Early Learning BLAST and Reverse Inclusion Classrooms
Early Learning BLAST provides sensory infused storytimes to Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Pre-K Reverse Inclusion (RI) classrooms, which are Early Intervention preschool classrooms for children in need of a more supportive learning environment. Neurotypical peers are also enrolled in these classrooms along with children with Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s). Early Learning BLAST Specialists bring monthly Sensory Storytimes to these RI classrooms which align with the school’s curriculum. During these programs, Early Learning BLAST uses adaptive technologies to encourage each child’s engagement and facilitate active participation. For instance, EL BLAST Specialists can pre-record the refrain to “Old McDonald Had a Farm” using a Big Mac communicator so that non-verbal children can communicate with the push of a button. Other adaptive technologies utilized in Sensory Storytimes allow children to develop early literacy skills by exploring textures, smells, sounds, or visual and fine motor supports. EL BLAST’s storytimes are always filled with opportunities for children to sing, dance and laugh their way to early literacy success.