Late Fall/Early Winter 2015 Newsletter

Spring Newsletter 2016  

Spring Newsletter 2016


Happy Spring!  Happy Earth Day!  


April is Occupational Therapy Month!  


“I Love Being An Occupational Therapist”


8 EASY Ways to Boost Fine Motor Skills


During the month of April, I attended the “Brain Building: The Road to Kindergarten Night” hosted at East Street Elementary School.  I had two activities at the table to demonstrate easy and FUN ways to boost fine motor skills.  I would like to share those examples and add a few more!  All of these activities can be done with items you already have at home OR you can purchase materials at a Dollar Store.  

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  1. Puff balls and Clothespins  - Lay a variety of puff balls or cotton swabs out on the table or floor and pick up with clothes pins!  You can pick them up and put them in bowls, boxes, or storage containers


  1. Playdough and Garlic Press - Squeeze play dough through a garlic press!  All kids LOVE this activity


  1. Hiding objects in playdough - Hide just about anything in playdough and have your child(ren) dig in and pull them out! (marbles, paper clips, beads!)  Take turns hiding the objects


  1. Old magazines or Paper - Tear paper into various shapes and sizes (cicles, rectangles, hearts, stars) and make into a collage


  1. Celebrate Earth Day and Spring - Count, sort and plant a variety of seeds


  1. Cut plastic straws into different lengths and string them together!  Make different patterns!


  1. Old Shoebox and Coins - Caregiver(s) can cut slits into the top of shoebox.  Child(ren) can sort, count and place coins through the slots and into the shoebox


  1. Paper Clip Chain - Who can make the longest Paper Clip Chain?  If you have colored paper clips - make a pattern!  


I Love Being An Occupational Therapist and having the opportunity to work with you and your child(ren)!  As always please feel free to reach out to myself or Mrs. Nacsin with any questions or concerns you may have.  

Late Fall/Early Winter Newsletter 2015  

Late Fall/Early Winter 2015:

From the Desk of Mrs. Jennifer Shores, OT

First I would like to extend my wishes to all of my students and their families for a wonderful holiday season ahead!  It is truly a joy for me to work with all of you, and each week your children bring a smile and laugh in our therapy sessions together!  As many of you know, my family and I are preparing for baby number two!  My maternity leave will begin soon in early to mid December.  I will be returning back to work in early March.         

You can look back on the website at my custom page from last winter to find letter formation charts that are still accessible.  There you will find the start and sequence pattern for Capital letters, Lowercase letter and Numbers that we are working to reinforce with your children during their therapy sessions.  


In this addition I wanted to include some common accommodations that are found on your child’s Individualized Education Plans or 504 Plans.  These accommodations can be included into your routine at home when doing homework.  These simple accommodations can greatly improve the overall neatness and legibility of written output.  

Top 6 Accommodations Used in OT Sessions and In the Classroom Setting:  

1.      Midline Paper - Mrs. Nacsin and I use this paper with almost all students on our caseload Grades 1-3.  If you don’t have some of this paper at home we are more than willing to send home a journal of this paper.  




2.      Placement of Letters on Baseline - Frequently in pull out therapy sessions and in the classroom setting we highlight the baseline of the midline paper or single lined paper with a yellow highlight to prompt the students to place their letters on the baseline.

3.      Popsicle Stick or Craft Stick to Measure Space Between Words - Many 2nd and 3rd grade students are working on their sentence skills.  Students who do not place enough space between words written are provided with a colored Popsicle Stick to measure the space between their words.  They hold the stick in their non-dominant hand pull it along as they write sentences from left to write on paper.  


4.      Pencil or Pencil Grip Variations - Many 2nd and 3rd grade students with be provided with mechanical pencils as they given information to the student if they are placing too much pressure by pushing too hard on the tip.  In addition, students often will write with pencils that are dull and not as sharp as they should be - and written output is therefore not as neat. We have found that mechanical pencils provide students with with a consistent sharp point when writing.  With many first grade students we may introduce a wider based triangular pencil in order to promote a tripod (three finger grasp).  If you are unsure what we are using with your child, please feel free to reach out to us and we will provide suggestions for home!  Below you will find a picture of a grip we frequently use with students - they are called Stetro Pencil Grips.  

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5.      Fatigue - Some of our students are working very hard to place their best effort in their handwriting and may tire.  Typically we don’t have students writing for longer than 10-15 minutes at a time.  Sometimes even shorter.  Fatigue may cause handwriting to become less neat.  Set a timer when doing homework for an appropriate amount of time and then take a break.  Gradually increase the time until your child can write for up to 20 minutes without fatigue.


6.      Slant board - Last but not least, some students benefit from writing at an angle.  You can use a 2-3 inch, 3 ring binder to help promote manipulation of pencil from the fingers rather than at the wrist.  


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As always please feel free to reach out to myself or Mrs. Nacsin with any questions or concerns.  Thank you!  


Occupational Therapy Fall 2015 Newsletter   

Fall 2015:

From the Desk of Mrs. Jennifer Shores, OT

 Welcome Back to Students and Parents!

I hope you have enjoyed the summer months with your children.  It’s been an exciting summer for my family and I; we vacationed in Ogunquit, Maine, had adventures with our daughter who turned 5, and decorated the nursery for the arrival of our second child due in December.

As we start the school year I wanted to let you know that you will be receiving a Parent Survey by the end of September with information that you can share with me in regards to your child and your goals for your child for this school year.  Please complete at your earliest convenience and send back to me via your child’s classroom teacher.  You will also receive your child’s occupational therapy schedule for the week so you know when he or she will be receiving our services.  The best way to reach me is via email as I travel between buildings during the week.  Don’t forget to stop in and visit at Open House at Chapin Street Elementary School on September 16th, and East Street Elementary School on September 24th both events are from 6:30-8:00pm.

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The beginning of each school year for me is a time to start fresh with new therapy activities, and a time to put routines back into place.  I thought I would share with you a few things to consider as you start a new school year.  September 16th is the American Occupational Therapy Association’s National School Backpack Awareness Day!  This day is meant to help others live life to the fullest by avoiding pain and injury that can come from heavy backpacks and bags.  Please look through the attached documents aimed at educating parents and students on backpack strategies and the 1, 2, 3’s of basic backpack wearing: 

Backpack Strategies for Parents & Students

1, 2, 3's of Backpack Wearing


Lastly in an effort to start the new school year with study habits to promote success, independence and decrease stress related to homework please read through the attached document that shares Occupational Therapy Tips for Homework Success:

Occupational Therapy Tips for Homework Success


Cheers to a fantastic 2015-2016 school year!  As always please feel free to reach me with any questions or concerns.