Therapro’s Free Activity of the Month: Math Fact Moves

by Therapro

No arts and crafts for this month’s activity; we want you to get outside and show us your moves! This month we are moving and learning, our activity comes from our Drive-Thru Menus Body Challenges cards.

Drive-Thru Body Challenges are meant to be used in the K-5 elementary classroom; the cards are designed to help teachers incorporate movement into foundation skills such as literacy, math, science and social studies.

Each of the 25 cards provides a script for leading students through the Body Challenge and several suggested Academic Challenges for teaching and reinforcing the curriculum.

   

Math Fun Facts Moves

Directions 

  1. Instruct the group to stand against the wall, side- by-side.
  2. Ask a math question. (Tell the group to raise their hand if they know the answer)
  3. Pick a student to answer the question.
  4. If the answer is correct assign them a “move” (skip, hop, jump, twirl, etc.)
  5. The student will “move” towards the other side of the room and they sit and wait for the other students.

Math Facts

Practice math facts. If the problem is 10 minus 6 the students “move” 4 times. Provide other math challenges using math fact families (4+1, 4+2, 4+3, and so on).

Moving in Pairs

Have children work in pairs. For example, if the problem is “2+3” one child jumps twice and the other jumps three times. Together they jump the answer of five.

Show Us Your Moves!

 

Take this body challenge outside to practice math emphasizing gross motor movements. Try some of these moves:               

  • Hopping on one foot
  • Jumping with two feet
  • Giant Steps
  • Twirls
  • Side Stepping
  • Army Crawling
  • Walking Backward
  • Heel-Toe Steps
  • Tip-Toe Walking
  • Stomping
  • Marching
  • Scissor Walking
  • Skipping
  • Crab-Walking

Therapro’s Free Activity of the Month: Watch them bloom with this Sensory Flower!

by Therapro

By: Diana V. Mendez-Hohmann

Working on arts and crafts provides opportunities to incorporate different skills. Normally we look for the practice of physical skills such as:

Bilateral Integration- The ability to use both sides of the body together in a smooth and coordinated manner.

Eye-Hand Coordination- The efficient teamwork of the eyes and hands.

Motor Planning- The ability to conceive, organize, sequence and carry out an unfamiliar body movement in a coordinated manner.

Fine Motor- Refers to movement of the small muscles of the fingers.

But what about the “invisible” skills? Skills like sensory feedback and perception. Prior to working on a craft, break it down and analyze all the ways your child will incorporate skills- visible and “invisible”.

The smells, sounds and feels of a craft are a huge part of the process. Use the opportunity to encourage exploration and introduce new sensations.

Prepare for the activity

You will need

  • Glue dots
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Dessert size paper plates
  • Scented Markers
  • Foam Stickers (or your decoration of choice)
  • A shoe box or Canvas frame

  • Scarf Hanger (in shape of flower)

Assorted Textures (your choice, below is what we used)

  • Fuzzy Fabric

  • Sponge

  • Pom Pom Balls

  • Shredded Paper

  • Ribbon

  • Sand Paper

Steps

  1. Cut a hole a slit the top of the frame in the center.
    •  
  2. Place scarf hanger in the back of the canvas frame, and pull hanger through slit.
    •   
  3. Use glue dots to secure the scarf hanger in canvas.
    •  
  4. Use the scented markers to color the areas that won’t have texture.
    •  
  5. Cut dessert plate in half and roll, use glue dots to affix. Wrap fuzzy fabric on the small roll, use glue dot to affix. Repeat this step for any texture that needs to be rolled such as the ribbon.
    •   
  6. Glue the sponges in the next empty space.
  7. Cut a piece of the paper plate to fit a large space and glue it in the next space available. Glue pom pom balls into this. Repeat this step for small shapes and textures that need to be glued in place such as the shredded paper.
    •      
  8. Roll sand paper to fit a large space and glue it in the next space available.
  9. Use half of dessert plate and roll, use glue dots to affix. Wrap ribbon on small roll, use glue dot to affix. Place rolled ribbon in the last large space.
    •     
  10. Cut a piece of the paper plate to fit the center space and glue it in. Glue small pom pom balls into this.
    •   
  11. Decorate around the flower as desired.

Don’t forget to make it a multi-sensory experience.

  • Go outside for a spring nature walk.
  • Sing songs or nursery rhymes about flowers. (Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Ring Around the Rosie, The Mulberry Bush)
  • Have your child smell different flowers.
  • Make a small indoor garden.

Send us a picture of your Sensory Flower, or post it on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #Therapro

Pre-Vocational Training: Every Little Bit Counts! Part 1: Opportunity

by Angela Mahoney

The other day while shopping at a local grocery store, I ran into a former student. I couldn’t believe that this young man I taught in middle school, who like many students faces a unique set of challengeswas now a high school graduate with a job. As soon as we began talking I could see the pride and confidence beaming from him while he bagged my groceries. As I turned to leave, he shared how he remembered learning how to bag groceries in my class. I couldn’t believe it. That moment solidified my purpose for educating professionals and parents about pre-vocational training, and underscored my passion for education.

Pre-vocational planning is a program designed to prepare students for a successful transition to meaningful, paid work in the community. It commonly involves training in the basic work skills required for a typical employment setting.  Wherever your child's path might lead following high school, the strong foundation of these skills  provided will help contribute to his or her success. What I am suggesting is early intervention coordinated to promote age-appropriate growth during the critical years of middle school, ages 11-14 -- a ‘pre-vocational’ intervention if you will. Let’s build that skill base!

There are many opportunities both at school and at home for vocational tasks to be introduced, discussed, and practiced. The keys to solid growth in vocational skill level are opportunity, consistency and repetition. Consider what your child is currently working on in both environments.  Then, ask yourself if you can add additional experiences to build a strong vocational foundation.

OPPORTUNITY:

  • Create a small ‘work skills center’ in your home. Have a place for your child to ‘sign in/out’ each time for ‘work’. This builds a sense of responsibility and work readiness.

  

  • A variety of tasks can be introduced and completed in this space. For example, if your child will be working on setting the table, have them sort utensils in this space first to prepare for the job. Other examples of ‘work’ that can be completed in this space are filing by letter or word, collating and stapling papers and buttoning shirts. The ‘work space’ is to be utilized as a routine space for learning vocational tasks that are purposeful and rewarding for your child to complete with independence.

   

  • Additionally, have your child track the ‘jobs’ completed as well as reflect on how they felt about the job. Reflecting allows for discussions and connections to things your child likes to do as well as tasks they do not like to complete. It can be hand written, a happy face and a sad face, even a thumbs up and thumbs down! Find what way your child responds to best to keep him or her engaged and invested in the tasks.

·      

  • Create a way to make chores meaningful and connected to future goals.   Knowing how to set a table is related to working in a restaurant. Folding towels is one task that might be required in the hotel industry. Buttoning and folding shirts is connected to working in a retail setting. There are countless ways to tie in hands-on activities at home, while introducing job connections to see if an area of interest stands out. The goal is for your child to learn what work environment and tasks they would be interested in vocationally.

        


  • Check with your child’s teacher at the middle and high school level for in-house job opportunities such as recycling, mail delivery and cafeteria set up and break down.
  • In middle and high school, inquire about off-campus job experiences in a variety of settings such as grocery stores, offices and hospital.  It is important to begin the real life job experiences at the middle school level when possible. Speak with your child’s teacher for more information. 

Everyone deserves to be a contributing part to this society and with a strong vocational foundation set at the right time, everyone can. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Angela Mahoney, M.Ed., is currently a special education case manager at Rogers Park Middle School in Danbury, Connecticut. Angela has worked with students of all ages in a variety of settings for the past thirteen years. Her career includes a tenure at a private school where she worked with over seventy-five middle school and high school-aged students on a weekly basis, running an inclusion-based elementary program for students with autism, as well as co-teaching core academic classes as part of a team comprised of fellow middle school educators.

Angela is the author of I Can Work! A Work Skills Curriculum for Special Needs Programs. 

To learn more please visit http://icanwork.therapro.com/index.html


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Life Skills

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