Like any preschool student, Tommy is learning his ABC's and 123's; he is just doing it a little differently! Tommy's teacher is great at communicating lesson plans, explaining what Tommy's day at school was like everyday, and providing feedback. She also allows me the opportunity to share what is going on at home. This constant relay of information allows us both to understand Tommy better.
Tommy is always coming up with new words and phrases and sometimes we have no idea what he is talking about. Sometimes it's a new song he learned at school, a new person he's met at school that he comes home talking about, or simply a new word. I am often writing into Tom's teacher or sending an email to figure these things out.
Every day I get a form from school that tells me
What classes Tommy had that day
Tommy's favorite part of the day
What his teacher is proud of him for that day
What he ate and how much
If he napped and how long (Tom rarely naps at school)
The form ends with three free-form sections: one for teacher comments, one for therapist comments and one for parent feedback. I love this form and I look forward to reading it when I get home from work everyday.
Jennifer, Tommy's teacher, also sends home newsletters that provide more in-depth information about the instructional programs they teach. They are using Handwriting Without Tears, which was developed by an occupational therapist who has a child with special needs. The program focuses on body awareness and concept development to prepare children for writing and includes songs, manipulatives, and repetition for practice.
No worries. Tom can hang. :)
For kids like Tommy who will be learning Braille, there are valuable positional and spatial concepts taught throughout the program. When the children with usable vision begin printing letters, Tom and his Braille friends will begin focusing on Braille letters. Some of the important concepts covered by Handwriting Without Tears include: top/middle/bottom, and left and right using objects and their own body. Body awareness is essential for blind children and this is another opportunity to incorporate it into their day.
Everyday Math is taught weekly and focuses on practicing numbers, counting, and associating amounts with numbers. There are so many opportunities to use real life situations and real props to talk about math. I have no doubt that Everyday Math will be fun and engaging for Tommy.
I know that Tommy loves Creative Movement class. Are you imagining a bunch of kids dancing around to music in a gym and getting wild? Well, yes, but it's a lot more than that! The children move their bodies to music, listen to directions, and interact with their peers from the daycare (also run by Tommy's school.) This is a great opportunity to socialize with typically developing children as well as a great deal of fun for everyone.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Tommy's school day.