Friday, June 14, 2013

It's Finally Here

We made it!  Time for summer fun and work--catching up on the horribly-maintained perennial gardens, brushing Stewey and Coco until their fur shines, actually preparing some home-cooked meals and traipsing around town with girlfriends.  It'll be a blast.

Where's Stewey?

There he is.

Cleome (Spider Plant) ala Betsy

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

One thing I won't be doing is blogging about fun at school.  We'll have to wait until late August for that.  My home blog is out of date for now, but check it out toward the end of June to see how things are progressing at home:  What OTs Do In the Summer

Celebrate!  We made it!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Keeping Those Pencils Sharpened

This teacher has really thought long and hard about the status of sharpened pencils in her room:

Elementary School Pencil Management

Tight Spaces

Our "natural environments" group of 2 year olds celebrated the end of school at Chick Fil A this morning.  After practicing self feeding they colored their little aquariums and put on their sea life critter stickers, then headed for the indoor "gym" in a separate part of the building.
Lowly Occupational Therapist Stuck in the "Maze"
We had our little integrated therapy session with the students, early childhood teacher, speech-language pathologist and lowly occupational therapist climbing through the tight spaces and going higher, higher and higher to reach the entrance to the tunnel slide.  The parents stood close by and cheered us onward and upward.  My target student was initially fearful of going into the maze but he ended up climbing up about three levels.  Success!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Almost at the End

Two more days until summer vacation!

Hello Kitty is a Great Motivator

This little girl worked hard all year with me to earn her Hello Kitty stickers.  At the end of our last session this week, she got to take them all home.

This is the second year she's been putting her reward stickers in little Hello Kitty notebooks.  Over the summer I'll be scrounging through my favorite thrift stores for one to use with her next year.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Deep Blue Sea

It was supposed to be really cool.  Baking soda, cornstarch, washable paint and a little water.   Just mix it up together, it directed on the website.  It'll look really cool, they said. Well, I fell for it. 
It mixed up like "gak."  That was okay, but the color looked a little weak.  So, I added a little more paint.  That made it look marbleized, but once I stirred it there was that weak, pasty color again.  And, it was clumpy.  Sigh.  All the staff said nice things, "Oh, what a pretty light blue..."  I knew better, sigh.  We hurriedly used magic markers to add whimsical sea creatures, to make the non-deep blue sea look better.  Ugh.
 Clearly, not my finest hour.  If you're working with students who have visual impairments or limited attention to task, like the four students in this elementary classroom for students with significant intellectual disabilities, pastels are not the way to go.  Sigh.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rolling into Summer

Our usual spot was taken up by a recorder recital, so we worked in an available, empty room.  What luxury to have a clean carpet to sit on and refine our fine motor skills.

Each of the two guys sketched and cut out three foot shapes, then dictated some "summer" words to me (beach, underwater, sun).  They copied the words onto their "feet" and we made a memory game.

Since we were sitting on the floor anyway, we first crept and then rolled to find our matching words (which are the tiny pieces of green paper at the far edges of the carpet.)

It got a little silly, but it was the end of the day and there are only five more days of school left...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Creative Activity to Celebrate a Retirement

Who doesn't like candy???  Who doesn't like being told how wonderful they are???  This is an excellent, inexpensive way to let a colleague know how much you appreciate them.

The "wings" of the poster have student photos, taken throughout the years that "Miss Barbara" has been working with them.  Very personalized and thoughtful.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cause and Effect Sensory Light Box

Several teachers have show me this app during the school year.  Might be a suitable leisure time activity for students with severe cognitive disabilities as well as younger students with physical disabilities who are practicing their reach in various planes.

Info on Cause and Effect Sensory Light Box

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ten Tokens to Aid Desk Organization

One of my elementary school students has Asperger's Syndrome and finds it very difficult to keep her desk organized and distraction-free.  Once a  month we work together when her class goes to computer resource or library, when the classroom is quiet and we can break down her messy desk and get it back in shape, so she can be more efficient in class.

Except for the few people in the world, like me, who love to organize... Blog of an Organizing Nut  ...
most folks find any excuse to avoid the task.  This third grader is no exception and she discovers all kinds of reasons to walk to and fro in her classroom to do things instead of sticking to the task of cleaning out her desk.  So...last month we started using 10 tokens to keep her on track and today we upped the ante.

Before we dragged any papers or notebooks or broken crayons out of her desk, I gave her 10 tokens.  They weren't fancy, just little pieces of scrap paper with the numbers 1-10 written on them, stacked on top of each other in reverse numerical order. When she walked across the room to bring over the trash can to her desk, she handed me token #10.  When she went to the sink to retrieve damp and dry paper towels she gave me token #9.  Her goal was to finish the whole desk and backpack organization routine we had practiced all year, before she ran out of tokens.  All year long she had been increasing her independence with the routine but she needed to break the habit of scurrying around the room instead of staying at her desk and working.

At the end of the 45 minute session she had 2 tokens leftover.  Pretty cool, I say.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Great Source of Summer Activities for Young Students

One of our staff OTRs (Thx, Lynn K!) sent this excellent website along to her OT buddies:

Letter Learning Activities      by Jamie Reimer

Great hands-on ideas to keep the learning going at home over the long, hot summer.