Me and My "Guys"

Friday, July 30, 2010

Our Behavior Plan

We are definitely a love and logic home.

We also have a behavior management plan that we use when we notice a behavior that needs work.

This is how it goes. Here are some examples.

1. Noticed Behavior: Andrew yells at mom and dad when he doesn't want to do something we ask him to do.

2. Target Behavior: Andrew will respond in a polite voice and use negotiation when we ask him to do something he doesn't want to do.

3. Steps: a. Praise Andrew every time he performs the desired behavior.
b. Time out and removal of toys (if they are part of the problem behavior) every time the problem behavior happens.
c. Every morning have a little lesson acting out and practicing the desired behavior.

This goes up on our kitchen wall where we see it all the time and can both be reminded of what Andrew is working on. Once the target behavior has been met, the paper comes down. It's not always to stop problem behavior. Sometimes I use it to help develop a skill I notice he needs work on.

It is very effective and he meets his goals almost every single time I use it within a matter of a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Once your toddler has a basic understanding of counting, they can move into number word recognition and number recognition, along with continuing to work on one to one correspondence. This is a fun activity they can do independently after being shown how.

If they don't yet recognize numbers and number words:
1. Write the number and the word.
2. Draw the appropriate amount of squares on the page.

If they do recognize numbers and number words:
1. Write the number and the word with no boxes to challenge them.

Snow in July...

The snow plow and dump truck have been BUSY in our home the last couple of days moving the snow so the cars have plenty of room to drive.

We made up a song to sing along with our snow in July theme:

Sung to London Bridges:
Snow is falling to the ground, to the ground, to the ground.
Snow if falling to the ground, white, cold and wet.

Snow is falling on our heads, on our heads, on our heads,
Snow is falling on our heads, white, cold and wet.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Text Connections

There are three connections we make when reading:
text to text
text to self
text to world

This is one example of Andrew connecting a book he has to the world around him:

The front loader tractor is plowing "snow" off the road so people have room to drive.

Styrofoam became snow. Dry pinto beans became rocks. Pennies became dirt.

When I see that Andrew is taking interest in a topic from a book he read, I do the following:
1. Check out other books from the library on the same topic.
2. Print out pictures found on the internet that relate to the topic and label them so they can develop recognition of those words.
3. Set up a play area like the one above so that he can engage in "pretend play".
4. If there is a place we can go that relates to the book, that is ideal.

Despain Cafe

This is a fun thing we do in our family. David is gone long hours often, so we make certain things celebrations so that it is a special time we spend with him. We also used to do this in the preschool I taught at to aid in language development.

1. Set up an a space where everyone will have enough space and be comfortable. We use a toddler size table on the patio.

2. Set it up with a tablecloth, flowers, dishes, anything you want. This is Andrew's favorite part (besides eating with dad!)

3. Make a menu with the items you will be serving.

4. At the appointed time, sit down to eat. Have one of the kids be a waiter/waitress. They will have a pad of paper that they take everybody's orders on. For kids who are younger and don't know how to write yet, you could make a list of the menu items. Draw a box next to each menu item so they can draw a dot or check mark on it so they remember what everyone wants. A picture next to the menu item helps them recognize what the menu items are. I am not elaborate on this. I draw a simple visual cue to help them remember what the item is.

5. With mom's help (or dad's) the child serves everyone their food.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Language Development

To help kids develop language, try these ideas:

1. Mystery Box: You can do this as often as you want, but once or twice a week is reasonable. This is adapted from Wings on Words preschool in Tucson, AZ. You can view their website. They are a fabulous preschool for any kid, but especially those who struggle with speech and language development.

This is how you do it:
a. Decorate a shoe-sized box.
b. The children take turns putting something of their choice into the box.
c. Write clues for what is inside the box. If they are too young to write, they tell you what to write. If they are old enough, they can do it themselves.
d. Sometime when your family is gathered all together, bring out the mystery box and let the child read his/her clues (with your help, if needed). We haven't done this in our family yet, but we are going to be setting it up for the evenings once a week just after our family scripture study time and before bed time stories.
e. The other children and family members take turns guessing what is in the box.
f. The next person takes the mystery box and brings it to the family gathering at the appointed time.

Mystery Folder:
This is another adaptation of the Mystery Box. It works the same way only you use a folder - any kind of folder.

1. Cut out a picture from a magazine and tape it on the inside of the folder.
2. Cut a small hole on the top cover of the folder so that everyone can see a small part of the picture.
3. Write three clues to help family members or class members guess what the picture is.