Friday, October 29, 2010

Just in time for Halloween--Handwriting Fun with Spiders

Here's a tip from Amanda, one of our hard-working OTs:

Below is a link that models letter formation and gives a writing pad to practice on using the mouse (you can open both screens and set side by side). A spider draws the letter which might be fun for Halloween and it's an alternative to pencil/paper writing practice. Check it out if you haven't already seen it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I love Ed Emberly but I guess there are other friendly artists out in the world, too.  Just found this blog which promotes the writer's books; the enticing "how-to" on this post is interesting:

Mind Map Inspiration

Cartooning is intriguing to me since it's a very inexpensive, quick way to explain the steps to a process and can be included in a Windows Movie Maker project as one of the "slides."  Just think of those famous UPS whiteboard commercials done a couple of years ago.  Kids love cartooning since it allows them to create a fantasy world and feel powerful for a little while.

The Falling Leaves Drift By Our Classroom

Last week in our combined speech and OT group we made cinnamon leaf rubbings with a group of high schoolers in two classes for students with autism. Students in another class had already cut out the large leaf shapes for us, I peeled the wrappers off some fall color crayons, we grabbed the glue and recycled white paper and were ready to get to work.

As I modeled and led the activity, the SLP used picture symbols to elicit language from the students. We initially gave hand over hand assistance, then watched the students show us what they could do. We heard vocabulary and sentences pertaining to the activity that the students often have not demonstrated and the SLP was able to take lots of data on each student.  One class did the rubbings on individual pieces of white paper and another class made a mural.  We discovered quite a bit of artistic talent in the classes--students and adults.
Let the photos guide you in seeing how the activity works:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

All Lined Up in a Row

Last week I showed a teacher for students with Minimal Intellectual Disabilities (MiID) an idea for easily keeping a clipboard at an optimal angle for viewing while keyboarding.  Well, she grabbed the clipboard stand from me and took it home for her husband to make a bunch of them, then had them ready to use in her classroom within a few days.

Rather than only using them for keyboarding, she places different lacing/fastener boards in them for better viewing by the students as they work on the tricky laces, zippers, buttons and snaps.  They can see what their fingers are doing a little better when the work is up at an angle.