Friday, October 1, 2010

Settling in to school

Now that Natalie's been in school almost a month, I thought it was a good time to go observe and see how she's settling in to her new preschool class.  Because of her birthdate, Natalie will have 2.5 years of preschool before going on to kindergarten.  For the past 1.5 years, she was in the same preschool class, right next door to her current class.  Now she is in a blended preschool class, which means 12 kids have an IEP and 12 kids don't.  But in actual fact, there are 12 kids without an IEP, but only 5 kids with an IEP...since participation in the class is mainly at parent request, it's not full yet, probably because parents of kids with IEPs aren't aware of the opportunity for their children.  The school is working to assess kids in other special day classes to transfer to the class that Natalie is in, but in the meantime, it means more resources for Natalie, so we're not complaining!

To sum up, Natalie is doing well.  Mrs. Melanie said she wants to keep Natalie in the class (she had accepted Natalie on a trial basis because she was concerned with Natalie's physical delays and getting bumped by the other kids).  She said Natalie is doing well academically and socially.  She said, "Natalie is smart.  She knows all her letters and all their sounds."  When I asked what she needed to work on (because I could hear it in her voice) Melanie said it's her behavior...sitting still, staying in lines, not wandering off during class.

It was good for me to be there today because it's a reminder of how much Natalie can do when I don't "just do it for her" because it's easier and quicker.  I saw the teachers and assistants giving Natalie direction and waiting for her to do it, and she does it!  I need to work on treating Natalie like a four-almost-five-year old in my expectations, instead of like a two-or-three-year-old.

Here Natalie and a classmate have returned to the class after checking on what the weather is like outside and describing it to the class (partly cloudy).

Playground time had just started and then it started raining.  There were a few drops and the teachers started scurrying around to get the kids inside.  I thought "what a bunch of wussies!  I let my kids play outside when it's only sprinkling like this!"  I did restrain myself, and good thing, since it started pouring after just a minute.  There was actually thunder and lightning today, which almost never happens in Southern California.

Since it was wet outside, playground time was inside with a big parachute.

Today there was a bus drill, so all the kids went out to learn what to do if there is an emergency in a bus. Notice all the kids walking with their hands behind their backs.  Melanie said the new principal has requested this for all grades.  I'm not sure what I think about this, since my child has a history of falling on her nose, but I'll reserve judgment for the moment.

After learning how to operate a fire extinguisher, pull the emergency air brake, the location of all the emergency door and window exits (I am not kidding), they all got to go out the back emergency door.

And there was more before I had to go home to feed Dominik, but most of the rest of my observation involved Natalie trying to use the potty, and of course there aren't any pictures of that.  (And I don't normally dress Natalie with such mis-matched tops and bottoms, but since she's going through several bottoms a day, I'm not worrying so much about color coordinating her at the moment).  She did not have a success on the potty today and actually cried a lot in the bathroom (Melanie said she doesn't normally do this).  I'm sure it was because I was there, on top of the newness of the class and the new skill she's working on learning. 

I don't think she's as comfortable as she was last year, since everyone is new to her this year: teacher, classroom, SLP, OT, but I know she will enjoy it more as the year progresses and she gets to know everyone.  I still haven't talked to the new SLP...another thing on the list to do!

But it was great to see Natalie doing well and happy.

1 comment:

Kerri H said...

A great reminder for me too Cindy...I tend to do more for Logan than I need too...Mostly because it's just faster..Logan can be pokey and gets sidetracked easy..I need to let him do more at home's hard when you have been in that mind frame of helping them all the time!!!