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Office of ESE

Islands of Possibility

When you visit an Islands of Possibility classroom the first thing you will notice is a colorful, inviting wonderland of instructional materials.  Although Islands of Possibility is more than just a great learning environment (indeed, it is a culmination of best practices for children in the sensorimotor stage of learning), the core of the program is a classroom learning environment that promotes safe sensory exploration, that emphasizes a coordinated system of positioning and that builds connections between students, adults, and materials.

The Gathering Place teacher gathered with students in various positions in the gatering place

In this large, carpeted space, students and adults meet for Greeting Time, Large Group activities and Closing Circle.  The area uses low seating equipment such as feeder seats, educubes, or Rifton seating systems to promote socialization.

The Island

This Interactive Soft-Play Land is an enclosed gross motor area with a colorful soft-play structure for climbing, mats for rolling and plenty of switch toys (mounted in various ways) for exploring. In addition toan enclosed play area with mats and interactive toys motor skills, this area fosters independent play, socialization and choice making.

The Spa

The Sense-sational Play Area is equipped with a variety of materials that stimulate the senses… like toys and appliances that are controlled with switches,an area with adaptive positioning equipment and instructional materials to explore the senses for the development of cause and effect, as well as equipment for the development of movement sensations and body awareness in space. Other things we find in this area are: the computer, the ball bath, the adapted swing and any other equipment that promotes student’s exploration.

The Philosophy of the Islands of Possibility

This philosophy calls for all appropriate positioning equipment to be incorporated into the areas of the classroom at all times, making it more functional and easier to use. Our classrooms feature many types of adaptive equipment for relaxing, moving and learning… from sidelyers, prone wedges and bean bags to adapted chairs, standers and mobile standers.  Emphasis is placed on using colorful, comfortable and developmentally appropriate pieces, like the Mirror House and Tumbleforms feeder seats.  Items like the Big Ellipse rug and colorful therapy mats help make the rooms bright and beautiful as well as soften the floors to encourage crawling and exploring.


"Islands" Resources


Creating Instructional Materials by Cynthia Wheeler Prezi document

Islands of Possibility Update Prezi

Islands of Possibility Program Overview (more in-depth information) Prezi document
or text only version doc

Islands of Possibility Classroom Photo Tour power point document

Sample Classroom Design pdf document