Challenging day done. 🙂
Some recent events I have discovered/learned/have occurred/whatever. My black cat is providing moral support as I write this by sitting next to me purring with one paw on my chest.
*Angry Birds with a therapy swing: Take one therapy swing. Take stacked cardboard boxes with “pigs” (we used lightweight small balls) hidden within the boxes. Take one weighted ball of a few pounds dependent on kid's age. Have kid on stomach in therapy swing and throw weighted ball at cardboard boxes. (We had a few other lightweight things stacked in too, so it made noise). Explosion! As always, try this at your own risk, I take no responsibility if things go awry as you need to use common sense on how safe it is with your particular swing, child, weight, etc. It was quite popular with my little guys.
*Used The Print Tool by Handwriting Without Tears – not a huge fan but maybe it will grow on me with time. Hurt my brain a little but I know other handwriting asssessments are worse. I am, however, a fan of handwriting without tears in general.
*Tonya Cooley of TherapyFunZone.com awesomeness, helped develop the lava/worms/bumblebee paper! I think we're on a final prototype (I used it today with great success) and will be linking it soon. I also got a neat version from Munchkin! Tonya, by the way, dunno if I have mentioned using the “Eraser Superhero” (He needs a good name) – they can “save” their letters by swooping in with their eraser superhero. I was trying to think of a way to make it somewhat of a real game, where their eraser superhero can save letters up to 5x, blah blah, and the one with the most letters at the end (the ones that got bitten/eaten/attacked don't count) wins a prize or something. Must. ponder. further. I do like sky grass dirt paper and I think the lava/worms/bumblebee is similar in that we have dirt/sky, but I think of sky/grass/dirt as providing boundaries whereas lava/worms/bumblee (I need a bettr name for it lol), is more about the game experience of explosions, attacks, etc. Hmm. LAVA writing? LVB? Explosive Writing? Hmm.
Black Cat has upped his moral support, now his entire body is pressed against me. I sleep SO much better without him, but it's too cold for his fragile little body so it's me or no where. Blah.
I now have people at multiple schools calling me Miss Awesome (my kids at one particular school have evolved to Ms Awesomeness for some reason) and it CRACKS ME UP! I think it's hysterical. It really makes me feel good and bolsters me for the times I don't feel so good.
The new fidget my kids have been creating: You take extra fluffy pipe cleaners or stemmies or whatever the heck they are called now, plus straws, and you cut the straws however you want, then stick the fluffy pipe cleaners within them, and make random creations and/or fidgets. But you want to bend the wire at the very ends down as it can be dangerous.
I've been fencing with some of my kids at a particular school with principal permission, using obviously foam saber swords that I used to use way back when I fenced in college, when we were teaching the basics of saber fencing. It works on attention, impulse control, motor planning etc. The kids want to swing it all around and go crazy like in the movies but I teach them the different strokes, foot movements, etc…..they feel good and special about it and that's great.
I've been thrilled lately with how the handwriting of my little guys has been improving….we've been using the lava/w/b technique all this fall and it seems to be working. They love when I make the tiniest mistake and pounce on it with their worms. Tonya had a great idea of using tiny stamps for the worms/bugs etc. I love that idea. I need to get some stuff to make my own mini stamps.
I am trying to think of what else….I've been so busy lately that I haven't been able to write like I should. Last night I was up till midnight and then back up at 5:30am working on reports. So I came home, took a nap, then went to Pilates Plus, and now it's 1030pm and i should be asleep. I've turned off the lights in my room and hopefully sleep will come soon….
Um, I love thick bouncy dice….lately what I've been doing with my self-regulation seminar consisting of 6 kids is assigning them each a different number each time ( ie 2 is John Doe, 3 is Bob, etc) and then the first thing we do each time is movements. We used to do the 5 Tibetans but we've moved on to where I roll the dice, and then whichever kid/number it lands on, gets to pick the movement. Lately it's been pretty silly, like “alien dance!” – the kid demonstrates and we imitate for roughly 20 seconds (seems short but it's a long time when you are running around acting crazy). I love seeing all 6 of my kids plus a few adult aides running around the room joyfully doing silly things. Once all six of them have had a turn and gotten our engines revving, we start to slow things down. Sometimes we use stress busters or relaxation techniques from the Sensory Drive-Thru menu, sometimes we make fidgets and listen to native american indian flutes (the kids loved it), sometimes we play with theraputty and discuss different ways to self-regulate, etc etc. I used to REALLY REALLY dread it as I am NOT a group person and really prefer 1:1, but I am learning and enjoying it more and more. Kids have so much to teach us too!
I think next week we will play some form of “high engine, low engine” that may be similar to red light green light, but walking fast versus slow motion, etc….not sure. Need to ponder how to make that work.
I spend a lot of time with ideas in the back of my head like the one I just shared, and then eventually if i am lucky something clicks and I go ahead with it. I also experiment a lot, USUALLY with acceptable results.
Black Cat has decided to provide even FURTHER moral support by lying on me in such a way that I can barely see the keyboard/screen!
So this has gotten really long………..basically I continue to LOVE LOVE LOVE my job as a school OT (mostly because I looove my co-workers, area, kids, etc) although I think it's semi unusual in that my caseload consists of relatively high functioning kids as they are all general education. I do have rough days/weeks like yesterday where I have wayyy too much work and get stressed, but overall, love love love it.
Still continuing to get tons of great emails and I wrote Sam G. at AOTA to ask if there was a place I could send some of them to get answered as I am sooo behind again on responding. He said try goin to the prospective student chats that are monthly or see some of the forums at otconnections.aota.org…….I'll go see if he said anything else. But I DO RESPOND it just takes me awhile. I apologize. As always. Anyone who has followed my blog for the last 4+ years!!! knows I have a love/hate issue with email…love getting it, love reading it, and love responding, it just takes me many months!!
Anyone who has good ideas or wants to share stuff, go ahead….my current muses are Tonya at TherapyFunZone, the OT who runs the Public Schools OT blog, and pinterest.com/funkist/ot-ideas, as well as random life…and STILL got a few reviews to do, just remembered….Dycem, Linda, and PenAgain. Over Christmas break is my final goal. If I don't do it by then you all have permission to beat me with a huge stick.