Thursday, February 20, 2014

Prepping for a FWI Student

It's been a long time since I had a Fieldwork I student and she began today.  My own FWII experience with Laura Vogtle and Joan Albert at the Children's Rehab Center in Charlottesville (now Kluge Rehab) was so excellent that I want to make sure I pass along a little of their insights to this first-year OT student from MCV-VCU.
To help her observe students on her first day I made up this guide to observation, which runs in my head every time I'm in a class:

Framework for Observing Students:
Activity:  Listening to story?  Working at Desk?  Small groups of 2-3 students at different centers?

Posture & Positioning:  Sitting at desk, on floor, standing?  Starting with the head, note if posture is symmetrical?  Good endurance for sitting or standing (back stays erect or slumps?)?  Puts head in hand while writing or reading?  Lays head on desk? 

Peer Relationships:  Student working at desk and sharing materials with peers?  Student sitting close or far away from peers on rug during story?  Quietly talking to peers?  Working together in small group at centers or each student doing own thing?

Behavioral Strategies by Teacher:  Standing in one spot while giving instructions?  Moving around room while giving instructions?  Showing how to do steps of making project?  Directing some students to sit close to teacher during story time on rug?  Calling on students to answer rather than correcting behavior directly?  Actively ignoring some distracting behaviors?  Complimenting students for specific behaviors or work?

Student Abilities During Fine Motor Tasks:  Organized approach to task?  Has own materials on hand?  Frequently asking peers for materials or clarification?  How does control of pencil, crayon or scissors compare to peers nearby?  Talking quietly about task or other topics?  Completes work at same rate as peers?

Environment of Room:  Easy to move around between desks/furniture?  Creatively messy or very structured?  How many adults enter/exit during session?  Brightness?  Noise level?

What positive comment would you give to teacher or instructional assistant, based on what you saw during the session?  Clear presentation of activity?  Subtle verbal prompting to keep students on task?  Accommodations made for the student receiving OT services?

What suggestion to help your student receiving OT services would you share with the teacher or instructional assistant following the observation (or at a better time in the future?)  Changes to desk or chair positioning?  Presentation of materials?  Using an item available in the classroom to provide extra practice for fine motor or self help skills?  Encourage different grasp of pencil/scissors?     

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