Resonating words for me and hopefully my OT kids

I’m trying extra extra hard this year to remember that LEADERS MAKE LEADERS, NOT FOLLOWERS. 

My goals for my kids this year that really resonate are to teach them the following vocabulary words in relation to our sessions together…I can use simpler words as necessary or just the concept, but to reinforce the ideas that each kid can think these things on varying levels of understanding – I only do elementary schools and most of my kids are K-4 as I have a high functioning caseload, so some of this is lofty, but I think awesome and helpful and possible to help think of themselves differently even at a very young age. 
“I AM EMPOWERED. I AM POWERFUL.”
“I CAN BE A SELF-ADVOCATE. IE, WHEN I KNOW I DO BETTER WITH A BINDER AS A SLANT BOARD AND A SHORT PENCIL, AND I GO INTO A CLASSROOM AND NOBODY OFFERS IT TO ME, I CAN ASK BECAUSE I KNOW IT MAKES MY LIFE EASIER.”
“I KNOW THAT LEARNING TO BE EFFICIENT AND ORGANIZED MAKES LIFE WAY EASIER” 
“THE MORE I LEARN HOW TO DO THINGS, THE MORE INDEPENDENT I CAN BE”
The key words: Empowered, Self-Advocate, Efficiency, Organization, Independence. My words of the year.
Some of the things I’ve done lately…have them come in, pull out their personal folders, sign in on special lined paper with full name and date, get out their reinforcing “dollar” and write their name on it and hand it to me as they may get it back at the end (after a few sessions they may earn enough for a few minutes of free choice, depending on the kid…), then for example…
1. Give them a bunch of scratch paper and have them follow my directions on labelling in a certain spot their initials and page numbers, ie 1-7 pages. Demonstrating how OOPS I FELL and throw everything into the air. Have them pick it back up and sequence it which will require some rotations and stacking. Surprisingly shockingly hard, you won’t even believe it. Most common issue is doing it backwards, ie 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 rather than 1 2 3…and then trouble with changing the sequence if so. 
2. Have them put things in sheet protectors and into a binder, in correct orientation…
3. Have them staple paper in the correct way and strategies to make it easier when it’s hard, such as pulling the stapler much closer to the edge of the surface closer to them, making sure its facing them with its teeth, and using both hands to push down hard on the stapler long enough to feel it really click…
4. Have them accidentally rip a piece of paper in half and then use tape to fix it. Focusing on strategies of where to hold the tape to most efficiently/easily/least frustratingly tear it off,  etc etc
5. Throw a bunch of stuff all over the table. A lot of stuff. A ton of papers and flat stuff all over, some pencils, a few pouches and random toys, etc. Ask them to take it all into another room. Then watching what ensues – wow. Some kids have a better intuitive grasp than others but all needed coaching on problem solving, knowing what goes on the bottom, etc. Then some need help understanding how to slide one hand underneath and clutching it to the chest for support while trying to open a door with their other hand, etc. Teaching problem solving, strategies, etc. 
In each case, we are working on functional classroom skills that they struggle with, ie rubber bands, hole punches, putting papers into folders, sorting, etc – to make their lives easier by showing them simple methods that give them a sense of power – wow, I can do this. I am powerful. I am a problem solver. I don’t need help. I am independent. Etc
Plus the more they can pay attention to learning versus slamming down a tape dispenser with frustration, the more we all win. 
These skills have almost immediate functional carry over into the classroom, especially with reinforcement and a follow up whole class-instruction on it, and ideally that child even teaching others the skills. 
I’m going to start doing a series of short videos I can send onto parents/teachers as sort of an informal RTI – maybe they already exist but I bet they aren’t quite what I have in mind. I need to go to bed now!! 
I’ve been taking amazing pictures lately of things my kids are doing (the picture in itself is not exceptional in its like, i dont know, high definition resolution, but the concept is cool)….now it’s just finding time to post about all these things. I’ve been in the process of moving so things are more hectic than even normal. But I’m happy. And have so much to share!!!
And by the way, my Pinterest has almost a 1,000 followers, 900 something……must throw a party when I hit that number. 

Use at your own risk! I haven’t tried a lot of what I post (unless of course the picture and description came from my blog, haha), just seems cool!
Okay BEDTIME FOR REALS THIS TIME. I don’t think I have EVER managed to stop writing right after I say that. 
Oct 03, 2013 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

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