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Kate’s Preschool Adventures 01.07.19 – 01.11.19

Kate was happy to return to school this week, following the holiday break. I’d scheduled a visit from Kate’s occupational therapist, which is something that I do from time to time. I love how well Peachtree Presbyterian works collaboratively with our early childhood intervention team to create a seamless therapeutic experience for Kate and maximize her learning potential at school. Kate’s occupational therapist asked that Kate be given an activity option mid-morning, such as hitting the scooter board with a friend. That idea was implemented immediately, increasing Kate’s sensory input and time with friends!

Below are a few highlights of Kate’s week, January 7 – 11, 2019, taken from her facilitator’s daily note:

Welcome back!

It was great to have Kate back. She, too, was very excited to be back with friends. She was giving out lots of hugs and love this morning. When Reese arrived to the classroom, she sought out Kate and they embraced each other. They spent the entire day together.

Kate remembered much of the classroom routine, like where to put her water bottle, where to return her name card, and gathering for morning meeting. Kate is our prayer leader this week. We are working on "Thank you, God" to begin the prayer and "Amen" to end the prayer. She signs "thank you" along with attempting the verbal approximations.

She was engaged in many activities today. She made mail for Campbell. Also, Kate and Ava worked in the resource room, with Ms. Shauna, to gather materials for our writing center. They worked together to sort papers, by color, and Kate placed all of the papers on the corresponding shelves when we reentered the classroom.

Kate worked on some writing today when making mail for Campbell. She drew Campbell a picture independently. She made lots of lines and zig zag shapes on the paper without any prompts or physical assistance!

Kate and Reese went off to explore the reading area together, looking at some of the new books that we've gathered for the classroom. When it was time to clean up for morning meeting, Reese asked for help in getting Kate to leave the reading area (She loves looking at books with Reese.) and help clean up. I encouraged Reese to communicate with Kate and remind her that it was time to clean up and encourage her to be a helper. Reese did exactly that, while holding out her hand for Kate to take hold of. Kate immediately stood up, walked with Reese, and the two proceeded to help the rest of the class return materials.

During the time that Kate’s occupational therapist visited, she shared with me some of the gross motor activities and strategies that she and Kate work on. We also had an amazing sensory break where she showed me the work she and Kate do using the scooter board. We will definitely utilize these suggestions in working to continue to enrich Kate's school experience.

This morning we explored numbers. Kate chose the number eight, pointing to it on a number line, and we worked together to write: 8, 9, and 10.

Using the scooter board, Kate invited a friend (Alexander) to join us in the tunnel this morning. They both used the scooter boards to have a race. We used this time to practice: ready, set, go as well as counting. Then, they each got turns with Ms. Shauna as well. We will take a few minutes each day to work on the core and gross motor building activities and each day we will invite a different, classroom friend so that Kate can interact with each child individually. When traveling to the tunnel, we also worked on Kate pushing the doors open, using two hands, another activity that Kate’s occupational therapist suggested.

Today's snack was apple slices, crackers, and raisins. We normally dismiss for snack one bench at a time (Example: Kate's bench). Usually a friend seated on Kate's bench will help guide her to get hand soap. Today, Kate noticed her benchmates stand up when their bench was called and she stood up with them without anyone prompting her. She also signed "eat" during snack time.

Kate demonstrated great moments of receptive understanding and follow-through today. Some mornings, the children will file their work in their classroom folders. Other mornings, the children are asked to put their work right into their school bag. Kate usually will need a couple of verbal reminders and mild, physical guidance to leave the classroom, find her green bag, and then put her work inside. Today, when I asked her to put her work in her bag, she went out into the hallway on her own and when I checked on her progress, she had identified her bag and had her work inside of it!

Also, we were in the hallway this morning and Kate all of a sudden turned her head and smiled. It prompted the rest of us adults to also look, and we discovered that she recognized Cameron arriving to school with her family. They then walked down the hall to the classroom together.

Kate chose to make friend mail for Keith today and we were able to get lots of use for both signs and approximations for "yes" and "no" in making selections for the materials she wanted to use. Also, when we visited the library today, Ms. Luba read an interactive book to the class that encouraged the children to repeatedly say "no". Kate participated with the group by shaking her head and using the approximation for "no" as well.

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