Berry Patch Teacher Observations for BEN!

17 Jan

Somehow, Ben’s nickname went from a prenatal “Zap” to the current “Ben-Ben”.  I have no idea why everyone calls him this. I have no idea why WE call him this.  I kind of miss Zap.  I still throw it in there every once in a while but it never sticks.  Sigh.

I had the parent-teacher conference for Ben the other day. As usual, my children are brilliant, socially adept, and handsome. I’m sure they will never misbehave (cough, cough) and will always obey their mama (COUGH, COUGH).  Here’s what the BP has to say about ZAP:

Play Preferences:

Cars and food toys top Ben’s list of play preferences though he is slowly becoming intrigued with constructibles (legos, trios, etc). If markers are available, Ben can be found wandering around looking for furniture to graffiti (TELL ME ABOUT IT). He is fairly young for his ability to uncap and use markers and then switch to a new color! He is just beginning to discover sensory trays (you may have noticed a few changes of wet pants being sent home!) and it’s no secret that water trays are right up his alley. That boy loves water!

Peer relationships with children:

Ben seems to have a genuine affinity for Sadie and will often say her name when he sees her and hand her a baby doll! The big kids and their wacky pursuits are always fun for him to watch and (try to) tag along with as well. (Sadie is only a few months younger than Ben)

Relationship with teachers:

Flirting is one of Ben’s favorite activities! So far he’s got Neale’s name down and will sometimes say “Ninny” for Nicolie (following in his big brother’s footsteps), “Veronica” is a tricky one!  (Eli used to call her Boditah)

Language Skills

Every time we seen Ben he’s picked up a few more words. “Help”, “more”, “me”, “mommy”, “daddy” and names of his peers are most common. Currently he is working on sounding out and repeating words he hears others say.

Emotional expression:

Generally Ben is a pretty happy go lucky guy though sometimes he will react to feeling frustrated by crying. He is fairly easily consoled with a hug or a quick snuggle with sock cat and transitions emotions quite easily.

Fine motor abilities:

Ben’s affinity for markers has helped him in this arena. He is great at capping and uncapping pens, pulling bins out, and picking up smaller items.

Gross motor abilities:

More recently Ben went on an alleyway walk without the stroller! This, of course, made for a fairly slow place, but he did it nonetheless. For being fairly new at walking he is sure footed and doesn’t fall down to often. In addition, he is a pro at moving up and down the stairs. Early on this seemed to be a goal for him and he would often practice crawling up and down them with a teacher near by.

Conceptual grasp:

While still fairly young to grasp provided concepts, Ben does pair animals with their respective noises and has a fairly solid grasp on our schedule. If we’re soon to head outside he can be found digging through the shoe bin to find his shoes or retrieving his coat from his cubby.

Learning trends and other notes:

It’s been a blast to have another Smith boy around and Ben is such a joy. He’s very bright, silly, and sweet. It will be fun to watch him as he gets older and becomes more purposeful in his actions. For now, he’s having a great time observing the older kiddos and trying out new choices and activities.

That’s the end of the yearly summary.

Ben’s language is really exploding. He’s getting better at communicating some complicated thoughts through signing and using what near-words he does have although at this point, I’m really the only one who gets it.

Example: Ben is one of those who gets hangry. When he gets hungry, it often seems like he doesn’t have a lot of warning but he wants food NOW NOW NOW.  He will make this naggy half-scream until he is fed. I will often give him a little piece of a bagel and he will walk around munching on that so I have some time to prepare food for him.  Bagel sounds like “Bay-el”. The other day, he was in his high chair eating and Andy was hanging out with him. Ben pointed at the bagels on the counter, said “bay-el!” and then gave the sign for all done. Andy asked me what he wanted since he was saying he was all done but then also seemed to be asking for a bagel. I said that Ben was all done eating his dinner but he wanted down from his high chair and wanted a bagel to snack on while he walked around. Andy turned and said, “You want down and you want a bagel to munch on once you’re down?” and Ben gave a big ol’ nod of his head. It was pretty cute.

I’m on a swing shift tonight (3-11:30) so I have to go get ready for work. The last three shifts have been nonstop busy (lots of suicidal folks, drunk folks, and a few people who basically came to the ED for comfort care before they passed, those are always so sad). I hope tonight is a little more mellow but since it’s a Friday I’m not going to hold my breath. I have my LAST on ramp class tomorrow morning at 8 so after working until midnight tonight, I’m sure that will be a challenge but it’ll be fun!


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