• Kelli Francis

Kate’s Preschool Adventures 01.28.19 – 02.01.19

Kate’s facilitator is working alongside me and the rest of our early childhood intervention team to teach Kate sign language, and as a result is getting increased communication from Kate in the classroom. I was excited to learn that Kate used “yes” and “no” signals to communicate about her favorite weekend activity, preferred snack, and bathroom needs this week. I think peer interactions reached new heights as well, with Kate signing “thank you” to her scooter adventure friends and a classmate asking to take a bathroom break at the same time as Kate. I also love the fine motor work, as always – from the pinching skills Kate used to be this week’s clip helper to the letter writing practice and the ‘feel better’ mail for Titus, which also doubles as a lesson in empathy and kindness. What an embarrassment of riches!


Below are a few highlights of Kate’s week, January 28 – February 1, 2019, taken from her facilitator’s daily note:


Happy Monday! Kate has such a sweet relationship with her classroom friends. Mary Elliott held her hand this morning as they walked in from carpool. I didn't see Kate's school bag so I asked her where it was. In the very next moment, here comes Luke V. down the hallway saying, "Ms. Shauna, I have Kate's bag!" And, Kate burst out with laughter. She loves her friends taking care of her. So, I grabbed her bag from him and handed it to Kate for her to hang her own school bag and tend to removing her hat, scarf, and coat as well.


When we were selecting Kate's weekend news today, as I gave her choices of swimming, walking in the park, and jumping at Sky Zone, I asked her to either sign to me "yes" or "no" for each one so that we could decide which option she would draw. We did a practice round of signing "yes" and shaking her head left to right for "no." She very distinctly shook her head when asked about swimming and walking in the park. When I asked about jumping, not only did she smile and laugh, but she demonstrated a very strong and confident signing of "yes." I am so proud of her and how she is communicating so much more.


Jason was our special friend today for the scooter board adventure. Tommy, another friend from another class, joined us as well. Kate literally could not contain herself and the excitement she felt knowing what we were preparing to do. She absolutely loves this time of the day! She did such a great job today helping me to say: "on your mark, get set, go." She kept saying "get set" and her articulation was so clear each time she said the phrase. She also did great signing "thank you" to each of the boys, with reminders to look into their eyes.

This week, Kate is our clip helper and she is responsible for placing the clip on our door onto the location to which our class transitions. Our only transition today was to the play yard, so she moved the clip accordingly during that time. This also gives her an opportunity to work on fine motor skills as the "clip" is a clothespin that she must pinch to place on the name of the location.


This morning, Kate and Reese went to the bathroom together. Reese led Kate into the restroom that was across the hallway from the restroom that she was going in to. She said, "Come on Kate. Let's go to the bathroom." Sitting on the toilets, they were able to see each other by leaning forward and glancing across the hallway. Kate had a success and so did Reese and they celebrated together.


Snack today was pretzels, strawberries, and yogurt. Kate held her prayer hands as we sang the snack prayer.


Kate and I worked on her sketch of the bark Ms. Marian brought in with insect holes. It provided us an opportunity for Kate to work on making circles to represent the insect holes.


This morning Keith saw Kate walking in from carpool and told one of the teachers that he had to walk Kate into the building. When I greeted Kate in the hallway, Keith was so proud and happy to tell me the news about the two of them walking in together. He also told me that he hung up Kate's bag for her because she couldn't do it herself. I thanked him for being such a sweet friend to want to help Kate, but assured him that Kate could hang her bag and had him help me give Kate the verbal cues to encourage her to hang her bag. When she hung her bag (on the first try), Keith was so thrilled and told Kate that she did a great job!

Keith also happened to be our special adventure friend today as well. He could hardly contain himself and told every single person that we saw along the way that he and Kate were going on a special adventure. They loved using the scooter boards together and Kate even taught Keith at the end how to sign "thank you." He also was so sweet in cheering for Kate when it was her turn on the scooter board.


Reese was such a sweet friend today during our visit to the library, helping Kate to focus on the book Ms. Marian was reading and also when she was choosing a book to check out.

We made mail today for Titus because he hurt his thumb. We got lots of practice with "long line down" because we wrote the phrase: "Get Well Soon, Titus."

Kate also worked well in the small OT group making letters: "B" and "P."


We played memory cards with friends and they each took turns. Kate even led the game as I helped her call out each object. She enjoyed looking through books; building blocks with some assistance; working on painting using brushing cues; writing her name using hand over hand; and identifying the letters in her name by using her pointer finger. We had a blast today! Nice job, Kate :)


On Fridays we make a thank you card for the snack helper of the week (Cameron this week). Keith, Kate and some other friends were working at the table when Keith began to say and sign "thank you." He remembered what Kate taught him yesterday when she thanked him for joining her and was able to teach more friends in the classroom how to sign as well. It was such a sweet moment.


Kate is able to communicate so well in the classroom by using her signs of yes and no. A couple key times that it was used today were during snack, a portion of Kate's work, and also for Kate's toilet time. She used her signs to let Ms. Kate know which of the snacks she preferred. She used yes and no to select which snack she wanted to draw today for her thank you card and she also used them to tell me today (when asked) whether she had to void or not. That was super successful and we will continue this in increasing her independence for communicating when she has to void while at school.

We visited Ms. Libby in the music room (in a small group) and Kate had an individual turn to play a piano mat that Ms. Libby introduced to class teaching them the music notes "C, D, and E." She did this by matching animals to each first letter "cat" "dog" and "elephant."

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