Monday, December 31, 2012

November - "Cooking and Eating"

I think it was a nice switch from all the hay bales to a pretend grocery store and restaurant in their cooking and eating theme.

(taken from their classroom blog)

Our Cooking and Eating Food theme was so much fun!  The "Time to Eat" Restaurant was open daily from 8:00 a.m. - noon.  During our theme activities, we were able to cook pretend food for our friends, go grocery shopping and increase our knowledge of food vocabulary along the way.  We also learned how to communicate our wants by ordering food items from the very experienced chefs who worked in the restaurant.  

We also spent time exploring and "cooking" with real food each day.  We made bread pizzas, gingerbread cookies, pasta, fruit faces and so much more.  I think that our appetite for learning increased dramatically during all of the month's food experiences.   :)

We read the stories, Today is Monday, by Eric Carle as well as the story of theGingerbread Man. We sang "Apples and Bananas" and had a lot of fun dancing, stomping and running to the Kindermusik song, "Walk and Stop."   

Our favorite activity of the month was playing "hide and seek" with the giant gingerbread cookies in our classroom!   Try playing this game at home with another stuffed animal or doll.  

pretend grocery store and restaurant

fingerpainting at school

Speech Therapy Highlights:

-practicing phrases "Mac is rolling the playdoh" & "Sophie is squeezing the glue."
- Natalie said, "I don't like it" for the green beans/broccoli but "I love it" for jam/toast.
-practicing "is", "under", and "ing" in words
- started really using the word "please" in a cute, pleading voice to everything. "Please, mommy, please, please" (she learned this from Mac at school. It really is the cutest thing)
-independently asking, "do you want ___"

I think Nat picked out this flower to wear that day...

this is Nat's favorite shirt

Nat and Spirit

Mac and his mommy Elizabeth

decorating our gingerbread cookies

Friday, December 28, 2012

October - "Halloween"

We got to come the last hour of school on Halloween and help get the kids costumes on. They trick or treated to a few of the offices in the school and also took a wagon hay ride through the halls. They were going to do that outside but it was yucky weather.

This is Katie.. she is the cutest little toddler in the class. The toddler class is 18 months-3, (although I think we will leave Natalie in the class since her b-day is in March, and don't want to mess with different routines for 2 months.) Katie has been in the toddler class for a few months and she is always happy and smiling. We think she looks like a cabbage patch kid. Her mom drives 45 minutes one way and camps out in the schools parent lounge area for the 3 1/2 hours and does her work on her laptop (bringing her 4 year old daughter along) and then heads home. 5 days a week. Others drive 2 hours one way. I can't complain about my 15-20 minute commute...

Nat and Mac.. or should I say, cow and Jasmine

the lady that makes Natalie's headbands made me this cute one for her costume

Nat and Fillip on the hay ride

Alexander, Nat and Mac

he was very interested in Nat's headband

I love me some Alexander 

decorating pumpkin cookies

The teachers hid some pumpkins in the hay and the kids had to find them. They loved throwing the hay around... here's a video:

October - "The Farm and Fall Fun"

I'll split October into 2 parts, because we had the farm and fall and then had Halloween. I was excited for this new theme as the "babies" theme Natalie wasn't too thrilled about, but I knew how much she loved farm animals and would enjoy this one.

Nat and Mac
 Some highlights from this theme:

-playing with the corn and apples
-the rocking horse and barn
-apple baskets and listening to the farm animal sounds
-pouring corn in the farm area
-seeing Julie's real bunny rabbit

(taken from their classroom blog)

It's beginning to feel a lot like FALL in the toddler room!  Our baby nursery has been transformed into a fun, farm scene.  Who said that "farm chores" weren't fun?!?  Our favorite jobs are raking the leaves, picking apples, finding eggs and even feeding the animals in the barn.  At least we are able to take a break from this hard work by going on a picnic outside! 

ps.. Santa brought Natalie a pony for Christmas.

the classroom decorated
(the janitor worked extra hard this month with all the hay)

Natalie's artwork 

having a picnic with her teacher Julie
(Julie also has bilateral cochlear implants)

enjoying a nice fall day outside
(Natalie chose to wear rain boots to school this day)

Speech Therapy Highlights:

- working on new words and labeling them
- practiced really hard on phrases "under" and "on" -- 'the rabbit is on the table' etc.
-lots of SVO (subject-verb-object) varieties...
-practicing "can I have..." to request
- learned the word belt and became obsessed with them :)
-had an annual assessment

September - "Babies and Bedtime"

New theme... new decor. They changed the entire "theme" room to make like a baby nursery. Lots of babies, bath stuff, changing area etc. Every day for school, we get sent home a daily sheet of her activities, snack she ate and her diaper information. (and when we are ready to potty train, they will work on that with her there.) I like the information I get sent home and know what she did each morning.

Each Monday, I meet with Natalie's speech therapist, Megan for 30-45 minutes before picking up Natalie from school. We talk about the previous week and their daily sessions and what they are working on. We then talk about stuff we can work on at home in conjunction with school stuff. They work on about 8-10 new words each week and review them from previous weeks. (I will be posting some videos of her language very soon.) They work on 4 areas: Auditory Training (picking out the 6 LING sounds "ah, ee, mm, ss, sh, oo" and identifying words with different syllables, Receptive Vocabulary (saying and understanding new words) , Language (practicing noun-verb sentences) and Language Experience (practicing with other kids or in small groups.)

Speech Therapy Highlights for September:

-This was a good first few weeks that Megan could see which words Natalie already knew and which ones she needed to work on.
-They worked really hard on noun-verb sentences and then moved on to (SVO) Subject-Verb-Object sentences. "Sophie eats the cereal."
-practice imitating sentences
-identifying 4 two syllable words with the same stress "airplane, hotdog, ice cream" and 8 one syllable words with differing sounds "bear, hat, shoe.."
- they worked a lot on the phrase "I want..."  (she has that one down now for sure!)

The Baby theme
they just get cute wrapping paper and cover some of the walls... such a good idea

Highlights of September:
-running in the gym for recess
-playing with Mac in the baby area
-playing in the tree area
- washing the baby with bubbles
- fingerpainting
-sorting shampoos and soaps
- rocking on the rocking horse

practicing sorting stuff
(taken from their classroom blog)

 Over the last few weeks, we spent a lot of time in the toddler bedroom.  Although we didn't actually go to sleep, we were very good at turning out the lights, tucking our friends into bed and singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"to them as they took a rest.  We practiced saying, "Time for bed," "Goodnight or Night Night" and of course, "Wake up!"  

After the toddlers realized that they didn't really have to go to sleep, they had a lot of fun with the Bedtime Routine.  :)  It was so fun to see the expressions on their faces as they pretended to sleep.  They especially enjoyed using flashlights to make their stars shine bright!

This month, the theme room was decorated like a nursery and filled with a lot of babies that demanded our attention!  The babies cried "Wah, Wah" because they were hungry, tired or even if they had a dirty diaper.  We bathed the babies in warm and cold water.  We dressed our babies and even changed their dirty diapers!  Lastly, we gave our babies a bottle as we rocked them to sleep and put them to bed in their cribs.

Our favorite activities of the month were taking our babies for a walk, driving our babies in the car and believe it or not, changing their diapers!  The toddlers also loved participating in our literacy circle by making the babies say, "Wah, wah, wah," "Goo, Goo," "Clap, clap, clap" "Night, night" and "Bye, Bye."

Our books of the month were "Goodnight Moon," and "The Napping House."   We sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Rock a Bye Baby." Try reading these books or singing these songs at home.  I am very familiar with them.  

this was fun for Natalie
Megan (Nat's speech therapist) told me that Natalie wasn't too fond of this months theme. I wasn't totally surprised. She doesn't really play with baby dolls at home much (neither did Sophie) although we have all the dolls and accessories. She did have fun playing and washing the pretend babies though. This was a big hit every day.

They played "dress-up" by putting on pajamas and doing a bedtime routine. They each have their own tooth brush at school and they pretend to brush their teeth there too.

At the end of this month I got to go see their theme with the other parents. Sophie had fun tagging along. She wishes all the time she had cochlear implants so she could go to Natalie's school. :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

August - "All About Me"

Each month in Natalie's classroom at school, they have a different theme. August was "All About Me."

You can see in her pictures below all the fun things she got to do. In addition to her regular classroom activities, she gets pulled out 1:1 for speech therapy and they also incorporate what they are learning in the classroom in therapy.

All About Me was working on lots of words ranging from body parts to what we do. Natalie knew a lot of her body parts already. This month was short because school started on Aug 21st, so it was a nice month to ease into the routine of school and getting to know everyone better. We also through the state, have a Regional Hearing Loss Program and we have a teacher through them, Beth, who works with Natalie. (equivalent to what we had in NC) Since we are enrolled in OVV (Ohio Valley Voices), Beth comes out twice a month to the school and works with her there instead of coming to our house weekly. It would have been hard to squeeze in at home and since it is a service provided from the state, and Beth already works with other kids at OVV, we decided to have her work with Nat. This program ends when Natalie turns 3, so Beth will no longer work with her, but in the meantime, it is extra one-on-one she is getting at school twice a month for 1 hour.

Beth's notes from her first session said, "She had great language. She is still learning the morning routine. Said the word "head" spontaneously while making a play doh head. She also requested the "pink ball" and "green ball" with play doh. She used some jargoning today, jargon... yellow shoes... when playing with Mr. Potato head. Also nice use of conduction "Natalie (has the) read hat."

Note: The jargon portion of this is important, because now in December we are seeing less and less of "jargon" and more words and real sentences.

with teacher Julie and Fillip, Asees and Natalie

Julie #2 - the toddler room program coordinator. 

Nat and Mac. Two peas in a pod. They love each other so much and has made school so
much fun for her. Mac has one CI and the other ear has a HA (hearing aid.)
(taken from class blog)

We have had so much fun getting to know your children over the past 2 weeks!  They are a delight to have in school each day.  We truly enjoy all of the energy that they bring to the Toddler Room! 

Our first toddler theme was called, "All About Me."  Over the last few weeks, we focused on talking about the parts of the face, our family members, and even about caring for our classroom pets, "Goldfish" and "Dog."

We practiced brushing our teeth and washing our hands in the bathroom.
We especially liked looking at ourselves in the mirror as we brushed our teeth.  Don't they look clean and shiny?!?  After lots of practice, we are very good at feeding the dog and taking him on a walk outside.

Our favorite activities were playing, "Where's the dog?"(a Hide and Seek game), "Ring Around the Rosie" and singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!"  Try singing one of these songs at home...your child may start to sing along! 

working on learning about all about me and body parts

mommy and Nat

Nat and Mac working with Cheryl (the 2nd speech therapist) .. Natalie's is Megan.


Natalie's artwork for August

Premade Design by Delicious Design Studio