Posts Tagged 'development'

Handwriting Worksheets: Beware! #2

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<When writing on unlined paper with his eyes closed, the second grade student's letters are 3/4 inch high.  The space on the worksheet is unlined and allows for 1/4 inch high letters.

Problem:  When a child writes letters with their eyes closed either for fun or for professional observation, the height of the letters produced can represent the “comfort level” of his finger movements.  If the height of the letters are 3/4 inch, this is more appropriate for a kindergarden student than for a second grade student.  As he must tighten down his fingers to place the letter in the worksheet’s smaller space, hand fatigue and decreased writing speed can result.

Solution: Copy the worksheet allowing for larger spaces or allow the writing on an extra page.  If ask to write on the back of the worksheet, two problems appear: 1. usually there are no lines on the back.  We all write better with lines. 2. Flipping the worksheet from front to back and then back to the front can be very distracting as well as taxing on the child’s memory as he attempts to remember the question and answer, flip the sheet and then write.

To help with improving the size of his writing, a program such as “Callirobics” (www.callirobics.com) may be helpful.  Also it would be important to look at his pencil grip which may be a cause (though not only) of the larger writing.

Need to Wiggle? Teacher Tips

Tips for those kids who need to wiggle to stay alert but should not leave their seat:

1. Chew gum or suck on sour candy (if allowed in school; allow at home if no problem with choking or swallowing)

2. Tie a stretchy exercise band around the front legs of the chair.  Place your legs and feet behind the band.  When the need to get out of the chair arises and you should not, push against the band to help release the “wiggles”.

3. Try a “Sit and Move Cushion”. This has bumps on one side and air inside which allows “wiggling” without getting out of the chair.  Purchase at www.funandfunction.com or www.therapro.com

4. Place tennis balls on the back legs of the chair to provide gentle rocking movements.

Other tips you can think about?

Just a thought: For I know the plans I have for you….Jeremiah 29:11

Teacher Tip for Those Needing to “Fiddle”

For those children who need to fiddle with something while they are listening, this tip may be just what they need.  Mrs. McNabb, a first grade teacher shared this hint with us:

Place a piece of adhesive backed velcro (both pieces: hook and loops) inside the desk.  Press on it to make it stick. This will allow the  student  to pull on it, rub it, and play with it without bothering any other student.

GREAT TIP!!!! Thanks! Do you have a tip you would like to share?

Seating in a Classroom

Seating placement in a classroom can have an impact on a child’s learning success!  Here is a list of “ifs” that could help you optimize your child’s placement in a classroom. Other modifications may be necessary in conjunction to these suggestions.

If your child is sensitive to light, move him closer to natural light (sunlight) and away from overhead flourescent lighting.

If your child gets visually easily distracted, move him away from busy bulletin boards and encourage the teacher to stand in front of empty spaces rather than in front of bulletin boards.

If your child is sensitive to noise, move him away from the wall or doors adjacent to the hallways and away from other children who talk more.

If your child is sensitive to touch, encourage placement at the end of the line of children or on the end of a half circle of children (“the circle of children listening on the floor”).

If your child is short or tall for his age, make sure the desk and table are appropriate for his size: table/desk top should be 2 inches above his bent elbow and chair should allow feet to be flat on the floor.

If your child is sensitive to smells, move away from fragrances: perfumes, hand lotions, flowering plants, open windows, smells from the cafeteria.

Just a thought: Zephaniah 3:17: God rejoices over you with singing!

“Homework Place” Good Furniture

As you prepare a “homework” place for your child, please consider the right size furniture.  Our bodies need a chair that allows our feet to be on the floor and promotes good posture.  For the children who do not have good posture and need to lay their heads down on the table/desk or to hold onto the chair with one hand or like to sit on their feet in the chair, the chair may need arms to provide more postural stability.  The table/desk should be two inches above their bent elbows.  Good posture allows us to reach forward to write, color, uses scissors without subconscious fear of falling out of our chairs!  So please use child fitting furniture rather than adult fitting furniture if you want the very best writing, coloring, cutting from your child!

Alphabet Game: Battle

Alphabet flashcards can be used in other fun ways!

Decks of upper and lower case letters: Battle

a. Mix the upper and lower case letter cards

b. Divide the decks of cards between the players by dealing the cards face down in front of each player.  The players do not look at their stack of cards.

c. Choose if “A,a” or “Z,z” is to be the highest card.

d. Each person lays down a card in their pile (don’t look at the cards in the pile, just take one off the top)

e. Decide who gets the laid down cards based on the letters being the closest to the “A” or “Z”.

For example: If “Z” was chosen to be the highest card and a letter card “d” and a letter card “p” were laid down on that turn, the “p” would trump the “d” becasue it is closest to “Z”.  Being upper or lower case doesn’t impact anything. The person who laid down the “p” would pick up both cards and put them at the bottom of his pile of letters. If the same card is laid down by each person (a “D” and a “d” laid down together), battle begins.  Another card is laid down by each person.  The trump card of these two gets all the cards laid down on both turns (the “d” turn plus this turn).

The game ends when everyone gets tired of it (count the cards to determine who has the highest amount and is the winner) or when someone’s letter pile runs out!

If you need a set of nifty alphabet cards, check out mine at my website: www.lynaot.com.  The cards look like regular playing cards and can be written on for tracing with an erasable marker.  They come in a cute cloth bag for storage.

Summer Fun: Bowling with Blocks or Bottles!

BOWLING 

Materials needed

Play Dough                                      Marker board and markers

Marbles/balls: Size will depend on size of the blocks that need to be knocked down

Ten wooden blocks of varying sizes or sixteen ounce water bottles (each filled partially with sand or water and carefully sealed)

1. Choose a place to play on the floor or at a table.

2. Choose the name of your team. Help your child with the beginning letter of the team.

Four year olds: Make the letters for your child out of sticks or wicky sticks or write the letters for your child on the marker board.  Do not expect him to write letters at this age.

Five years old and up:  Help your child write the beginning letter of each team on the paper (playing field).  If your child cannot write the letter, talk him through it or write it for him.  Remember the larger the letter is written, the easier it is to write and to remember.

3. Have your child use both hands to roll the play dough into long ropes to become the “bumper” pads for your bowling alley.  Put the bumper pads in place.

4. Set the blocks or bottles in a triangular pattern as in real bowling.

5. Roll the marbles or large ball down the alley, knocking down the blocks or bottles.

6. Help your child write tally marks or write numbers on the marker board to keep score.  Do not expect your child to keep adding the numbers. That is your job!

Variation:

Rolling marbles down a swimming pool noodle to knock down small blocks.  The child places the marbles in the noodle, aligning the noodle with the blocks.

Shoe box with three doors cut out of it: Place the inverted shoe box at the end of the alley.  Give each “door” a number. As he rolls the marbles down the alley through a door, the child receives that number of points.

Place stickers with shapes or letters or numbers on the bottom of each bottle.  When a bottle is knocked down, the child may write or draw the shape, letters or number that appear for an extra turn.  Be a good sport if you don’t get a turn!

Memory game: Insure that there are pairs of matching stickers on the bottom of the bottles. Ask your child to find the matching pairs by turning the bottles over. The person with the most pairs wins the game.

Developmental Skills:

 Gross Motor: If playing on the floor, balance in sitting may be improved as the child moves to hit or retrieve the ball or to move his players. When standing, balance may be improved as the child shifts his weight to maintain his balance.

Fine Motor: Rolling the marbles requires precise eye hand coordination. Setting up the “bowling pins” requires arm strength and an adequate grasp of the objects. Using both hands together (bilateral integration) is promoted by using a large ball and by rolling the Play Dough ropes.

 Perceptual: Setting up the “pins” into a triangular shape stresses diagonal perception.

Numbers and letters may be learned as well as concepts of up and down.

 Language: Development of social skills such as taking turns and learning to play fair as well as losing or winning may be enhanced. Concepts of same and different, how many, are practiced.

 Tactile/Kinesthetic: As the fingers are used for precise movement, feedback is received as to their position with the hand and rest of the body.

Page 20 & 21 Alphabet Soup: Stirring Your Child’s Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R.


Handwriting Questions

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ALPHABET PLAYING CARD DECKS

Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R