Today was crazy hair day at one of my schools (I didn't know this
until I was already there and saw a kid with a blue mohawk in the
front office). The principal was wearing these massive, blatant, birds
in her hair. They were clips she had gotten from Michael's.
We had an important parent/teacher conference (hence the parent's
presence) and the principal left the meeting after a while. She had
sat there the entire time like a typical principal, nothing out of the
ordinary. Minus, of course, her crazy hair. Once she left, I leaned
over and said to the mom, “It's crazy hair day” and she looked
relieved and said 'I was wondering why she had birds in her hair, but
I wasn't going to say anything” ahahahahahahaha LOVE IT
Loooooove being an OT in an elementary school system! Love love love
it! 🙂 Especially now that we have two weeks of spring break. Time to
focus on finishing up my conference presentation for Indiana's AOTA
conference, taxes (barf), paperwork, e-mails, etc. A friend comes into
town on Thursday.
If you are going to conference, please let me know via comment or
e-mail! Would love to have you all come to our Saturday morning
session on social media and perhaps a get together for coffee/tea/me
(haha I laughed out loud at my own silly self) while there. I fly in
Friday night and leave Sunday mid-morning, SIX HUNDRED FREAKING
DOLLARS FOR MY TICKET. That's freaking dedication right there, love
you AOTA. I am kissing you, Centennial Vision. Cuddling you close. The
Centennial Vision and I are BFF. 🙂
Today I rushed to school #1 (for the day) for a 7am parent/teacher conference that involved special ed; then rushed to school #2 where I normally am on Thursdays to do as many normal scheduled treatments as I could; then ran to school #3 for a 20 minute conference with special ed involvement; then ran back to school #2 for meeting with parent….busy day of running around.
The good news is I am getting slightly more organized with my car and toys…..
Thursday mornings always involve one of my favorite little groups (maybe like 7 years old??) where they rush me saying “Miss Awesomeness!!”…to be fair they're usually ready for a distraction from like, fractions. Because their special ed teacher is amazing but fractions will never beat silly games. 😉 We started with a little warm-up where I scattered puzzle pieces to the alphabet puzzle on one side of the room and put the puzzle frame on the other. The first time around they had to do tiny quick steps to gather 2 pieces to place into the puzzle….second time around they had to do a “jello” walk (really wiggly and floppy) which turned into more of a zombie jello walk, lol. Third time around they had to chomp their arms big like alligators….etc until all 26 pieces were in. Then we used Bendaroos to work on b/d/p/q and then to write out all of our names… augh 8% battery left working quick to finish before it dies…..then I got out big grid paper and my stamps and they had to carefully position their stamps in certain grid areas such as the upper left corner (we are working on lefts, rights, directionality etc)….finally we used “Story Cubes” and took turns coming up with a single sentence at a time which we all wrote using the images for inspiration…my favorite one was something like “The bee is swimming in the Earth and the fire is in the scales” or something ridiculously long like that, haha. That was from a kid who normally doesn't like writing…he wanted to write out that entire thing! I think their favorite image was of the debit card…(we're actually not sure what it is supposed to be so we're going with debit card). While working on our best handwriting of course. 🙂 Fun times. Love my little guys.
7% I am getting nervous augh
okay off to get my charger this is too anxiety provoking lolol….okay phew
A few more sessions working with story cubes, handwriting, directionality/following instructions, etc…..plus meetings with parents….I don't go to all parent/teacher conferences of my kids or it would be insane, but I go to ones that could use a quick OT update or something. I really dislike the phone, I get kind of stumbly, plus I think parents in general do better face to face, so I do try to drive to a school rather than do a phone call, when I can…
Tonight I need to finish some paperwork. And I have so many more pictures to share, but I am trying to space them out instead of doing blogging blizzards so that things are more stable/consistent on the blog.
Tomorrow I need to hit at least 2 schools and possibly up to all four…depends on how things go I guess…last day before spring break so things may be a little chaotic in the classrooms. Guess we'll find out.
This weekend goals: Finish up my part of the presentation for conference, plus taxes….goals for spring break include catching up on paperwork!!!!
Hey, on e-mails….still over 200 new mails and many hundreds of blog emails to respond to….I've started trying to respond ASAP to incoming blog question emails instead of postponing (thinking I'll actually write a succinct thoughtful answer if I take my time later) because I never do get the time for it. (Or to be more fair: I don't end up CHOOSING the time for it when I'm resting). So I'm writing quick immediate answers. But here's the thing. If you ask me a question about something semi personal, ie “Do you think I can work while in OT school,” or “I'm nervous about working with population X, do you think it will get better”, then I can help you out, because you may not be able to find your answer as it's more of an advice kind of thing. But if you write me a very factual question such as “What is the difference between PT and OT…” the chances are high you will not get an answer, because that kind of question frustrates me a little bit, because basic google sleuthery will get you that kind of answer.
So please….contact me if you'd like (I do love hearing from people), but if you are going to ask me a question, the chances are highest you will get a response if A) you include something personal about yourself that gives me at least a basic feel of who you are/where you are coming from (not in the literal sense of location) B) you don't ask fifty million questions or at least prioritize a few above all the rest (ie here are ten million questions but if you could at least answer question X that would be awesome) and C) you ask questions that a google search won't easily answer…ie advice, not basic facts. Oh. And if you write me a single sentence that says “lets discuss OT”…um yeah. You need to write more than that. AHAHAHAHA
If you HAVE done what I have asked and have not gotten an answer and still want/need one, your options are to A) wait…I do EVENTUALLY answer the vast majority of questions that fit criteria above) or B) resend it but note its a re-send.
Finally….if you want to be my friend on Facebook, please make it clear you are an OT blog reader with a few details about yourself so that I'm not randomly friending robbers or something…if you have asked before and it didn't go through feel free to try again with an explanation, maybe I messed up or who knows.
Hope my clarifications above don't offend anyone. I LOOOOVE bringing new people into the profession and helping out, but I can only help so much so I'm starting to learn it's better to prioritize…..good night!!
Tower of Bunnies, OT session, for an older kid. I needed to set the girl up in RapidReader, so while I was doing that I had her mess with my Tower of Bunnies….as you can see she got it stacked high. The carrot hooks are kind of for Jenga-like movements of pulling bunnies out, but it's super hard. What else do you expect for 3 dollars at CVS? I do like the concept overall though, for stacking.
I told my little preschooler we were going to make a rainbow tower. He has speech difficulties, but he made it clear he wanted to know how we were going to make it arch like a rainbow. I thought that was adorable. I obviously just meant stack it in rainbow patterns and to his mind, a rainbow meant an arch……so cute. (ps making tall towers is great for precision work for little ones)
Today I worked with a 4.5 year old preschooler on his “y” in his name, and when he finally got it, we did a “Y” dance, plus he got 2 goldfish. He did it successfully a total of 7 times, so we had seven dances and 14 goldfish from the bottom of the container…he would chortle with glee each time he got slightly more than 2 goldfish (ie goldfish debris). Pretty cute. 🙂 PS: On normal paper we couldn't get the Y….but with the little gray boxes of Handwriting Without Tears, he was finally able to do it.
The first time he got it right, after we've been trying for quite a few sessions, I jumped up and did a celebratory “You know how to do a Y” dance, and then it became mandatory for each subsequent Y. lol.
We also cut up straws and shot them into the waste basket, worked on a few different letters, and did an alphabet puzzle which is shown a few down, a 1 dollar foam one. He did NOT want to do the puzzle, but I turned it into a game…I push out the foam letters saying “WHAT! Go to bed!! Stop jumping out of bed!! What do you think you're doing!!” Then I sigh and am like ugh…have to get all these letters back to bed…they are really misbehaving….so then I start putting them back, but I might, for example, put Mr W in Mr D's spot, and be like MR W!!! STOP PLAYING! STOP DANCING IN MR Ds SPOT!! If you don't behave it's going to be a time-out!! And so then we get into putting all our letters back into bed, and it's quite an ordeal, with a lot of threatening of time-outs, and dancing in the wrong spot, etc. And if the kid is struggling to put the letter back where it goes, I push it out again after it's in, then admonish that letter for getting out of bed again, etc. So it's super dramatic and silly.
The squiggle drawing, monster theme, that we used the story cubes with. See below.
Story cubes are making the rounds in OT land. About $6.95 on Amazon.com. 9 dice, 54 images, batrilions of ideas. Lots of ways you can play with them. I like them to help with idea generation for kids struggling with that, common in autism etc. Today was my first day using them. For one child, he rolled all 9 dice, picked an image, then wrote the first sentence. We were using a monster theme. Then I'd write the second sentence after I picked an image off the dice I rolled. Repeat. But the possibilities are endless, y'all have OT brains, figure it out. 🙂
By the way, if you can see the “squiggle” on top? The first graders have “book of squiggles” where they have a partial drawing, that they can turn into whatever they want, then write about it. Super cool.
Today I had a boy doing it who drew a poisonous snake, but wrote “bo not touch” and I was like “Boo not touch???” and they thought that was hysterical……..then he WANTED to write it that way. Those b and d reversals are tricky. 🙂
So today we were using Story Cubes (post to follow on what that is) to write a story. The little boy (whose work has gone from COMPLETELY illegible to the beautiful writing you see here, in first grade), I’ll call him Lyle so the rest of the story makes sense. Ignore the horrific construction of that last sentence. Anyway. He did an absolutely beautiful “p” and I was like ooh, that “p” gets a gold star, wow, amazing. So I put a tiny pencil mark next to the the P on that alphabet puzzle you see (it was a dollar). That was all I planned to do, but then he thought that was a new game more or less. So for each letter he did, he tried to do perfectly, so that he could get a mark next to another letter. So he’d do a letter, examine it for perfection, fix it if it wasn’t, then make a mark next to it on the puzzle. It became a game where he wanted “L” to win since it’s the first letter of his name. So I suggested the word lollipop, lol. I don’t know if you can see the dots next to the letters, make the picture big to see. But I think I’ll try erasing those dots and playing that game again with him or other kids to work on perfect letters….and/or will laminate the alphabet to use a dry erase marker next time, or who knows. Pretty fun! Such lovely handwriting! My mom’s friend who is visiting said “That’s nicer handwriting than what my high schoolers produce.” 🙂
Oh. And my pencil didn’t have an eraser and his did, and I would sometimes make a mistake (I was on another piece of paper) and pretend-weep and be like “I don’t have the force”….because he is a Star Wars kid so we call the eraser “the force” that saves the letters. So he was like what!! you don’t have the force!! and would then use “his force” to help me out. ahahaha. Remember that if you have kids who don’t erase and tend to just write over it, it may be because erasing is not an easy skill for them…check out their eraser skills…..
Still need to figure out formatting. I basically have 12 pictures of 6 pictures each for the next few weeks….I had a photo shoot OT toy party this weekend. But I send this via email so the picture is a surprise. So I guess it will either be self-explanatory, or I will have to go back and explain things soon. For now it's 9pm and I am trying to calm my brain down to go to bed. Very busy life these days. Looking forward to AOTA conference in Indiana next month – I bought my plane fare, am sharing a room with LIBBY and one of her peeps, and registered for conference…..so it's official. Who is coming to our session on social media on Saturday morning? Who is gonna come say hi to me???? Can't wait to meet y'all……
|Quad 4: Hidden Pictures – for some kids, even WITH the answers, it’s still challenging
Quad 5: Some awesome Mead products developed by an OT Quad 6: Styrofoam with golf tees etc…good for strengthening….
Quad 6: Styrofoam with golf tees.