Teacher Observations

28 Jan

Here’s the handout I got from last week:

Play Preferences:
Eli is busy. He switches play up frequently. He takes advantage of his environment, whether inside or out, familiar or unfamiliar. Recent favorites include the dollhouse with people, “my town”, doctor dress up, and whichever dramatic play games B’s made up. Staples: cars, play-doh, free art.

Peer relationships:
Eli is excited about S (he’s here more often so that relationship is developing). They love cars and trains. He has a caustic relationship with R; they both have assertive personalities and have yet to learn negotiation. He generally is a guy that likes to be seen and heard.

Relationship with teachers:
Eli is trying to flex his muscle with Nic and Veronica. He is resistant and says “No!” Overall, we’ve known him for a year now and understand his tendencies. He tends to “work” Veronica more than Nic! Over the next year a more pliable relationship should develop.

Language skills-
Eli has had a lot of development in this area. He’s able to add detail and description as he narrates what others are doing. HE uses the past tense. He still tends to repeat what others say and interrupt. He can speak really fast and be hard to decipher. He asks questions and listens to the answers.

Emotional expression-
Eli likes to make faces in the mirror at himself for a long while. For every kid, this is an area that can always use work! He uses whining sometimes when he’s lost patience. He will seek comfort from teachers when upset. We’re practicing using words and patience.

Fine motor abilities:
Eli is making smallish letter-like shapes. There is a big emphasis on making circles in the 2nd year (then people). He takes advantage of all art opportunities. He could use practice zipping his coat and putting it on (he’s fine with most of his coats, it’s this orange winter coat we bought him, it’s very thick and he has a hard time getting it on)

Gross motor abilities:
Eli takes advantage of sliding, running, jumping, dancing, and yoga here. Any room from improvement will come from more opportunities from Nic and Veronica. (They said they always make sure to get out twice a day but wanted to incorporate some more physical stuff for E since he’s a bundle of energy and does better when he gets worn out a bit)

Conceptual grasp:
Eli is familiar with the schedule but transitions aren’t always smoot. He is able to problem solve with activities and puzzles (Veronica said he’s quite good with puzzles and works puzzles for four year olds with no problem which makes me think we need to get him some puzzles–we have ONE and it’s for a 18 mos old–whoops). He’s able to wait turns during games. When we provide a direction he’s usually able to follow. Next year, sequencing and relationships.

Learning trends and other notes:
Eli is a charismatic guy (well, duh!)! We really value him and his bubbly personality. He is young yet to be really engrossed in thematic learning but carries idea from early weeks. He is really aware of phonics and the alphabet for a two year old.

And that’s it. We talked about the vision thing and I pointed out that I finally saw him do it and it seemed more a matter of attention than vision and Veronica agreed with me. We talked about Andy’s ADD and they are quite familiar with it (ADD, not Andy’s in particular, ha!), obviously I don’t think that’s what’s going on here (he’s TWO) but early intervention is the best and so it’s something I want to keep an eye out for. She said that compared to his age group, his attention span in general seems fine. They did say several times that his alphabet, counting and phonics were really impressive for his age and that was nice to hear. The general resistance lately is just the usual Twos and he’s no more evil than your average toddler.

I’ve been reading a few things on handling the meltdowns that seem to be helping. The Happiest Toddler on the Block says when the kid melts down to talk to him like a little caveman, mirroring some of his emotion and using short phrases to say what the kid is feeling: “Eli is mad! Eli is mad, mad, mad! He wants to watch Caillou! He loves Caillou!” and do this until the kid calms down a bit and then you can usually redirect them. It seems to work fairly well if for no other reason Eli looks really confused when he’s mid-angry scream and I’m saying “Ohhh you LOVE SuperWhy! You love it! You’re so mad you can’t watch it! Eli is so sad because he loves it and it’s off!” It just mostly seems to take the wind out of his sails. He’s still sad or mad but the intensity GREATLY decreases and then you can usually tickle him or suggest something else and he’ll get distracted. Pretty neat stuff.

Why do all these people on Curious George get surprised when things go wrong? You let a monkey watch your candy shop, lady. What did you expect?!?

This morning we’re taking June and Kristen to the airport then I don’t know what’s in store for the rest of the weekend. I will probably get a run in at some point. My running buddy had her kid on Tuesday so yay! She’s been texting me from time to time about how it’s going and wow, I so feel for her. She has a lot of family in town and overall is doing great but there’s no way to make the first few weeks easy no matter how much help you have.

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One Response to “Teacher Observations”

  1. Lolli February 1, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    I’ve missed your camera, glad it’s fixed. He looks more & more like Andy every day. Good looking kid. Love

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