Thursday, August 27, 2009

Aiden's Learning to Listen Workboard and Calendar

About a month ago, I saw this calendar from Ben's mom and this family workboard idea from Brigg's mom, and immediately knew I needed something similar. I wanted something that my family and I could look at as reminders of what we needed to do to help Aiden achieve his current goals. I wanted to create a sense of responsibility (I am a HUGE list maker type of person) not only for myself, but for the entire family. We had strayed from reading Aiden his 10 books a day plus I felt a big burden on my shoulders (especially since I stay home with him and am his main "therapist"), to get it all done by myself.

This is the family workboard I created and have hanging in the kitchen. I'm lacking in the creative department ... nothing too pretty, but quick, easy, and cheap.

Sorry it's sort of hard to see (not sure what's going on with my camera lately) but here's what it entails:
  • Poster board and four foam backgrounds with self adhesive backs, foam shapes used as note holders, velcro strips, paperclips, markers, and cardstock.
  • The top left is a reminder to practice the Lings. I glued on twelve velcro strips to the foam ... six on top and six on bottom and then a velcro strip onto six pieces of cut out cardstock with a Ling written on each. If they're moved to the bottom, we know that Aiden responded to all six that day. If not, we know which Ling to recheck throughout the day. Once I get my printer working I'll print out a picture representing the Ling and then laminate to help it last longer.
  • The top right is a copy of the WASP sounds (learning to listen sounds) with the appropriate object representing the sound. I have about four pages of sounds we're working on, so I just rotate between the pages each few days.

  • The bottom left contains our theme for the week. I glued five foam stars onto the foam background, then I use cardstock (or index cards) to write the theme we're working on, some key vocabulary words to use, activity ideas, a song we may be working on, and the key phrase(s) we're working on. I use a paperclip to clip them onto the stars so I can change them out easily each week. Again, once I get my printer fixed I'd like to put laminated pictures up with the key phrase or vocabulary words it pertains to. This way, I can reuse the cards for other themes or when we revisit a particular theme.

  • The bottom right provides everyone with a reminder to READ, READ, READ to Aiden! In the beginning, we all shared in this. Aiden's daddy and I read 3 books each to him and his brother and sister read 2. But we've all slipped and need to get back to 10 a day. I have a basket that contains books related to whatever theme we're working on, which everyone is to read at least one of these books and then can choose any of the others.

Each time we start a new theme, I sit down with the family and review the activities and vocabulary we're working on. This way we all feel a part of Aiden's progress. His brother and sister play such a HUGE role in Aiden's journey and they don't even realize it. Aiden absolutely LOVES them and is very receptive to any play time he gets with them.

The other thing I did to help keep myself planned and organized is start a weekly calendar for all to see. I loved this calendar Nolan's mom created, but knew I had no art skills and wasn't about to try and cut out all kinds of shapes (seriously ... you should see the sheep on this week's calendar - very scary indeed). I also loved Ben's mom's calendar, but I needed something smaller showing just a week at a time. So when I found a dry erase weekly calendar board at Target, I knew it was for us. In fact I love it so much, I went back and bought another one to keep track of Aiden's siblings activities. I plan out our week on Sunday night and talk with Aiden each morning about our main activity for the day. I also took pictures of his therapists to hang in photo magnets, which I place on the day we see them.

Aiden loves our family workboard so much that I'm going to take Leah's calendar idea and make it into a felt activity board. This is another fun interactive way to practice his learning to listen sounds (using printed pictures glued onto felt), sing songs, or tell a story! Oh, and I just saw this calendar idea from Tayten's mom, which is another great idea as Aiden gets a little older. What's great, is that with all these different ideas, I know I can easily change up what I'm doing as Aiden gets older.

Do you have a calendar/activity board you use? If so, I'd love to hear about it!


leah said...

I love it!!

I think I'm going to move to a 1-week dry erase calendar like you have, although my boys are leaving the felt board one intact most of the time now, lol! I did print out some Hungry Caterpillar icons, so we'll be changing our felt board over to a story time board very soon.

Renae said...

Love it! Now you'll feel even more organized! It's just helpful to have those constant reminders.

Bright Family said...

Looks great, Tammy! I really like the weekly dry erase board. Very cool! If I were to use it, I would definitely be printing small pictures onto magnetic sheets and cutting them out. I am just not artistic at all!!

I love that your other kiddos are so involved. It makes me wish that Tayten's cousins lived in the same town. They are so great with him!

Lucas'Mommy said...

Awesome Tammy! You should feel very accomplished! I'm working on a mix of all of those ideas soon, so I'll have to post about it too!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Great ideas!

I love how involved the other kids are :0)