Archive for January, 2009

Almost Friday … PEWE, EBAY & Surprises

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Well it is almost Friday …. And I certainly am ready for it.  It has been a busy week.  I have been working on the new project, selling sample PEWE items on Ebay and finding out that you never know what surprises wait for you around every corner of life.

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Never mind the surprises – but a few words on the PEWE set.  I am really excited about it and found it to be a successful tool in a very structured environment.  Unfortunately in our home it is not quite as easy to utilize.  I have a very busy household as many of you know …. So it has been with great pleasure to work with my son on using ‘his words’, sign language and some PECS style communication work.  I do use a wide variety of techniques.  The added benefit of using sign language has been the exposure of a second language to my other children that normally would have no interest in learning it (except for my daughter – she is quite good with sign and studies Spanish too).

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My preferred form of teaching reading is via a phonetics style but my overall goal is for my youngest child to experience the joy of reading – on his own that is – I did not set a time limit – I would be thrilled if it happened when he was twenty-six … and he is only nine – I am patient.  I did create a mini series of titles using my PEWE word cards and he does seem to enjoy the independence of being able to read.  I want to add several more titles to this series and when it does occur I will add the set onto Peanut Butter Crunch.  You will be the first to know about it.

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As for the Phonetics ‘style’ …. It is the Funtastic Phonetics program that I am speaking of …. In the next 2 months the weekly sets will begin appearing on PBC.  The series is essentially complete … I need to compile the data for the last few weeks … but it will not take long when I begin working on it.  I will write more on the curriculum as the posting time draws near.

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Okay … this has been a very brief posting and not a lot of technical jargon but I wanted to keep you up to date about PBC and make sure you know that you are important too!

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Have a Great Evening 

Busy, Busy, Busy …. listed on Ebay …. Samples of the PEWE items

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Just a quick update …. I posted the sample PEWE pieces on Ebay this morning.  Click here if you are interested. Even if you are not interested – I added a special code only available on the PEWE / PECS style auctions for Peanut Butter Crunch. In the next day or two I will be adding the tangible versions of some of the boards and the PEWE books. Then I will be starting on the new project ….. you will be the first to hear about it – so sign up and be part of our family here at Legend of Learning.

PEWE Collage picture

Monday, January 19th, 2009

I hope this picture will provide some idea of the many PECS style pieces available within Peanut Butter Crunch.

PEWE Collage

Communication Boards, Books and PEWE (Pecs – Style) Words

Monday, January 19th, 2009

It is late but I have finally added approximately 2200 (maybe more) PEWE / PECS style words onto the membership site (Peanut Butter Crunch ).  I loaded the new books onto the site as well.  Oh …. and I added communication boards …. there are ones for using with toilet training (potty time), meal planning, daily schedule, time for …..  , a responsibility / chore board and a check it off board.  There is soooo much more that I would like to add … and maybe later it will happen.  I need to finish the new project  I started (and am really excited about).  I will leave the details for it until another time.

If you have read any of my other entries – you will already know the details about the 911 Emergency book and the ‘I’ book …. I wanted to add a few tidbits about the boards now.

 The potty training board is appropriate for both genders – the figure is exactly that … a figure.  I will be adding some photos of the boards in the next few days onto www.resource4preschool.com .  The meal set includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack boards.  What sets these boards apart from all of the other boards out there is the fact that they include the food groups being sorted on the boards.  The ‘time for’ board can be included in any environment where the student is being taught time awareness – perfect for use with not only the special needs student – but in the classroom with the first grade and up leveled child.  The chore / responsibility board will certainly keep everyone on track in any household or classroom.  As would the check it off board – simply place any tasks expected to be completed onto the board … and no miscommunication is possible with these visual aids.

Before I finish tonight – I wanted to let you know that the boards and books can incorporate  nearly every aspect of a daily routine because of the vast assortment of PEWE pieces.  The sets are loosely grouped …. some overlap onto other sheets while some are mixed items.  But …. you will find most topics have been covered – Example of  the items covered …. Anatomy, Aquatic animals, the bath room, the bedroom, chores, colors, shapes, numbers, dairy, emotions, farming / gardening, fruit, vegetables, grains, animals (domestic and wild), birds, crafting, electronics, fun play items (toys too), bugs, people (a huge array of professions included), signs, restaurants, verbs (action and transition words), transportation, personal care / beauty, treats, beverages, money (currency) and furniture.  The books include PECS style pieces as well.  Over 2000 pieces to pick and choose from …..   

 …. Have a Great Evening …… Any questions – please ask …..

The ‘I’ Book – A Communication Board Book Packed with Alot of Extras

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Since my last post I have been busy creating the ‘I’ book.  Inspiration came as I completed the ‘Emergency 911’ book and realized that their was another level of communication needed – especially in an emergency situation –  So was born the ‘I’ book.  The book takes the abilities of the student to a higher level.  The student will become familiar with more than their name and emergency situations – but learn to communicate feelings and in sentence format.  The ‘I’ book will be a tool that can be used in any situation if the PEWE pieces are available.  (I have been working on that too – I am so close to having approximately 2000 pieces added to PBC around the 20th of this month – January).

Below is a brief description of the ‘I’ book.  I will be adding a few tangible copies to Ebay in the next few days to promote PBC.  Remember that as a member of Peanut Butter Crunch – you have access to everything in PDF printable formatting.  As usual – if you have any questions – just ask. 

################The ‘I’ Book################

The ‘I’ book is a handy and easy to use communication book designed for the non-verbal individual as well as the early reader.

Ample storage space for the PEWE (PECS style) pieces that coordinate with this book is an added bonus. 

  

Using the ‘I’ book will help your student recognize their name, birth date, address, phone number and age.  All of this is on page 1 with the opposite page left empty for adding the unused PEWE pieces or pieces used for another student.

  

Flip the page and you will find the ‘I feel’ page.  A student will now be able to communicate that they are sick, happy, hungry or one of the many other expressions that can create frustration when not able to communicate with others. 

  

Another flip of a page will take you to the ‘I love’ communication page.  Does your student love everything?  Now they will be able to express it.  Use the accompanying pieces or add your own descriptive PEWE (PECS style) pieces.  Six spots have been allocated for this page so that the student will be able to communicate their equal love for their family as well as their toys.

  

Next is the ‘Need / Want’ page.  This page not only allows for communication of these desires but also will help teach the difference in a need and a want.  This is a very useful tool for any early childhood level student / educator.

  

‘I Can Tell You …’ page shows a basic human form.  On this form a student can identify body parts or indicate where they ‘got a booboo’.  If this page provides too basic of an approach to the ‘I hurt’ communication, then flip the page.  The ‘I hurt’ page will allow the student to use the PEWE pieces to specifically identify the ‘ooowie’ or ‘booboo’.  Included on this page is a simple ‘I am’ sentence starter.  This tool allows for the presentation of not only basic communication skills but also the introduction of sentence formation. 

  

Growing on this level of education (forming sentences) is the next page – The I Page.  A small child with the I on his t-shirt begins an 8 PEWE space page.  Assist your student with the creating of many sentences that begin with I.  Many of the transition words have been added and are available on the membership site Peanut Butter Crunch located at www.resource4preschool.com. 

  

Finally, a schedule page has been provided.  Use this page to help your student / child transition from subject to subject or activity-to-activity.  Nine spaces have been provided, yet options exist on this page.  With a squiggly line between sets of three spots, this could be used as the ‘morning’, ‘afternoon’ and ‘evening’ schedule.  It could also be used as a classroom schedule / planner for the student.  Many options exist for the use of this page.

  

Although many communication boards have been packed into this handy compact book, it is still large enough to present numerous 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch pieces.  Storage of the extra-unused pieces is as simple as adding hook and loop tape onto the blank pages, which have been provided throughout the ‘I’ book.  Cover to cover, the sturdy, laminated book provides 20 front to back pages.  This allows for the storage of up to 150 extra PEWE pieces that are not in use within the pages of the ‘I’ book.

  

The ‘I’ book will soon become your student(s) favorite book.  With the use of the ‘I’ book communication / reading just became a lot easier for the child and the teacher.

  Use this book as you would any PECS style communication system.  Grow the students word base as the student grows on a communication level / reading level.  Partner the ‘I’ book with the ‘Emergency 911’ book for coordinated communication in an emergency situation.  This makes an excellent tool for not only the teacher / educator but the parent and childcare provider.  As usual, both books are available in PDF printable format for the members of Peanut Butter Crunch – digital resources for the early childhood educator and their students. 

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Check out the Ebay auctions in the next few days …. At the moment I do not have anything added because of focus on creating – But check around January 20th.  My Ebay ID is narcissasummer .  Look me up to see what is available in tangible form – these are sample items – everything is available for the members in PBC (not for resale though – only for private use with your student or classroom).

Emergency 911 …. A Tool for working with Safety …. in the PEWE (PECS) format

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I have been busy working on new PEWE (PECS style) items for Peanut Butter Crunch (www.resource4preschool.com) and based the Emergency 911 book on the needs that students with autism, PDD, Down Syndrome, etc….. or any typical young child could find useful in life.  The book does not limit but opens the door for the educator to cover many safety topics.  Below you will find a synopsis of  Emergency 911.  The actual book is being listed (briefly) on Ebay (my user name is narcissasummer – use this to locate items that I may be using to promote PBC).  As usual this book is located in Peanut Butter Crunch (in PDF printable form) for all members to use with their personal students.

 

 

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The PEWE book Emergency 911 was designed for the special needs individual but can be used with the typical student too. 

 Using this educational tool will introduce the student to the 911 emergency phone number.  Teach the student where the numbers are on the phone pad as well as instruct them on what emergency would qualify for the use of this number.   

For a person with poor verbal abilities it can be frustrating… add into the situation an emergency and it can be detrimental.  Using the Emergency 911 book not only as a tool – but also as a form of communication will help eliminate some of the frustrations … for the student as well as the emergency personnel.  Example – in today’s world a person can dial 911 and with the help of technology it can be determined, in most cases, the actual location of the phone call without the caller identifying the place.  Once the emergency crew arrives to evaluate the situation – it can be of significant assistance if the non-verbal person can identify themselves to the emergency personnel.  Enabling the non-verbal individual is equivalent to empowering them.  The person would be able to turn to the page with their name to indicate important information.  (Using the I board will give even greater detail)  This information book could also be utilized if the individual were ever to become lost as well. 

Many special needs students find emergency vehicles exciting and possibly scary with the lights and sounds.  Of course, consideration must be given to ‘how many emergencies does an individual really experience in a lifetime?”  The answer is hopefully never or not too many – but if you empower the student with the knowledge that the fire fighter, medic, doctor, officer, etc….. are our friends and there to help – it makes any emergency easier to cope with.  Use pages 3 and 4 to familiarize the student with these concepts and a bonus educational benefit occurs – fun matching work too. 

It does not matter if working with a toddler, young child or a special needs adult, a care giver worries about the ‘no touching’ – dangerous items in an environment.  Using pages 5 and 6 can invite topic discussions about what items are safe to touch and items that are unsafe to touch.  Use this as a springboard into larger discussions of safety and the ability to tell a trusted adult if something is unsafe in the environment. 

Every place should have a First Aid kit readily available.  Page 7 will familiarize the student with possible contents of the kit.  Discuss if it is safe for the student to use the kit, what should be inside of the kit, the location of the kit and what the items are used for …. These are only a few of the items that can be topic of a discussion – but choose based on appropriateness of the class or student when working with this page. 

Page 8 is simple matching.  It can also lead to detailed lessons.  Examples would be – A doctor also uses a reflex hammer or fixes broken bones or treats rashes; Using the cast to crutches match – discuss what else can be put into a cast or can a person use crutches if nothing has been broken; and last use the fire to extinguisher for a lesson on safety or where should the extinguisher be located.  The lessons for this page are only limited by your imagination. 

Pages 9 and 10 can easily be expanded to suit the students’ needs.  Many items have been included for this page but are not an inclusive listing for every tool or item that an emergency may present. 

  

The Emergency 911 book is a tool to enable, empower and educate the special needs individual as well as the early childhood education level student.  

     Any questions – just ask ……. Have a Great Day!

Arts and Crafts for Your Preschooler

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Aside from free time, arts and crafts play is the most exciting time for the preschool student.  The creative bug takes over and the imagination climbs to new heights!  As an educator for these young students we must find new ways (or maybe old ones rejuvenated) to incorporate targeted goals while having fun.  Some of the most incredible times evolve from the simplest activities created using home made mixtures. 

Bubbles and more bubbles, whether blown through a straw or wire hoop, happen to be one of the most appealing summer time thrills in the preschool setting.  A very easy but beautiful work of art comes from placing a narrow cup in the middle of a large piece of craft paper.  Fill the cup with safe, colorful bubble making ingredients and give the budding artist a straw.  Have the student blow an overflowing amount of bubbles up and over the top edge of the cup.  Watch out for the giggling that this activity could bring about or more than just bubbles will be on the craft paper.  Variations to this activity include using several different colors of bubbles – allow the paper to dry between blowing sessions.  Once the art has dried, decorate the walls with cut outs that reinforce your lesson plans. 

Pudding paint is also a popular ‘condiment’ in the preschool or home school class.  Using vanilla flavored pudding, add a couple of drops of food coloring to tint for a rainbow palette that will excite even the ficklest of artists.  Again using craft paper, cut out shapes that will supplement your chosen lesson theme.  Paint the shapes and decorate with sugar ‘glitter’.  This has always brought about rave reviews.

Preschoolers love to create clay style bowls to give as gifts.  These items are among the most economical pieces a student can create that are three dimensional.  Once you have chosen a favorite clay recipe and tinted it (unless the artist will paint the bowl when dried), assign a shape for the base.  Example:  If working on the square, have the student create a square base to build up the sides upon.  The variations to this activity can include sensory items.  Add small rough items to the clay prior to the building of the bowl or add peppermint oil to the clay for a sensory excitement explosion.  This is an arty item that no one will every become tired of creating because of the endless variations.

Although these are truly fun and exciting activities, the possibilities are endless.  Using the many home spun concoctions we can instill a love of creating while reinforcing the educational / developmental goals of the preschool aged student.  Never forget that FUN is always a wonderful foundation to build upon! 

Preschool Story Time Reading Activities

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

It does not matter if you are a home school educator or a preschool teacher, story time is an important part of any preschool student’s educational experience. Story time can be as simple as reviewing popular nursery rhymes or as extensive as a story soap opera. Depending on the preschool student’s leveled abilities and/or interests, story time can include the ever popular Humpty Dumpty or the divisional break down of popular books such as The Three Little Pigs. The reading item should be chosen based on attention span and actual interest of the preschool student.Preschool leveled students have limited attention spans and the love of reading can be encouraged via fun activities. Include attention grabbing props such as a story time hat, a special story time pillow or chair, a story time flag, special made story mats, a special story time march around the room, a song or even a drum chant. Some of the items can be made by the preschool student. The pillow could be decorated with hand prints using fabric paint. The flag could be made of card stock and pictures collected from old magazines or discarded books. The preschool class could even make up their own song and dance for use during transition to story time. Involving the preschool students encourages their love of reading.

Preschool leveled students will also respond to special activities related to the story. Examples include:
          A story show and tell; Announce the story of the week and ask the students to participate by bringing in an item that relates to a part of the story.

           Incorporating Sign Language; Teach the students special signs that relate to the story line.

           A story treasure chest; Fill a small box with surprise items related to the story.
Prior to removing an item from the chest to share with the preschool students, provide a brief verbal description of the item, then have the class guess what the item could be.
The variations are extensive and are only limited by the vision of the instructor.

Story time excitement can be created in the preschool classroom with a student made book. At the beginning of the preschool year the student could create an ‘About Me’ styled book. Include pages about their favorite foods, family pets, favorite color, a hand drawn family portrait or even a self-portrait. Add the books to the preschool class library to encourage not only the love of reading but individual familiarity. A book extension activity will also encourage the understanding of the book being read. Many extension activities include the creation of a ‘mimic’ styled handmade book produced by the student. It may also include activities / worksheets based on the book being introduced but are inclusive of the basic concepts introduced in a preschool classroom. Again, the limits are only set by the vision of the instructor.

Story time, with its many facets, is an important part of any preschool curriculum. Encouraging the love of reading will not only span the ages but extend the imagination of the preschool student.