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Activities and Helpful Information

With a desire to help you and your child, we've developed several lessons in the areas listed below. Please click on the topic you are interested in to see the available lessons and information.

Developmental Stages
Penmanship
Assistive Technology
Hand Skills
Independent Functioning & Self Care
Environmental Modifications
Sensory
Foundations of Learning
Orthopedically Impaired
More Resources

Penmanship

PenmanshipThe mechanics of handwriting

  1. Letter Formation
    Sequence in which letters are formed.
    • Upper Case Letter - A Power Point presentation for each letter. You can pause and have the student go to the board and trace the letter in the correct sequence. The PPS is narated allowing the instructor to supervise the students.
    • A , B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
    • Lower Case Letters - A Power Point presentation for each letter. You can pause and have the student go to the board and trace the letter in the correct sequence. The PPS is narated allowing the instructor to supervise the students.
    • a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z
  2. Reversals
    Letters facing the wrong direction.
  3. Spatial Organization
    Orientation of writing on the paper in relation to the margins.
  4. Sizing
    Letter size in relation to the writing lines; size differentiation between capital and lower case letters.
  5. Spacing
    Space between letters within a word; space between words.
  6. Rate of Writing
    Pace at which letters/ words are written.
  7. Copying from a model
    The ability to see material and replicate it on paper.
  8. Writing Pressure
    Writing too dark or too light.
  9. Pencil Grip
    How the hand holds and manipulates a writing tool. How to pick up a pencil so it will be set in the hand correctly.
  10. Positioning
    Physical set up of writing space (desk, chair, paper).
  11. Letter Memory
    Automatic recall of letters without a model.
  12. General Penmanship
    Other tips to improve penmanship.
  13. Cursive
    Tips for making cursive writing easy.
  14. Pre-Writing Skills
    Before the child is ready to write they must have these basic skills.

Adaptive Paper

Paper can help a child who has difficulty with penmanship. The following adaptive paper selections can help a child with spacing, letter size, alignment and the proper use of upper and lower case letters.

  1. Primary Dotted Line
  2. Primary Dotted Line-space at top
  3. Regular Dotted Line 10
  4. Regular Dotted Line 10-green
  5. Regular Dotted Line 11
  6. Regular Dotted Line 12
  7. Regular Dotted Line 12-space at top
  8. Boxes for Capital and Number Practice
  9. Letter Size Paper
  10. Letter Size Paper Every Line
  11. Letter Size Paper Medium
  12. Letter Size Paper Medium Thick
  13. Letter Size Paper Medium Thick Dark
  14. Stop Go Paper
  15. Stop Go Paper-Revised
  16. Race Car Paper
  17. Race Car Paper 2
  18. Graph Paper Writing
  19. Graph Paper Writing 2
  20. Graph Paper 2
  21. Graph Paper 3
  22. Graph Paper 4
  23. Graph Paper 5
  24. Graph Paper 1"
  25. Graph Paper .3"
  26. Graph Paper .5"
  27. Graph Paper .65"
  28. Graph Paper .75"
  29. Double Bubble Organizer
  30. Writing Map Modifications-Frame Sentences
  31. Writing Map Modifications-Map
  32. Writing Map Modifications-Prompt and Picture
  33. Name Strips
  34. Grid Dotted Line

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Assistive Technology

TechnologyItems that assist students with completing tasks independently

  1. Low Technology Aids
    Devices that are simple in design; require little maintenance; have no or limited electronics.
  2. High Technology Aids
    Devices that are complex in design; require specific training; and involve maintenance activities.

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Hand Skills

Hand SkillsPracticing using the hands to manage everyday objects encourages efficient, skilled completion of purposeful activities in the school environment. These activities include writing, cutting, artwork, desk work, putting objects together/stacking, using math counters or game pieces, playing with toys, dressing, and eating.

Cutting Skills: Efficient use of scissors.

Efficient use of scissors in the school setting is important in order to complete cutting and pasting activities or art projects. Cutting activities promote eye-hand control, attending to task skills, and hand strength.

  1. Pre-cutting
    Activities to encourage hand strength, dexterity, and coordination.
    • Pre-cutting Activity # 1: Tearing Paper
    • Pre-cutting Activity #2: Tongs
    • Pre-cutting Activity #3: Spray Bottles
    • Pre-cutting Activity #4: Hole Punching
  2. How to Hold Scissors
    Teaching the student to properly hold scissors for better control during cutting tasks.
    • Use the smallest pair of scissors available that fit the student’s hand. The blade needs to be sharp enough to cut paper easily or the student will become frustrated.
    • Steps to Holding Scissors
    • Opening and Closing the Scissors Activity: Puppet Talk
  3. Snipping
    Opening and closing the scissors one time to make a cut.
    • Snipping Activity #1: Straws
    • Snipping Activity #2: Play Dough
    • Snipping Activity #3: Paper Strips
    • Snipping Activity #4: Native Jewelry
    • Snipping Activity #5: Scissors Can be Fun
  4. Cutting with a Forward Motion
    Opening and closing the scissors multiple times to cut through materials.
    • Begin with heavy weight materials that are easier to manipulate with the helper hand. Instruct the student to move the material towards the blades rather than moving the cutting hand forward into the air.
    • Forward Cutting Activity #1: Play Dough
    • Forward Cutting Activity #2: Paper Shredder
    • Forward Cutting Activity #3: Scissors Can be Fun
  5. Cutting on a Line and Stopping at a Designated Point
    • Use a wide, dark marker line for beginning projects.
    • Line Cutting Activity #1: Lion’s Mane
    • Line Cutting Activity #2: Paper Lantern
    • Line Cutting Activity # 3: Scissors Can be Fun
  6. Cutting Curves
  7. Cutting Circles and Shapes with Angles
    • Practice directional changes while cutting out shapes. Use the helper hand to manipulate the paper for cutting.
    • Circles and Angles Activity #1: Build a House
    • Circles and Angles Activity #2:Scissors Can be Fun
  8. Cutting Complex Figures

Fine Motor Activities

Fun activities to encourage eye-hand coordination, classroom tool use, finger dexterity and hand strengthening.

 

Lacing Boards

Lacing Boards

Free Templates

Shoe Tying

There are several different ways to teach a child how to tie their shoes. It is recommended that the child use two different color laces while learning to tie shoes.

  1. Traditional - Dog and Tree
  2. Bunny Ears
  3. Alternatives

Fine Motor Activities

Activities to strengthen the smaller muscles of the hand that will then increase the child's ability to make more precise movements for penmanship and daily activities.

  1. Activity #1: Can of Worms

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Independent Functioning/Self Care

Self CareThe ability to perform, as independently as possible, daily school routines

  1. Hand Washing
  2. Shoe Tying

There are several different ways to teach a child how to tie their shoes. It is recommended that the child use two different color laces while learning to tie shoes.

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Ergonomics/Environmental Modifications

There are a variety of modifications that can be made to any classroom to improve the quality of instruction for all students. These modifications are relevant to students with communication impairments, learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, and attention deficit issues. These modifications will also help students without disabilities to be successful in the classroom.

  1. Desk Height for Education
  2. Back to school
  3. Lifting properly

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Sensory

SensoryPertaining to the integration for information obtained from the different senses

  1. Sensory Environment
    Adapting the environment to help the child modulate their sensory needs.
  2. Sensory Tools
    Items used to modulate the child’s sensory needs.
  3. Movement Breaks
    Times throughout the day for the child to move to help them modulate their sensory needs.
  4. Tactile
    Modulating the child’s sensory needs through touch.
  5. Visual
    Modulating the child’s sensory needs through visual input.
  6. Auditory
    Modulating the child’s sensory needs through auditory input.
  7. Organization
    Sensory strategies to help a child structure their environment.
  8. Social Skills
    Facilitating appropriate interactions and communication with others.
  9. On Task
    Addressing the child’s ability to focus on what is happening in their environment.
  10. Sensory Activities

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Foundations of Learning

Active Play

Play that can help develop the body and mind:

  1. Bilateral Coordination
    Activities using both hands to do one task.
  2. Proprioception
    Awareness of the position of one's body (movement sensation).
  3. Balance
    The ability to maintain the center of gravity within the base of support.
  4. Visual Motor
    The ability to coordinate vision with the movements of the body.
  5. Fine Motor
    Skills that involve the small muscles of the body to perform functional tasks.
  6. Sensory Integration
    How the body uses the information provided by all the sensations in the environment.
  7. Body Awareness
    The body's position in space
  8. Posture
    The position you hold your body upright against gravity.
  9. Gross Motor
    The movements that involve large muscle groups.

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Orthopedically Impaired

Positioning for special needs education

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More Resources

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