Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moving Day

This school year started with a move. As bad as it was, there were positive things about it...look what developed as part of our new space.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Great OT Blog

I love looking at this blog, OT Tools for Public Schools...lots of ideas and always pictures! Add it to your list.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Connect the Dots

Who doesn't love dot to dots? This site allows you to create a "connect the dot" image from a photo. It is great mouse practice. I made mine a little too detailed to be clicked on easily, but you should try one of your own. What a great end of the year activity for your students.

Monday, March 01, 2010

How To...

There is something appealing about completing something in 5 steps. Displaying these 5 steps can be accomplished with a simple list, but check out how it is done using a mind map. Certain students may find this "big idea", visual approach very helpful. See for yourself at Paul Foreman's blog, Mind Map Inspiration.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"At Attention" vs. Topsy Turvy

Why do we demand that students face the front with eyes on the adult during a talk or lecture?  Read this post on Everyone Listens Differently and see if you change your expectations for attention.  The bottom line is, know your students.  Know what engages them.  Know what  "participation" looks like for them. 

I have a fourth grade student with autism.  His instructional assistant is a little perplexed by his listening style, but doesn't try to change it. "He'll sit leaning off the chair with his head upside down but when I ask him about what the teacher was saying, he knows it all."  As an OT, I recognize that his is getting needed vestibular input through the positional change in his head.  This can be quite alerting.  As a student of Tai Chi, I can hear my instructor say. "Everybody needs to spend some part of their day upside down."

I have another fourth grade boy with ADHD who struggles to stay focused in his seat.  He disrupts others by talking and moving around.  I asked him what would help him in class.  Without hesitation he said "a chair that swivels".  I had just visited the site The Third Teacher and read this passage:

‘Growing bodies have a natural need to move,’ explains Dr. Dieter Breithecker, Europe’s foremost expert on the relationship between ergonomic design in educational furniture and the physical development of school children. ‘Increased opportunities to move while seated, including rocking, swiveling, and rolling, improve blood flow and oxygen to the brain, thereby increasing attention and concentration levels.’
Idea # 22 fom the site is Swivel to Attention
Give students furniture that lets them twist and lean safely. The movement will increase their ability to concentrate.
My student knew what he needed.  There is a biological need behind it.  It is not just something "fun and frivolous". 

Know what  "participation" looks like for your students.