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PRE-SCHOOL PAGE

WRITING AND FINE MOTOR EXPERIENCES

Learning to write is a fun and exciting experience for preschoolers. Writing their own name and other letters gives them more confidence in their abilities and an added good feeling to gaining their independence. Having good strong small muscles in their hands, fingers and wrists also makes the writing process a little easier to be able to grip a writing tool between 2 fingers and the thumb, and control the writing with their fingers and wrists rather than the whole arm.


We provide so many fine motor materials in the classroom to help the children strengthen their small muscles. We have tongs to pick up items, small plastic tweezers, stringing letters, stringing small and large beads, button/snap/zip boards, puzzles, play dough and so much more! We plan and create creative fine motor experiences for the children using a broad range of teacher resources from books to the internet. Here are some fun ways you can provide fun fine motor experiences at home.


• Add basters to the tub at bath time.

• Pick up plastic caps with tongs.

• Squeeze play dough through the holes of a citrus or garlic press.

• Sort cereal y shape, or color, using tweezers to pick them up.

• Thread pasta with straws.

• Push sticks through holes made in an empty box.

• Clip clothespins onto homemade letter cards.

• Peel masking tape off a table.

• Wrap rubber bands around a can.

• Push q-tips through cut straw pieces. 

DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE PRACTICE

Self-regulation is a child’s ability to express emotions and manage behaviors in healthy ways. In preschool the children go through so many waves of emotions and they are learning the skills they need to cope and manage their feelings appropriately.


Self-regulation is a skill that allows children to manage their emotions, behavior and body movement when they are faced with a tough situation.


The following is a list of behaviors of self-regulation (compiled from the DECA assessment tool).


• Play well with others

• Calm himself/herself down

• Listen to or respect others

• Share with other children

• Cooperate with others

• Accept another choice when his/her first choice is not available

• Show patience

• Control his/her anger

• Handle frustration well


Children use and rely on self-regulation skills in their everyday life, some go with the flow and handle these emotions with ease, and others may struggle a bit to know what to do.

Self-regulation develops over time as children learn skills to calm themselves down when they get upset. They learn to be flexible with changes and learn to resist giving in to frustrated outbursts.

(Marin, n.d.)


If your child struggles with self-regulation, here are some things you can do to help your child:


• Model, model, model! Show your child how you can do a frustrating task without getting frustrated.


• Talk with your child about emotions; when your child struggles with a difficult feeling, encourage him/her to name the feeling and what caused it, you can ask questions to help or waiting to talk after the emotion has passed might be better. i.e. “did you throw that toy because you got frustrated it wasn’t working?” “What could you have done?”


• You and your child come up with different ways to handle emotions, such as blowing out the candle, fill up the balloon with air and let it out.


• Be patient with your child.


• Match your expectations to your child’s age and stage of development.


Day to day ways to support your child’s self-regulation


• Rest and nutrition, sometimes when a child goes into a tantrum, he/she could be hungry or tired. Keep your child hydrated and well rested.


• Provide opportunities for free-play and outdoor play to let the energy out.


• Listen to calm music to help settle down.


• Read books about emotions such as It’s Okay to Be Different, and The Feelings Book by Todd Parr


• Blow bubbles, a good way to practice deep breathing.

SOCIAL SKILL STREAMING: Asking for Help

Identifying letters is the start to learning to read. Your children also love stories; listening to them, acting them out, and as they grow they will act out reading in play as they pretend to read stories to themselves or their peers.


In the classroom we start out with the letters of their first names and engage the children in many activities that focus on letter recognition. Activities like letter matching, writing letters, finding letters, rhyming activities, letter sound activities and writing words for the word walls, and so much more.

Modeling reading is One skill we are currently working with the children on is Asking for Help.


The steps for asking for help:


1. Try it – talk about the importance of trying on your own first. Sometimes people ask for help instead of trying something difficulty by themselves but doing something difficult on your own can give you a feeling of pride.


2. Say, “I need help.” Acknowledge that sometimes it’s frustrating when something is difficult to do but stress the importance of using nice talk.


Practice:

• Remind your child to use the skill when you see a time the skill can be helpful.

• Respond positively to your child’s skill use (allow the skill to be successful).

• Reward your child’s use of the skill (you may use a parent award and have your child return it to school).

• Ask your child to teach you, or brother or sister. The most important; the children watch as you read and start to learn that letters put together form words, and then those words are read to tell a story.


To help foster at home


• you can help your child hear words that rhyme like moose, goose, and caboose.

• Introduce new words like “bow,” and “stern,” the front and back of a boat.

• Help your child hear and say the first sound in words like “b” in boat and notice when different words start with the same sound (boat and book).

• Talk with your child about the letters of the alphabet and notice them in books.

• Point out signs and labels that have letters, like street signs and foods in the grocery store.

• Let your child pretend to read parts of a book when you’re together.

• Talk to your child about stories and make connections to things that happen I our own lives.

• Ask what, where, and how questions when reading with your child to help him/her follow along and understand stories.

• Help your child make their own alphabet book, even if the writing only looks like scribbles and marks.