Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kids Helping Kids--Making a Textured Book

This elementary school student really enjoyed measuring, cutting, gluing lengths of yarn onto a preschooler's textured book.   We cut 3" lengths of the pink yarn and 5" lengths of the blue.
 Of course, we had to cut tiny snips of yarn for the piggy's ears...
 and the piggy tail.
The student said, "It looks like waves!"

Many opportunities for improving pinch, bilateral coordination, motor planning and expanding attention span.

If I had been doing this by myself I would have used a stronger glue, but I felt using Elmer's glue was safer for my helper.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Decluttering the Pencil Box

When a student keeps a huge amount of pencils, crayons, markers (thin and regular), erasers, pencil grips, scissors, wrappers.... in their pencil box, it takes forever to find a ready-to-use pencil or pink marker that still works.  Time to de-clutter!  We began by dumping the contents into a nearby tray.
This student quickly got into the spirit of "less is better" and speedily lined up her crayons by color.  She placed duplicates in her "extra" bag.  She toted extra pencils over to the classroom share basket.
Since we were short on time I acted as her assistant and tried out each marker to make sure it was worth keeping.
We even found the "lost" pencil grips that she was using on a trial basis.  One went in the extra bag which is stored in the classroom.

We had extra time after all, so we cleaned out her backpack, as well.  The student seemed to enjoy organizing her stash so maybe there will be some carryover?????

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Using Recycled Foil to Create a Stream

This idea is probably too twicky to figure out how to make it happen on the school yard, but maybe it'll be fun for a home program idea! 
Recyclers--save your aluminum foil so you won't feel guilty using it for this assembly project. 
Great for learning about gravity, for motor planning and fine motor skills.

Use Recycled Foil to Create a Stream

P. S.  I'll be working a bit of overtime during the next few weeks, so please forgive my skimpy posting.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We made our clouds!  The elementary students loved 'em.  One student was able to manage the eye dropper pretty well to add the diluted food coloring to the shaving cream, but the other students needed a little assistance.  Squirting the shaving cream atop the water was quite difficult for all of the students.

Each cloud produced different colors of "rain"--in amount and quantity.  After awhile the yellow, blue or green rain showers turned the water either blue or green.

P.S.  I dumped the glasses earlier than expected because the scene looked a little too "pub"-ish for an elementary classroom.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Better Clouds Than Mine!

Wish I had seen this when we did our cloud activity in the winter!  This is way more cool!

Shaving Cream Clouds in a Jar

The older kids I work with can dispense the shaving cream themselves--oh, what fun.

And, here's an idea for practicing partial shoe tying from the same blogger:

Knot Practice

Using Classroom Puzzles to Improve Fine Motor Skills

Here is a video of two students in elementary grades, using single inset puzzle pieces to improve bilateral coordination, pencil grasp and motor planning.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Inspiration for Future Fine Motor Projects

Some great ideas here:

Contact Paper Art
Why didn't I ever think of this???

This activity is a little advanced but can be broken down into steps.

Amazing classroom ideas
This is about classroom ideas and organization.  I adore organization ideas.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day

A very busy week!  To all the Irish out there--Happy St. Patty's Day tomorrow!  I'll be wearing the green, even if it's only my earrings! 

Here's Johnny Cash singing Danny Boy--hey, he ain't from Ireland but he's got the perfect voice for the song. 

 Danny Boy

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More VCU Activities in the Elementary School

 We made signs to decorate our VCU banner.
I had used up all my good photos from newspaper clippings yesterday with the high schoolers, so we'll have a to wait a few more days until I can scrounge up clippings for this banner at the elementary school.
And, of course, we wrote and typed sentences related to b-ball!  This is what we imagined Coach Smart was saying to his players in one of the photos we used.  Should have ended the sentence with an exclamation point!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Make your own raised line paper--thank you TTAC at VCU!

Use tracing wheel to make raised line paper

Update 3.17.2012
I bought a tracing wheel and tried the idea.  Works best when you drag the tracing wheel along a ruler on the reverse side of the paper.  However...the line was scarcely detectable when you wrote with a pencil on the front side of the paper.  Maybe there's a trick I don't know about making the scored line more obvious.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Idea for Motivating Student Behavior

Just found this site--I need some beads to motivate my brain right now.

Idea for Motivating Positive Behaviors

There are so many ways to customize this idea.  I can use beads that spell out, "OTOTOT..."

Friday, March 9, 2012

Getting ready for VCU to win!

 Our hometown team is getting ready to show their stuff again--time to make a banner to discuss all the emotions the players might be feeling during the coming weeks.
 The cutting lines were about two feet long, so some students needed a little grown-up help to stabilize the 12" ruler at different points along the way.
 If the lines end up kinda wavy, it'll just make the banner more interesting.
 The first two lines were fairly easy to cut, but it became more difficult as we cut more lines and the paper was less stable.
 Even though students make woven crafts starting in early preschool, it's still tricky when the paper is so long(about 2' x 3').
 Cutting more weaving strips.
 We set the yellow paper up vertically to make the students work against gravity and see things from a different perspective.

Securing the ends with tape rolls is essential.

Next step--finding newspaper clippings of the VCU players showing different emotions.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Accommodations for Quiet Reading Time

Life is full of distractions, especially in fun preschool classrooms.  Here's a way we brought a book to one student's eye level and minimized distractions from all the colorful, exciting things to look at in the room.
The blue room divider is easily moved from spot to spot and we can place it directly in front of his line of vision when he's reading on his own.  The semi-reclined wheelchair seat allows the student to fight gravity with less exertion and also necessitates us placing the book a little higher than you might typically arrange it.

Yeah Snow!

Robo-call @ 6:15 AM---2 hour delay
Robo-call @ 7:18 AM--Schools closed today


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lottsa fun attending today's conference in Richmond for school-based OTs, sponsored by the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association.
Mucho thx to Becky and Nadine from Henrico County Public Schools who went in on presenting a poster session with my SLP buddy, Alison, and me.  Our poster featured how we work with teachers and other staff during integrated learning activities in classrooms.  We heard lots of good ideas from therapists who visited our table.

During one of the presentations, on improving leisure time activities in the classroom, an OT discussed developing photography skills with students.  This reminded me of how I had wanted to pursue this with several of my students to help with increased attention, sequencing of steps and the fine motor aspects of putting together a photo album. 

A few years ago the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens featured "Monet-ish" scenes in the gardens and placed empty frames at various spots for visitors to gaze through.  Using empty frames on a stand might be a tangible way for students to "frame" what photos they want to take...hmmm....

Friday, March 2, 2012

In this link, Susan Cain talks about the value of introverts and relates it to how organizations, including schools, are run.  If you can listen until the end you'll hear some touching illustrations.
The Power of Introverts