On the Horizon – 12/15/2009

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 89:  Learning to Think Part Three: Continuing Mindfulness Throughout the Day

On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

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In This Issue

Thoughts for the Holidays

A Note from Nicole: Starting the Season Right

Idea of the Week:  Help with the Laundry

Feature Article: Learning to Think Part Three: Continuing Mindfulness Throughout the Day

The Horizons Team Recommends: Schooling Minds®; Flex Your Brain

Upcoming Events: CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar; Holiday CAMPS

A Note From Nicole

Hi Everyone!

I have the pleasure of filling in for Nicole this week, while she is on a much deserved vacation with her family.  I’m sure they are making some great family memories.  I had the joy of meeting my extended family for our holiday dinner this weekend.  We started something new this year, meeting at a restaurant a few weeks before Christmas to celebrate together.  I think we are off to a great start creating a new tradition, and we made some nice memories.

In our feature article this week, Courtney continues her series on mindfulness throughout the day.  She provides some great ideas for varying activities within the classroom.  You can find even more great ideas like these on our new website, Schooling Minds created just for teachers.  If you haven’t already checked it out, now is the perfect time to explore, and get some great new ideas for the New Year.

Make it a fabulous week!

Looking to the horizon,

Erin

Idea of the Week
Doing the Laundry

Help with the Luandry

There are many steps to helping with laundry that your children can do.  It all starts with collecting the dirty laundry and bringing it to the laundry room to be sorted.  Most people sort their laundry into whites, colors and darks.  You can have a lot of fun when sorting the laundry.   Putting the laundry into the washing machine and dryer is another thing your children can help with – they may need some help with the soap, turning the knobs to the right cycle and making sure they don’t overload it – but putting the laundry in is just like shooting hoops!  When everything has been washed and dryed now it’s time to fold.  This takes some practice, but with some good modeling they are sure to get it.  Then we have to make sure that everything gets put back away into the drawers or hung up in the closet.  With the many different steps to laundry, just pick one to start with that your children can help you with!

Feature Article
Think!

Learning to Think Part Three: Continuing Mindfulness Throughout the Day

By: Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.

Winter is well underway here in Michigan, and the snow sure has been falling.  It is such a wonderful sight to see children, young and old, out and about enjoying the wonderful scenery.  My young son has become increasingly aware of the seasons, and it has been amazing for me to watch him make discoveries about the changes in his world.  During this time of change, I continue to think about the mindfulness that is so important for every child.  Watching my son think, learn, and process information related to the changing seasons has brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined.

In my last article, I discussed two strategies to increase students’ mindfulness throughout the school day.  It is so important for our students to be learning to think independently, and not just learning rote skills that they cannot apply.  Here are a few more strategies that I would like to share with you that will help increase the mindfulness of your students.

  • Play “I Spy” with your students. Students at any age love to play games.  The “I Spy” game can be adapted for any age of students.  This game consists of one person visually locating an item within a room, and then providing clues to his or her peers about the item.  You could spy a small plant growing on the teacher’s desk, for example, and then provide clues like “this is green” and “it continues to grow”.  The audience then guesses what the person is spying, and whoever guesses correctly gets to be the “spy” next.  This game provides students with opportunities to practice basic problem solving skills and information processing.
  • Rearrange the daily schedule. As teachers, we often get into a rut of doing the same thing at the same time each day.  Consistent schedules are often positive elements of an effective classroom; however, the same thing day in and day out can become monotonous, static, and even boring for the students and the teachers.  Providing simple variations to your classroom schedule can be an effective tool for increasing the flexibility and mindfulness of your students.  For example, if you consistently have a snack before doing math, try having the snack during or after your math lesson.  By providing a schedule that is fairly consistent yet flexible, you will be providing your students with opportunities to increase their abilities as well.

Continued…

The Horizons Team Recommends

Schooling Minds Membership Site

Within this one site you will find EVERYTHING you’re looking for related to:

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders—including Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disability, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Learning Disabilities, Developmental Delays, Mental Impairment, Speech and Language Delays, Feeding Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and many others
  • Child development
  • Educational strategies and treatment options
  • Balancing the needs of all your students

Schooling Minds™ is the go-to place for professionals like you!

For more information, click here

Flex Your Brain

Flex Your Brain
DVD Program

It’s Here–A Simple Way to Build Flexibility and Thinking Skills in Your Students!

Help your preschool and elementary students learn to: think creatively; flexibly adapt to change; notice similarities and differences; and compare and contrast perspectives

This fun and effective learning tool has two components:

The “It is a _____” component uses colorful inkblot paintings to promote creative and flexible thinking. Spend a few minutes looking at a different inkblot each day, and think about what it could be. This can be done as a great morning warm-up activity, in an individual therapy session, or as a discussion with the whole class.

The “Daily Differences” component provides teachers with simple ideas to incorporate variations into the day. Ideas include:

  • Change the location of items in the classroom
  • Sit in different shape configurations at “circle” time
  • Serve “chilly cookies” from the fridge instead of the cupboard for snack time
  • Take different routes as you travel throughout the building

Note to Parents: These make great gifts for the teachers and therapists in your child’s life!

For more information, click here


Upcoming Events

Please join us!

  • Holiday CAMP: This is a great opportunity to let the kids come and enjoy some time away while you finish up holiday shopping or preparations that are more easily done without them!
    Children ages 4-12 with neurodevelopmental disorders.
    Monday, December 20, 2009 from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM EST
  • Holiday CAMP: This is a great opportunity to let the kids come and enjoy some time away while you finish up holiday shopping or preparations that are more easily done without them!
    Children ages 4-12 with neurodevelopmental disorders.
    Monday, December 21, 2009 from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM EST
  • CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar: Q&A with Michelle and Courtney
    Topic: Siblings
    (Horizons Families Only)
    Monday, January 4, 2009 from 1:30-2:30 PM EST
  • CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar: Topic: Biomedical Information
    Dr. Wycoff as the guest speaker
    (Horizons Families Only)
    Thursday, January 21, 2009 from 11:00-12:00 PM EST
  • Workshop – Evaluating for Autism: The
    Nuts and Bolts of Quality School-Based Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Evaluations
  • Workshop – Autism in the Classroom: Simple &
    Effective Strategies to Learn Today and Use Tomorrow
    Friday, March 12, 2009
  • Workshop – Day of Change: A
    Groundbreaking Workshop for Parents of Children with Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders
    Saturday, March 13, 2009
  • Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition
    August 4-6, 2010

On the Horizon is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child¹s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

Our mailing address is:
Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
3120 68th Street SE
Caledonia, MI  49316

Our telephone:
(616) 698-0306

Our email address:
info@horizonsdrc.com

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