Friday, July 13, 2012

Motor Skills: More Lessons from Vegas

My time in Las Vegas has come to an end.  I had the opportunity to experience four awesome days of workshops and meet some other great kindergarten teachers!  I’ll post some more ideas in the coming weeks and as I use them in my classroom this year. Stick with me- this is a long one!

I attended two of Tere Bowen-Irish’s sessions about motor control.  Wow!  I had no idea how much the experiences a child has in the first year of life had such an impact on their future motor growth and development!

I learned that children who do no crawl don’t have the opportunity experience their body in relation to objects, and they are that kid that constantly runs into things when they are walking around your room.  Can you picture that child?  I have a few kiddos in mind. 

She also talked about the importance of tummy time.  Tummy time helps build shoulder and neck muscles.  These children have a difficult time sitting and writing.  Their core muscles are likely not well developed, and therefore, they are physically unable to sit in the chair and write.  They may stand or sit on a leg to get balance. 

Using a walker causes children’s hamstring muscles to tighten and ankles to shorten which makes sitting “crisscross applesauce” very difficult.  This is the child who falls over when you ask them to sit crisscross applesauce and put their knees down and also maybe the child who walks on his/her tiptoes.  Have you had one of these?  I can think of 2 in my class last year.

Finally, one of the most interesting tidbits I learned is that when you write, you keep your tongue grounded on the roof of your mouth.  The child who has their tongue sticking out or moving all over the place when writing needs oral motor control to help them focus on their writing.  Giving the child gum or a thick straw to chew on will help them with this oral motor control and allow them to hopefully better focus on their writing.

I purchased Drive-Thru Menus, which are motor activities to help build strength in the areas mentioned above.  Easy little engaging exercises designed for young children.  I am looking forward to using them in my classroom.  The set I purchased is based on poems and nursery rhymes and intended for preschool and kindergarten students.

I found all of this very interesting and couldn’t wait to share it all with you!  I hope you got something you can use from this or at least found it intriguing!  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this great post. I had heard the part about their tongue sticking out from our OT.

    The part about the tummy time and crawling made me think of a little girl I taught that did not learn to sit up until she was 4 because of abuse and neglect. A sad situation that was made better by her new parents and a precious child I will forever cherish.

    I think I was one of your very first followers but somehow missed stopping by again...I also get a little ADD on the computer and am hopping everywhere while making new activities. =)

    I'll try and stop by more often. =)

    I am not sure if you have been to visit me but I would love for you to come by. I just shared 2 inspirational poems and have some cute monster *freebies* you can grab. =)


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