Tag Archives: bingo dauber

A Week of a’s – Thursday

We had such a good day today!!!  Noah has been a bit resistant lately when it comes to school, which is such a shame because homeschool preschool is so fun, fun, fun!!!  (Okay, at least it is for me.)  This morning we went into the front room and I asked him to find the painters tape “a” we’ve had on the floor all week.  (It was covered up by a small rug.)  So, at my prompt to “find the ‘a’,” he found it.  That’s huge because we’ve been doing other activities that require him to find the “a”,  so we reinforced what we’ve been practicing.

Next I had him walk the “a” toe-heel for a little gross motor practice.  He was still on board at that point.

It was when I pulled out the Kaufman cards that I lost him.  He did the first two and then started squeezing his eyes shut so he couldn’t see the card.  Yes, I got a picture, but I’m not going to post it because the way he was screwing up his face was pretty yucky looking.  All right, folks, I’m starting to see what you’re talking about when you say your children with Down syndrome are not the angels everyone seems to think they are.  When he wasn’t squeezing his eyes shut, he was reaching for a box of play food and trying to put the food on the masking tape “a.”  “Anything but Kaufman cards,” he seemed to say.  Hmmmm.  I wanted him to do cards, he wanted to put things on the “a.”   So we combined the two and this is what we got:  When Noah practiced saying the word on the card, Noah got to put a food item on the “a.”  Please, please don’t tell him that I was delighted he was practicing putting things on the “a.”  We got through the whole deck – woo hoo!!!

Our other point of victory today came when we pulled out the Find the “a”s worksheets from yesterday’s post.   Directions for that activity are here:  http://wordsofhisheart.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/a-week-of-as-wednesday/.  A little history might be helpful.  Yesterday morning I gave Noah a worksheet that had a’s and f’s on it.  I wanted him to dot the a’s with the bingo dauber.  He dotted the a’s and the f’s because he wasn’t distinguishing between the two.  In his mind it was on the page so it needed to be dotted.  That’s why I changed the worksheets into a slow progression of this skill.  Yesterday afternoon I had him do the first and second page.  This morning I had him do the third and the fourth.  By the fourth page we were back up to f’s and a’s and Noah correctly dotted all the a’s and none of the f’s.

This is a good reminder to me that just because Noah fails at a task, it doesn’t mean he is unable to accomplish it.  He needs more help than other children, but he is able to accomplish quite a bit once he’s been given that help.  He needs little baby steps to climb that hill, while other children can scale it in a leap or two.  This is hopeful and overwhelming to me all at the same time.  My mind is ever busy thinking of what those little baby steps need to look like.

Today’s printable  A activity is brought to you by the great folks over at http://homeschoolcreations.com/preschoolalphabet.html.   I was able to download a whole set of alphabet Playdough mats by clicking on the “ABC Playdough” mats box on their page.  All I had to do was print them off, laminate them, and provide the Playdough.  Noah did the rest.  He really seemed to “get” this.  I just love it when that happens!

A Week of “a”s – Wednesday

How to Find the (a’s)

Our “a” work today brings us to Find the a’s, a simple activity of finding the a’s on the page and marking them with a bingo dauber.  Circling the a’s or stamping them works too.  I find the bingo dauber easiest for Noah to use.  This is an important literacy activity because it involves distinguishing the letter “a” from other shapes and letters, a necessary skill in reading.

Find That a – Complete Set

Teaching Noah new things requires that we break things down into very specific baby steps.  So this is a series of worksheets with the first one being a page of nothing but “a”s.  The sample “a” is in a box in the center.  I point to it and verbally remind Noah that it is an “a” and we sign it.  Then I ask him, “Where’s another “a”?  He points to it, and I encourage him to go ahead and dot it.   As he dots it, we say the short a sound together.

This is a great way to get multiple pronunciations of a sound without having to fight for it, which is important in addressing the motor planning issues of apraxia.  I think it also helps that Noah was concentrating on dotting; it’s easier for him to make specific sounds when he is not feeling put on the spot and is actually focusing on something else.  Once the motor planning memory has been achieved, then it is easier for those sounds to be produced more intentionally.  Cool, eh?

Then we move up to having stars as distractors, and then we gradually add in “f”s as distractors.  I figure we probably won’t be working on f’s for a while, and they are as different looking from a as they can get.  This activity can take some practice and it’s a good review activity, so be sure to make copies.

Thanks to the folks over at Happy Phonics who introduced the concept used in these worksheets back when I was teaching Andres and Eden to read.