira Kindergarten – Agrupamento de Escolas de Valadares.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: UBBU Platform – recontextualization Educational Robotics from Italy Age of Group: 8/10 years old Number of children in the activity: 19 students Number of children with Special Needs: 2 Description/classification of children with SN: Children with SN: 2 full-time students (Autism Spectrum Disorders; PHDA; challenging and opposing behaviour) Key words: problem-solving, autonomy, cooperation Space and Materials: - space: classroom - materials: laptop

Intentionality: The intention of using the platform - UBBU is the teaching of computer science, programming and the development of computational thinking. This platform makes use of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) to link knowledge and methodologies and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to make students aware of their role in the world. Students with SN participate autonomously and with peer support. The goal is to promote not only academic skills but also social skills and to develop cooperation between peers on problem solving. Methods and strategies: - methods: independence in performing activities, problem solving, cooperation. - strategies: cooperative learning, working in groups, encouraging freedom of choice and decision.


Description of the activity with photo documentation: In the classes pictured below, we were performing exercises by programming movement blocks, events, and key mapping. All students experienced using algorithms, correctly ordered a set of instructions, moved characters through a set of commands and mapped keys to move characters. After the presentation of the SOS robot, they were asked to program it to move around on a map using instruction blocks to make deliveries of medicine, food and put out fires. This activity benefits everyone. Its structure cultivates autonomy, the formulation of hypotheses and their verification through experimentation. Students with SN and the others solved through experimentation and sharing of ideas that are tested and validated by all at the end of each exercise.

Which developmental domain was dominant: cognitive


Reflection: During the activity it is necessary to test hypotheses, so on the interactive whiteboard what the students propose as a resolution to the challenge is tested. This sharing is very important, as it generates new hypotheses until the goal is reached, solving the exercise. The discussion and sharing are drivers and promoters of the involvement of all students and so those with SN are fully integrated and motivated to participate. Suggested improvements: Other: Educators/teachers and other professionals involved: Lurdes Ferreira (teacher)

Country and name of the kindergarten/school: Portugal Lagos Basic School / Agrupamento de Escolas de Valadares


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Recontextualization of the activity - Lateralization from Italy Age group: 3-7 Number of children in the activity: 42 Number of special needs children: 1 Description/classification of special needs: a) Child with disabilities Keywords: kindergarten courtyard, lateralization, coordination, development of motor skills Space and materials: Space: kindergarten courtyard materials: rope of different lengths and colors, tire, balls of different sizes and weights, , plastic sticks, Intentionality: The activity is organized in a stimulating spatial and material environment. Pedagogical materials were adapted to the development of spatial perception, bilateral coordination and practice of movements that encourage the proper development of lateralization. The phase of lateralization occurs in the sixth and seventh year of life, in which the child naturally develops right-handedness or left-handedness. The purpose of these activities is to begin the internalization of appropriate laterality through mental representation through the body, avoiding its mechanical and abstract acquisition. Methods and strategies: - methods - independence in performing activities, manipulation of materials, cooperation strategije – expanding experiences, cooperation, educator as an equal teammate, encouraging freedom of choice and decision-making (colleagues to work, activities, ways of playing, in the evaluation of the activity) Description of the activity with photo documentation: During May, we organized joint activities for children aged 3 to 7. In the kindergarten yard, the educator set up a obstacle course organized with 4 stations, which the players passed and played according to their free choice. The obstacle course was created for the purpose of developing: ● Movement across several types of ropes which were laid together to form “crossroads“on which the player had to keep moving on the rope on which they started the movement Lateralization


● throwing the ball into the car tire alternately using the left and right hand ● pushing the tire alternately using the left and then the right hand

When walking on the ropes laid together to form "crossroads", children could choose which rope to walk on to reach the goal. Older children noticed the "crossroads" without any problems and followed their rope to the finish line. This obstacle course was already used for children with less developed spatial perception. During that activity we noticed that the younger children did not notice the "crossroads'' and most often walked in a straight line, changing ropes, all the way to the finish line. This time the obstacle course was bigger and more difficult with a lot of curves. In this activity, we noticed that some of the children did not follow the direction of their rope, but instead they looked forward and took large steps to pass from one end of their own rope to the other.

At the next point of the obstacle course, the children tried to throw a small ball into the car tire. As we expected, it was much easier for them to throw the ball with the dominant hand, but we noticed in some children that they have no problem throwing the ball using both hands. One of the boys threw the ball into a tire with his right hand and missed with


his left. After the miss, he told the educator that he missed because he is right-handed and it is easier for him to shoot with his right hand.

In the next activity, the children pushed the tire by changing the right and left hand where it was clear which hand was dominant. With a dominant hand, they controlled the tire without any major problems, while pushing the tire with a non-dominant hand was much more challenging.


The last activity that the educator carried out involved the simultaneous action of both hands, doing two different movements.

The dominant level of development: a) sensorimotor Reflection: Throughout the activity, the children were very motivated. Older and younger children participated equally in the activities, and the older ones also helped the younger ones, which we noticed at the obstacle course with movements of several types of ropes that were laid together to form "crossroads". The boy with disabilities participated equally in all activities and showed special interest in carrying the ball with plastic sticks. The children spent the longest time walking on the rope, so the educators will use these activities more often in their daily activities. Some of the children statements about the activities: "The game we played with our fingers was neither too easy nor too difficult for me." – S.B. – 6 years "The game was too easy for me, but at first it was difficult because my fingers wanted to do the same thing. I would like to repeat the game. " – M.M. 6 years Educators and professional staff: Sandra Bešenić, educator Magdalena Erdelja, pedagogue Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Country and name of school/kindergarten: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“ Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Recontextualization of activity – Sensor activity - from Slovenia Age group: 1 – 3 Number of children in the activity: 19 Number of special needs children: 2 Description/classification of special needs: a) Children with a temporary special need *: In this activity a boy who has just finished adapting to kindergarten participated, and that was his full week in kindergarten. The other child was a girl who came a month ago from Ukraine. Key words: sensor integration, touch, smell Space and materials: space: kindergarten yard, indoor space of the kindergarten materials: laundry clips, large sponge puzzles, cloths of different textures, wire sponge, straws, ties, scissors, glue, brushes, paper, plastic bags, corks, flour, duct tape of different colors, lego cubes, plastic rings, sand, shells, bananas, strawberrys, oranges Intentionality: The aim of this activity was to stimulate the processes of sensory integration in children aged 1 to 3 years. Sensory games facilitate research and naturally encourage children to discover scientific processes, encourage the development of cognition and active research attitude towards the properties of the materials offered. Sensory integration that occurs in movement, speech, and play is the basis for the more complex integration of sensations required for reading, writing, and good behavior. Methods and strategies: methods – research, independence in performing activities, manipulation of materials, cooperation, tactile stimulation strategies – collaborative learning, expanding experiences, cooperation, encouraging freedom of choice and decision-making Description of the activity with photo documentation: During the Short term joint staff training in Slovenia, a sensory activity was presented, which we recontextualized in our kindergarten. Activities were held during a week in a group of children aged 1 to 3. The activity was organized in a stimulating spatial and material environment. Pedagogical materials were adapted for the development of tactile stimulation. The educators equipped the children's living room with materials to encourage sensory integration: a puzzle with different stimuli and clothespins.


Since the activity was carried out in May when the children often stay outside, the educator equipped three centers in the kindergarten yard with materials: -sensor bags filled with corks and flour - reels, multicolored duct tape, corks and Lego bricks -paper, scissors, glue and ties In activities with sensory bags, we encouraged children to explore the contents of the bags and to recognize the different properties of objects in the bags. The children explored the contents of the bags in different ways, using the whole body.

In the next center, the educator offered the children the activity of cutting and then gluing laces on paper, which develops the tactility of the hand and fingers.


In the next center, the children stacked Lego cubes and caps on sticky adhesive tape of different colors. By touch, they distinguished between the sticky part to which the caps and Lego cubes will stick and the smooth part to which they will not.

In addition to touch, through the activity we encouraged the sense of smell and taste. Spices such as oregano, mint and basil were planted in the yard of the kindergarten. The educators offered the children to smell the herbs and choose the one that has the finest scent. The children were very happy to smell the plants, but did not show a desire to taste them.


So we offered them different fruits which they then had the opportunity to feel, smell and taste, recognizing the acidity of the orange and the sweetness of the strawberry. They agreed that orange smelled best, while strawberry was the tasties and sweetest. Which level of development was dominant: a) sensorimotor. Reflection: During the activities, the children were happy to participate in the proposed activities. The boy, who had just finished his adaptation, was a little reserved at first, but at the educators invitation he joined the activities. He especially enjoyed walking on sensory bags. The girl from Ukraine did not want to take part in activities in which she could cross the bag with her whole body, but she showed great interest in activities involving the touch of the palms of her hand, such as cutting and gluing different textiles on paper. It was agreed with the educator to monitor the reactions of the girl from Ukraine, and if she will avoid touch with her body again, we will involve a psychologist and parents in finding possible causes and resolving any child trauma. Suggestions for improvement: We will continue with the sensor activities but we will offer more materials and a lot of different materials. Educators and professional staff: Sabina Copak, educator Magdalena Erdelja, pedagogue Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Country and name of school/kindergarten: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“ Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Learning together – cooperation with parents - Recontextualization of an activity from Portugal Age group: 3- 7 Number of children in the activity: 43 Number of special needs children: 2 Description/classification of special needs: a) Gifted child Key words: research, sensory integration, herbs and spices, cooperation with parents, peer cooperation. Space and materials: Space: kindergarten courtyard and indoor space Materials: laptop, projector, camera with microscope, crusts, glasses, jugs of hot and cold water, knives, cutting boards, spoons, glass jars, cheese, seeds, earth, tools - shovels, watering cans, water, fresh and dried herbs: nettle, mint, basil, chives. Intentionality: The aim of the activity is to carry out a joint activity of children and parents through partnership with parents so that children can show their developed practical skills and research interests, and parents can exchange their experiences on how to use wild herbs in juices and dishes they make. The time that parents, children and educators spent together in activities and play with children significantly improved the experiences, knowledge and skills of all who were involved in them. We can say that the activity with parents is organized and carried out according to the principles - a learning community. Methods and strategies: -methods - research, stimuli for the development of social integration, independence in performing activities, problem solving, cooperation - strategies - collaborative learning, expanding experiences, group work, educator as an equal teammate, encouraging freedom of choice Description of the activity with photo documentation: The parents were informed about the the activity through the Storypark platform and all those interested in it could attend the activity, without prior notice. The activity took place simultaneously in three locations, two in the yard and one in the interior of the kindergarten. The children experienced the process of sowing plants (seeds obtained during the mobility in Italy), searching for plants according to smell and appearance, picking plants, learning how to use them and research.


Indoors, the educator prepared fresh nettles and a camera with a microscope with which the children could explore and answer the question why nettles burn. The children used a camera to see the small needles on the nettle, and by touching the nettle in that part, as well as observing the enlarged part of the needles, they concluded that these needles burn because they release some juice that burns us. They showed their parents why nettles burn. Parents were also interested in trying out the movement of the magnifier on various materials and parts of nettles, since they do not have it at home, and they considered it to be a very stimulating multimedia device.


In the courtyard, the educator prepared seeds and tools for sowing. She showed them how to sow the seeds after which they tried it themselves. In the other activity in the courtyard, the educator prepared materials for researching edible herbs and spices. She prepared fresh and dried nettle, mint, basil, parsley, and chives. Fresh plants were sliced and then placed in hot and cold water to see if the plant would change color and smell of water depending on the heat. They tried the flavors of aromatized water and had tea prepared from the same plants. It was much easier for the children to recognize and associate the flavors of fresh herbs - the herbs themselves, while with tea it was very difficult for them to determine which plant it was. We established that there is a very big difference in the smell and taste of fresh and dried plants. Parents also took an active part in this, telling many different ways in which they use a variety of fresh herbs, which have grown in our area. The fresh herbs that the children washed also served as a filling for the cake.


The dominant level of development: a) sensorimotor b) cognitive Reflection: Research on nettles aroused great interest among children and they remained in the activity for a long time. Observing the nettle, the children had a lot of thoughts and conclusions. Some of the children's statements: “Nettle stings only when not cut. But when you cook it, then your tongue doesn't sting.” A.H. 5 years “I think that this edge on the leaf is what stings us, look how pointed it is.” -B.B. 6 years “Look, it has needles. Now you see it through a microscope.” - 5 years Suggestions for improvement: The activity takes a lot of time and children have a prolonged interest in the activity, so it is necessary to prepare a large amount of material. Educators and professional staff: Ana Sudec, educator Rusalka Majer, educator Magdalena Erdelja, pedagogue Ljubimka Hajdin, pedagogue and principal Country and name of school/kindergarten: Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“ Varaždin, Croatia


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Early counting and writting Age group: 4-5 years Number of children in the activity: 11 Number of children with SN: 2 Description/classification of children with SN: Child with difficulties: pen grip problems (pincer grip) and speech and language problems. Key words: mathematics and language (Early counting and sorting, phonological awareness of the first sound: detecting the first sound in a word, word formation, number and word notation). Space and materials: - space: indoor and outdoor - materials: paper A3 format with graphomotor exercises, color pencils, markers, picture cards, stone alphabet, playing mat with numbers, cornmeal, linseeds,… Intentionality: - Children learn pre-reading and pre-writing skills - They learn about the symbols of written language - Developing finger dexterity or fine motor skills - Phonological awareness: an important foundation that enables children to learn to read, write and articulate correctly. Graphomotor development starts long before the development of writing, from the moment a child picks up a pen and draws the first lines. Its development is linked to general motor and perceptual development, and especially to fine motor development. It is part of general motor skills. In a narrower sense, graphomotor skills are the ability and skill of writing - the formation of letters and other written signs. In a broader sense, it is a set of abilities, skills and proficiencies needed to form and design moves on the paper, letters, numbers and words, as well as the ability to place graphic symbols and graphic strings in space (Žerdin, 2003). Methods and strategies: - methods: play, research, independence in performing activities, cooperation. - strategies: developmental-process approach (step-by-step graphomotor exercises), collaborative learning, individualized approach, disseminating experience Activity description with photo documentation: The child uses strategies for thinking, cooperation and disseminating of experiences in the activity. According to Glasser, the need for survival (linked to the physical body) was satisfied; the need to be loved and accepted; the need for fun (linked to entertainment and creativity); the need for freedom (linked to the mental body) and the need for power (linked to the child's personality - self-esteem, leadership, assertiveness). To perform graphomotor exercises successfully, a child needs to have well-developed dexterity in the hand and fingers; the ability to plan and use space, and an adequately developed ability to imitate figures, shapes and individual moves. Other mental processes


are also involved in the activity, visual-motor coordination, musculomotor sensations, body sensation - body schema, appropriate muscle tension, maturity of spatial experience, visual and auditory ability, etc It is important to stimulate the development of graphomotor skills at the beginning with a variety of activities aimed to develop fine motor skills and other skills and abilities involved in graphomotor skills. The attached photos show activities that encourage the development of graphomotor skills - the ability needed to form and direct moves, letters, numbers and words.

The photo shows the difficulty in holding the pen.

Photos of activities to develop fine motor skills: the child draws with his finger on the cornmeal, strings beads, stitches, draws graphic elements (curves, arcs, lines: horizontal, diagonal, vertical, etc. ) with a pen and his finger.



Photos - phonological awareness of the first voice. Game: Very Hungry Snake Detecting the first sound in a word: the snake ate the mouse and now it's talking (how?) … MMMMM; a snake ate a slime and now it's talking (how?) . . . . SSSSSSSS etc.

The child chooses a picture card and then searches the box for the letters (stone alphabet) to make a word, his name, etc


Photos: counting and sorting the stones on the game board.


Photos: making numbers with pebbles - the child traces the numbers with his finger and then writes the numbers himself.

Cognitive level of development was dominant.


Reflection: Developing writing means developing more complex, precise and efficient movements, which require learning and development, and a certain number of repetitions. They also help develop fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Regarding the activities, I would like to point out that the development of graphomotor skills can be influenced, reinforced through repetition, and above all by moving step by step from large gestures to smaller ones (tone development and control of movement goes from the shoulders and elbows to the wrists and fingers). The number of steps depends on how much difficulty the child is having. For a child who also has speech difficulties, the pincer grasp exercises should be repeated step by step. Yet, when he manages to get the right grip, he persists for only a short time and finally, with stubbornness, expresses his disagreement. His knowledge of numbers and letters to form words, as well as counting, is not a problem for him, he completes all tasks in a short time and very successfully, which he is very proud of, and he shows this enthusiasm through non-verbal communication (smiles, claps his hands,…) Meanwhile, for another child who only has problems with the pincer grip, sometimes all that is needed is to remind him to hold the pen correctly. Certainly, the activities we do in the group over a long period of time are always a pleasure for the children, but above all they are relaxed and happy and very proud of their achievements when they can do something (write their name). Suggestions for improvement: Use of pen holders to make it easier for the child to grip the pen and, depending on the speech-language disorder, a visit to a developmental clinic (speech and language therapist). The boy I put in the spotlight was recently in a developmental clinic with a speech and language therapist. The feedback from the mother is that the boy refuses to participate at all. Other: / Educators and professional staff: Martina Šoštarič Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia, Kindergarten Podgorci, OŠ Velika Nedelja.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Experiences with red and yellow color Age group: 1-2 years old Number of children in the activity: 9 Number of children with SN: 0 Description/classification of children with SN: / Key words: color, discover, touch Space and materials: - space: playroom Stars - materials: red and yellow tempera, paper format A3, brush, water, red and yellow car Intentionality: The purpose of the activity was for children to distinguish between red and yellow color and to associate the car with the right color. Because the children are small, it was more about the goal of enjoying the touch of color, getting to know the colors, mixing the colors, and getting out the orange color and expressing themselves as they wish through the color and as long as they wanted. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, tactile stimuli, manipulation of materials - strategies: collaborative learning, expanding experiences, individualized approach

Activity description with photo documentation: Sensorimotor level of development was dominant. Before the activity, we had a talk. I used a small yellow and red car for motivation. Together we sang the song My Red Car, which we also changed to My Yellow Car. The children listened to the singing and some of them sang and danced. Then we moved the activity itself outside to the terrace of the kindergarten, where we once again named the colors together. Each child then received an A3 drawing sheet. The children expressed themselves in two groups. When they got tired, they washed. They were free to choose the color. They could choose between red and yellow, which turned orange quite quickly on a sheet of paper. They could also create art with their fingers or hands, or they could choose to use a paintbrush and paint using it. After the activity, we left our paintings to dry, where we had a look at them and then made an exposition in our playroom. Before washing at the sink, they first washed their hands in a big bowl, where we got an orange color, that we also observed and named together. Throughout the activity, we saw the children's need for fun being satisfied, which was evident in their responses to the painting and their desire for freedom, which was evident in the fact that they were able to choose whether they wanted to participate in the activity and how they wanted to create the picture.


Reflection: Nine children participated in the activity. All the children were talking and singing songs for motivation. Everyone was sitting, dancing, some singing and showing their facial expressions. We had a protected table, paper, and yellow and red tempera color ready on the terrace of our playroom. And also, the brushes. Most of the children enjoyed creating art and learning about the two basic colors, which were mixed to make orange. One of the boys didn't want to do art with his hand, so he used a paintbrush, and another boy didn't want to do art at all, so when he got to the table he turned and walked away. Later, the girl mixed yellow and red colors together in a third bowl, mixing the two primary colors together. The children visibly enjoyed themselves, vocalized while creating, laughed and even gave each other a clap in between. We gave the children the freedom to create and the freedom to decide when they had enough, what they want to achieve or do.


Suggestions for improvement: If I have to carry out the activity again, I will choose older children as the target group. Because it’s slightly easier for them to approach and name the colors and the objects. However, given the age of the children, the activity was more than perfect. Some of the older children in the group repeated the name of the paint and knew which color connected with the correct car. Other: / Educators and professional staff: Monika Bujan, Manuela Leben Bezjak, Silva Mori Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia, Primary school Velika Nedelja, kindergarten Podgorci


ACTIVITY REPORT NAME: Joy in fall Age group: 2-4 years Number of children in the activity: 19 Number of children with SN: 1 Description/classification of children with SN: Child with difficulties: the child finds it harder to control his emotions, he is impulsive. He is very active in some activities, uncooperative in those he is not interested in and can get physically violent towards other children. Key words: forest, natural materials, play Space and materials: - space: forest, forest playroom, forest clearing - materials: natural materials found by children (branches, leaves, cones, pebbles, etc. ), stumps, nets, ropes

Intentionality: The children were free to choose the materials they played and created with. They learnt to be inventive, used their imagination, got outdoors, moved in the fresh air, and explored nature. The child with SN was able to participate in sports and activities as normal, as he had plenty of exercises and creativities at his disposal. Methods and strategies: - methods: research, independence in performing activities, manipulation of materials, problem solving, cooperation. - strategies: collaborative learning, self-organized activities of children, expanding experiences, individualized approach, cooperation, group work, educator as an equal teammate, encouraging freedom of choice (friends to play, activities, way of playing,…).


Activity description with photo documentation: We went with a group to a nearby forest. First, we collected various natural materials, which the children later used to play with, they created houses and cottages for the dwarf, and they even made a dwarf out of them. We started by telling them a story about the gifts of the forest and what the animals and the dwarf do with them, and then we left them to discover and imagine. They could play on already made toys from our forest playroom to play role- games: kings, queens, servants, etc. On Maslow's scale, I define the activity as the highest in the pyramid, because the children were self-actualizing because only the beginning of the activity was guided and then they were free to realize their ideas.

Sensorimotor level of development was dominant. Reflection: The children enjoyed the activities, we didn't restrict them with instructions, so they were able to follow their ideas through to the end. We go to the forest often and the children always discover something new, this time they even noticed that natural materials from the forest can be used to make pictures. We have noticed that children express their imagination best when they are not too guided. They made lots of interesting corners to play in, a throne for the Queen, a soft bed on a fern in a cottage, a castle dungeon. They created a picture of a dwarf using twigs and cones, and made a bed for the dwarf.


Suggestions for improvement: Other: / Educators and professional staff: Manuela Leben Bezjak, Manuela Majhenič. Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia, Kindergarten Podgorci, OŠ Velika Nedelja.


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Mathematics Age group: 4- AND 5-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN Number of children in the activity: 19 Number of children with SN: 1 Description/classification of children with SN: Child temporarily with SN*: Key words: MATHEMATICS, CLASSIFICATION, COUNTING, COLORS, ORGANIZATION Space and materials: - space: Classroom - materials: light board, translucent color figures of different colors, number cards, color cards

Intentionality: We have a boy in the group, who has trouble integrating into the group and communicating. If possible, he prefers to play alone. He communicates very little with the educator and the other children in the group. In case he encounters any problems, he closes in, and it also takes a very long time to start playing back. We also notice that he accepts defeat very poorly. When he finds that he can't do something, he closes in again. Sometimes this lack of communication lasts all day. It takes a lot of conversation and complaining to start again with different activities and free play in the group. I will try to do the activity in a small group. I want to observe his response to the activity. Above all, I want him to accept a different way of thinking when interacting with other children. I want to know how fast and efficient he will be in the activity to complete it and his response to the possible slowness in solving mathematical activities. Methods and strategies: I will use the light table we usually use to stack translucent cubes. I will put colorful mathematical characters on the table. I will invite children to the activity. In mathematics I wanted to observe how the boy responds to mathematics and in pairs, where it is necessary to listen and accept the opinion of others and cooperate with others.


- methods: research, cooperation, opinion, speech, communicativeness - strategies: collaborative learning, expanding experiences, individualized approach, cooperation, group work, educator as an equal teammate. Activity description with photo documentation: I prepared a light board and different characters - different colors. I invited the boys to the activity, including N.. At first, I invited them to explore the play of light and characters. I encouraged them with questions to tell me what characters are on the board and what their colors are. N. was very happy and answered all the questions I asked correctly. He was more eloquent than the others who joined him in the activity.

I gave the boys different tasks to do. The pieces were sorted by color.

Since they each had their own board, they were compared after sorting, and R. said that the boards differ in that on one board the characters and colors are the same and on the other boards there are different characters of the same colors. The pieces were also sorted by shape.


Mathematical characters were placed on the openings. They played with light.


Mathematical figures were placed on a light board according to number.

Mathematical figures were arranged in a tree diagram. We have introduced a denied property.


An upgrade of the activity was solving worksheets.

Cognitive level of development was dominant.


N. was very happy to join the activity. He was a little hesitant at the beginning of the activity and waited for others to answer all the questions. When he answered one of the questions, I praised him. With praise, he gained motivation and continued to communicate. What he soon realized was that he had a slightly worse opponent which further motivated him. At N., I was also surprised that he persisted in the activity for a very long time. The children who were with him had left the activity earlier. He had no problem counting and sorting and naming the characters. I find that after all the positive incentives, he got the motivation to participate in the activities. The boy has an application to postpone schooling, but I find that he could easily continue his schooling with his peers. Suggestions for improvement: At this time, I don’t know how this activity can be improved. I will try to carry out the activity with other children as well to have an even clearer insight into the knowledge and abilities of N. Other: / Educators and professional staff: Andreja Žnidarič, Danica Fras Country and name of kindergarten/school: Slovenia; Podgorci Kindergarten; Primary School Velika Nedjelja - educational unit Podgorci


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Activities on Symmetry and Spatial Perception - Recontextualization of an activity from Croatia Age group: 5 Number of children involved in activity: 23 Number of special needs children: 1 Description/classification of special need: Autism Key words: symmetry, spatial perception, specularity Space and materials: Space: classroom section, large living room Materials: magazine images, red marker, scissors, glue, colored wood sticks, white parcel paper, straws, wax colors, scotch tape and watercolors. Intentionality: We decided to propose these activities to teach children the notions related to symmetry and work on spatial orientation, because spatial perception is the ability to understand and interact with the environment around us. So, we selected a variety of stimulating materials that were adapted for the development of spatial perception, understanding the position of objects in symmetry. Methods and strategies: This didactic path took place alternately large group discussion, moments of experimentation in small groups or couples and individual activities. Other methods and strategies to realize children’s skills and abilities: developing independence in performing activities, manipulative materials, problem solving, cooperation, collaborative learning. Activity description with photo documentation: After having a discussion in circle time, in the first stage of the activity the children were offered some magazines. They cut out some pictures, then, with the help of a ruler, they found the axis of symmetry which they went over with a red marker. So, they have discovered through careful and amusing observation that the axis of symmetry can be vertical, horizontal or oblique in some objects.


In this activity, each child has chosen a partner to form a couple. Around a table, they were given colored wooden sticks and tape was put on the white parcel paper. One of them made a drawing and then the partner reproduced the same shapes on the other side of the symmetry axis. They had a great time and they asked us to repurpose it on the floor using colored straws.



Over the next few days, we continued the activity. We made them experiment with symmetrical color spots. This activity has been really liked by the child with disabilities. The children enjoyed making splashes of color on a white sheet, then it was folded in half and they squeezed it very well. They discovered with amused and amazed eyes that the left color had gone to the right and the same imprint come out.

Finally, the children completed the symmetrical half of figures first drawn with the penciland then, to make the activity even more captivating and inclusive, they did the same thing using the lim, in the living room.


Reflection: In our opinion, this didactic path was very fascinating. The children participated actively and with interest. Specifically, the child with disabilities interacted with his friends and showed interest and joy for the final result. Suggestions for improvement: During the activities, we noticed that the children had a lot of fun and they improved their spatial perception more and more. Even the children who previously showed some difficulties carried out activities with serenity, also encouraged by their friends. However we believe that some activities would be challenging for younger children, so as to include everyone. Other: Educators and professional staff: Maiorano Ada , Sporta Caputi Mimma , Campa Rossella Country and name of kindergarten/school: Italy, Sava, Kindergarten Bonsegna


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: gamification in the school for a happy learning mathematics – Recontextualization of an activity from Slovenia

Age group: 6 years Number of children in the activity: 16 Number of children with NE: 1 Key words: Logic-Mathematics-Problem Solving-Coding- Programming- Procedures Space and materials: dice, stones, leaves, balls, robots, glasses, lego, cards, LEGO Education Coding Express, Scratch Junior, https://www.flippity.net/, https://code.org/ Intentionality: - Learn math for everyday life  Know the numbers  Learn by playing with natural elements too  Learn to classify  Solve problems  Use mathematical terms  Learn topological concepts  Do the mental calculations  Collaborate to find solutions  Learn the programming language Methods and strategies:  Learning through play  Problem solving  Collaborative work  Active teaching  Outdoor education Activity description with photo documentation: Associate the number with the quantity


Find out the symbols, greater, less and equal


Number line

Create the number ten

Create the number twenty

Create additions


Coding and Educational Robotics


Reflection: In teaching, gamification can be a tool, methodology but also an objective, with a high inclusive value. Gamification uses aspects of the game model in traditional classroom teaching to motivate pupils, even those with special educational needs, and reshape the learning process. By applying the motivational power of gamification to motivation problems in learning, it can lead students to more effective learning. One way to do this is to apply rewards to the learning process. Incentives such as virtual prizes (titles, badges, points) encourage pupils to participate by getting involved. Gamification also changes pupils' relationship with "failure", in fact they use an approach based on trial and error during games. "Failing" in a well-designed game is almost never a reason to stop playing, on the contrary, it usually motivates the player to try again, thus developing problem solving skills and trying to improve in the next round. "Making a mistake" also becomes an exercise in creativity as the player has to think of new ways to achieve their goals. Suggestions for improvement: Putting the game at the center of teaching

Other:

Educators and professional staff: Aurora Abatemattei – Luana Caforio (Special TeacherEducation)

Country and name of kindergarten/school: Italy I.C. BONSEGNA-TONIOLO , Sava (Taranto)


ACTIVITY REPORT Name: Yoga and Mindfulness - Recontextualization of an activity from Portugal Age group: 5 years old. This group is formed by 30 children. Some of them have learning difficulties. Key words: body awareness, motor coordination, willpower, conflicts management concentration, guided meditation, relaxing music, storytelling, mandala coloring Space and materials: it's a playground activity and we need: the book Yoga for kids from A to Z, cd's (related to the book), yoga mats, pencils and papers. Intentionality: stimulate imagination and creativity, promote a peaceful and non competitive attitude, increase the benefits on physical, cognitive and social skills. Methods and strategies: children position themselves with their yoga mats in the school’s playground, teacher starts the relaxing music and let children be quiet naturally before the activity and during the activity all the students respect each other, no one can speak loud and the asanas are performed when named by the teacher. Activity description with photo documentation:

Reflection: Children stay more focused in learning and seem happier to be in school. Suggestions for improvement: The activity is done better with a smaller group of children. Other: Educators and professional staff: teacher Angarano Ivana. Country and name of kindergarten/school: Italy/Corso Italia/I. C. Bonsegna-Toniolo.


CHAPTER 5

COLINC ON-LINE SEMINAR 4 NOVEMBER 2021


The seminar with the theme "Improving practices of inclusive education" was designed as the crown of work and cooperation within the Erasmus + project (Collaborating for Inclusion – COLINC), which targets children with special needs children with disabilities, gifted children, children with temporary special needs. The partnership between kindergartens and primary schools from Croatia, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia was based on enthusiasm, expertise and leadership, as well as the will to work in a team and willingness to change. This event, designed as a seminar in an online environment, was held on November 4, 2021, after the extensive and dedicated work of all partners in usual (normal) and pandemic times. The challenges everyone faced resulted in: increased understanding, patience, tolerance and teamwork among the partners, but also in a change of approach, way of working, supply of materials and courage to dare to work in a different and for some, new way.



Proud of the process and successes during the project, the partners decided to present examples of good practice and ways to use stimulating materials. The invitation to participate in the seminar was distributed through the social networks of all partners with an emphasis on free participation and an unlimited number of listeners. Examples of good practice were presented by practitioners who work with children on a daily basis, those who are the first to face challenges in working with children with special needs - educators, teachers and professional staff. At the end of the seminar, Professor Teresa Leal, from the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto, gave her review of the overall work and results, which she praised and supported. We are thankful for the support of the scientific community, which gives us a special note on the importance of the topic of this project and seminar.


During the project: •quality practices in working with children with special needs have been identified; •awareness of the use of targeted materials and adaptation of the environment to create a stimulating environment and materials was achieved; •through the reflection of practitioners, competencies and knowledge have been deepened and strengthened. Partnership, cooperation, courage, enthusiasm, motivation, understanding, honesty, sincerity, diligence, effort, time, orientation, positive attitude, support, effectiveness, readiness for change - these are just some of the pillars of unity, work and results on this project: Collaborating for Inclusion.


Congratulations to all the participants!