Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Second O & M letter

Hi B-T Family !
Mrs H. here with another O & M report.  I know I won't be able to send home a report after every lesson, but i have a little extra time before all my students' schedules are finalized.  I wanted you to know what Acer is doing so if he talks about any new concepts or words or ideas, you'll have an inkling about what he is doing and learning.

We went outdoors for a school neighborhood walk today.  It gives me a chance to learn what he knows and also observe specific areas for his O & M evaluation.  Our walk was 4-5 blocks long and we walked from the school to one of my students' favorite places: S. rock.  There is a large rock on the NW corner of S. & T., and it is situated under a larger pine tree.  It is very cozy and the kids love to have S. rock be their destination.  They sit on the rock and climb on the rock and most usually want o collect about 38 pine cones to bring back homes each time we walk to the rock! You are lucky -  Acer only wanted to throw the pine cones!

After Acer got his jacket and cane, we walked toward S. rock.  We walk along F. to T., cross T. turn left walk to F. and cross it (F. is an offset street at T.) and walk one block to S. where our favorite block is.  Just wanted to give you a list of environmental concepts and sounds Acer knew and easily identified, concepts and sounds he learned and explored, and other skills he worked on today.  It was such a beautiful day and we packed a lot our lesson!  I just have to take advantage of the great weather and be outside for O&M lessons!

Known Environmental concepts: Fence, Chain ( we found on on a fire hydrant and again on a pole near the school), Pole (at the stop sign), Tree, Sidewalk - he often said 'concrete', grass.

Known Environmental Sounds: Cars, Birds, Dogs barking

Environmental concepts that were introduced on our walk: Fire hydrant - measured him and the hydrant to see which one was taller (note, he knows what these are, he even knows the shape of the nut on top), Pine cone - two different kinds (he knows these too, I am a horticulturist after all so he even hears what type of pine it comes from when I hand it to him or see him picking it up).  Up Hill and down hill slopes at the streets we crossed (F & T), Stop sign.

Environmental Sounds we heard on our walk and talked about:
Saw (someone was using a table saw in their garage - when I asked Acer if he hears the saw, he asked 'Is it a chain Saw?'!  I was floored!
Rake - someone was raking his yard and we stopped to listen
Clippers - the same person trimmed his bushes in the front with some type of clippers
Dump Truck - large truck sounds and really squealing brakes - we tried to imitate the squealing brake sounds

Acer already is an active participant with his guided technique - he holds onto one of my fingers.  Acer did a great job with his cane.  One of our O&M rules is that he is only allowed to walk when he is using his cane - no jumping or running allowed.  he still got to jump and run, but not with his cane - for safety reasons both for himself and others around him.  He found the sidewalk, the grass, the planter by the bus doors, a curb, a pole, fence etc with his cane and we talked about what they are, are they hard/soft, smooth/bumpy, high/low or up/down, just had nice conversations about what his cane found and why he is learning to use his cane.

We talked about crossing the streets and listening for car sounds.  He agreed to walk to our 'climbing tree' - a tree along the route that is fun and low enough and feels safe enough to climb into a bit.  When we were walking there, I asked Acer if he wanted to climb the tree.  He asked 'Does Mrs H. want to climb the tree?'  I said ' No, I don't want to climb the tree." I asked again ' Do you want to climb the tree?' And then he asked "does the xylophone want to climb the tree?"  I laughed and said "Do you have a xylophone that wants to climb the tree?'  It was a fun and funny moment.  When we got to the tree, he did try and was being 'hugged' by several of the branches, but he wasn't interested in staying too long.  Not long enough for a picture!

At S. rock, he put his cane down on the ground and pulled himself up on top of the rock and slid down.  This was great fun and he worked at it for a good period of time.

After our visit at S. rock, we walked back to school and entered the front doors where the bumpy mat is.  I am glad he likes to touch whatever he is curious about - he touched the grass, bumpy mat, tile floor, sidewalk, and we talked about the sounds his cane makes when the tip finds them.

It was a full 40 minutes, and we're looking foeward to walking to some of our other 'hot spots' in the school neighborhood.  Wanted to give you some info so you can ask him about his O&M lessons.  When I come into Mrs A's room, I let the kids know that I am here for Mobility/  The kids were having their snack today when I arrived, and Acer heard me and said, 'Do you want to go for a walk today?' so I know he has caught on that he goes on walking lessons with me!

That is all for this chapter! I am taking a Creative Writing class this semester, and am thinking about using Acer's question, "Does the xylophone want to climb the tree?" as a title of my interest story.  Am not sure exactly what the development will be, but will keep you posted! ;-)  Took some pictures and will share as I am able to.


Jodi said...

Sounds like the perfect day! Acer is doing wonderful!!! He is such a strong guy! I am amazed by him!
Thanks for sharing! Can't wait for the pictures!

Vive...rie...ama said...

Wow, it is amzing how much he can identify! What a perfect fall day. I love the xylophone question- as I read it I was thinking "That would make a great first line of a story or joke:)" so definitely think you should write about it and then post it for us to enjoy;).

Beverly said...

that is awesome. How wonderful to get the reports about how he learns and makes sense of his world.