Another one of my homemade puzzles. A simple way to work on fine motor, visual motor and visual perceptual skills. Use the shape template board for students that need some visual assistance to match pieces. Enjoy!
Yesterday, my own kindergartener brought home this adorable color, cut and paste book called "Hide, Turkey, Hide!" about this adorable turkey that was hiding from being eaten. All the hiding places worked on directionality concepts - above, under, between, etc. When I went to pick up "my" kindergarteners at work this week, they were working on the same directionality concepts and I thought, "man, Declan's book would be a perfect way to carry over those skills in OT sessions." I googled for a while to see if I could find a template online, but to no avail. So I did what I do best - I opened up Microsoft office and got to work making my own.
The directions are simple, color and cut out the turkeys and the barn, gate and leaves on the thick black lines. Use the directions on each of the pages to place the turkey where he belongs. You'll find the turkey gets lucky at the end! Enjoy!
A few years back, the school district I work for had a program called Great Beginnings. OTs, SLPs and Special Education teachers push into the kindergarten and first grade general education classroom to integrate their knowledge and skills of child development with the teachers. Great Beginnings was a love/hate relationship all around - it required classroom teachers to give up a lot of control, and it put related service providers in the position of managing a classroom. i had awesome teachers that year, and we worked like a well oiled machine. I truly thought the program was doing just what it was intended to do.
In any evident, budget cuts reduced funding for the program and it was cut after about 3 years of implementation. I didn't want to leave my teachers hanging. That summer, I pulled together a "Life After Great Beginnings" Power Point and "Resource Manual". Now I provide it to all my kindergarten and first grade staff. It's just a developmental approach to handwriting - with tons of strategies recommended by Handwriting Without Tears - based on fine motor and visual motor development.
After the "Handwriting Manual" was in place, I found that there was also many sensory strategies involved in the implementation of Great Beginnings. So, back to the computer I went, to put together a "Sensory Manual" with classroom strategies based on sensory needs.
I've attached both here. Feel free to use them as you see fit. Enjoy!
I just love fun fonts. Fontspace is like, my favorite website, ever. It's also a great place to go to download school friendly fonts so that you can create your own writing worksheets.Check out some of these classroom friendly fonts and download them as you wish.
Please note I did not create any of these fonts, they are all from Fontspace, and remember if you plan on using them for commercial purposes, you gotta pay for them.
Dot-to-Dot Tracing Letter Font
Three-Lined-Writing Paper Font (make blank lines by using space bar)
Lined and Dotted Font
Dot-to-Dot Tracing Cursive Font
Those are just some of my favorites. I love absolutely any font by Kimberly Geswein. She does super cute, super classroom friendly fonts.
I am often approached by teachers who have a student that just can't stop moving. Falling out of their chair, legs all over at the carpet, in peers personal space.... I'm sure you have seen it. There are plenty of reasons why kids are fidgety. Sometimes it's a sensory things and the kid is trying to figure out his body in space. Sometimes it's a core strength thing and the kid is all over the place because he doesn't have the strength to hold a position for more than a few minutes at a time. Regardless, it's frustrating for the teacher, distracting to the other students and probably exhausting for the kid. Anyway, I went to a conference a few years ago (given by Kim Wiggins, who is an awesome presenter and an amazing OT) that suggested using a large cardboard box (like a Xerox paper board) as a kid's "work ship". What a genius idea. You can't get anymore definitive of a "personal space" than a box. The sides give great trunk support AND nice firm pressure for those kids who need a little sensory input. I couldn't get over how simple, yet fantastic of an idea it was. But in my experience, suggesting that a teacher put a kid "in a box" hasn't gone over well. I mean, I know the rationale behind it and totally think it an appropriate classroom modification. But I also get that sitting a kid in a cardboard box seems ridiculous. With this in mind, I was trying to think of some sitting arrangement that served the same purpose, but I guess was a little more "professional" than a cardboard box. Low and behold, someone on Pinterest already had the perfect solution. Check it out. Tupperware boxes like this are $8 at Walmart, come in all sorts of colors and could totally be used as a work center in the classroom. And you can't tell me that the kid wouldn't absolutely love it. Hats off to you, Pinterest chick!
Thanks for being patient as I settle back into the USA. Our trip back to the "old country" was wonderful. I am so thankful that my boys will be as close to their Irish cousins as I was. Family is so important, no matter the miles.
Over the next few days, I will be posting a few fine motor, visual motor and visual perceptual activities that I do with my kids over Thanksgiving. The first is a print, color, cut and assemble Thankful turkey activity. You'll see that there are two sets of "feathers" - one with slightly larger writing lines than the other. I have my kids print what they are thankful for on the feather. When everything is assembled, it looks very cute. Enjoy!
Amanda Atkinson MS; OTR/L
Just your average Type-A mom & overzealous Occupational Therapist