Many times we find ourselves questioning our life decisions or rushing time by counting the days until the weekend. By living in the past or the present it is easy to become wrapped up in a world of anxiety and doubt. As educators, parents, students, and people in general, we face many difficult decisions and challenges, but once in a while we have to step back, take a deep breath and smile for what every moment may bring.
In today’s world, it becomes so easy to get caught up and only focus on the outcome. This is where Greenspan reminds us that it is not the product that matters, but more so the process. The most memorable experiences we can give our children, are those that have indulged all of their senses, highlighted their passions and reached them in a way that can never be forgotten. Some may view this as work; however, it’s as simple as putting reality aside and making time to play. (Laura Baldwin & Antoinette Price, Lead Paraprofessionals, Celebrate the Children)
“This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” ― Alan Wilson Watts
All This From Soccer?
Playing Soccer is the perfect time to focus on the foot/ankle complex in Physical Education. Along with good core strength, the feet are literally our foundation. They connect us with the earth and ground us energetically. They provide the gross physical structure for balance, along with the intricate vestibular system. What looks like an ordinary soccer warm-up for the hips by lifting the legs and tapping on the inside and outside of the feet, is really designed to bring students' awareness to this often ignored body part. Dribbling, the most fundamental skill in soccer, is practiced not only as a way to improve upon soccer skills, but to help with this body awareness referred to by Dr. Wachs in Thinking Goes To School, as the “Mental Map of the Body” and also known as Motor Planning. Each tap of the soccer ball to the foot provides important feedback to the brain about where the feet are in relationship to the body and to surrounding objects.
Additionally, there is a very important eye tracking (and subsequent eye-foot coordination) element happening here, which Dr. Wachs describes as a vital element in academic endeavors. As students dribble the ball from right foot to left and change direction they are developing “Coordination of Body's Axes” (Wachs) also known as “Laterality and Directionality”. Further, practice with turning the feet in and out can also help to overcome certain unwanted reflexes so that other movements become more purposeful (See Wieder & Wachs Visual/Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling and Movement). Finally, soccer practice (and sports/physical activity in general) in and of it self, provides students with a useful and appropriate outlet for physical expression, which is innately at the core of our being. Who knew? (Wendy Beffert, Physical Education Teacher, Celebrate the Children)
What's PCI Intervention?
The PCI reading program is a research based curriculum for students with developmental disabilities, autism, and significant learning disabilities. It is a program that helps nonreaders of all ages become successful at reading. This program has three levels which incorporates high-frequency words and real world words. Each level includes a variety of lessons, manipulatives, and activity sheets. It is through a system of repetition, hands-on practice, controlled reading, and high interest activities that help nonreaders become successful.
I use this program in my reading class and it is such a great program. In such a short amount of time students are reading! It is so exciting to see my students' confidence and reading ability soar.
(Jamie Burd, Teacher, Celebrate the Children)
National Physical Therapy Month
The American Physical Therapy Association celebrates National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) in October. Members of the APTA and the general public can utilize their website (www.apta.org) to learn more about the unique services Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants provide and to educate themselves about current health issues. To celebrate NPTM, our Physical Therapy staff is encouraging CTC families to get outside and work together to promote gross motor activities. Raking and bagging leaves is a perfect way to provide strengthening and endurance activities for our students and a perfect way to introduce chores to help out the family. For our younger students, a pile of leaves can be a way to provide a fun sensory experience while our older students can feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. (Physical Therapy Department, Celebrate the Children)
Contributions to this blog are made by Celebrate the Children's highly talented, interdisciplinary team and wonderful families.