Our leads and therapists are always finding new ways to challenge their little learners and prepare them for the next steps. A great example of this is the collaboration between the Otters lead Amanda DeAngeles, DT/Floortime Clinician, and one of LEEP’s speech therapists, Tyler Choate M.S., CCC-SLP. They have put together a fantastic program that encourages our preschoolers to engage in storytelling.
Each week, a different Otter presents a story during “Otter Storytime” that highlights an adventure from his or her weekend. Parents are encouraged to send in pictures to help paint the picture. The child will retell the story throughout the week; adding more details and working with support to write down the story. At the end of the week, they’ll have a finished book! The stories will be available to be read at anytime during the day. The projects are modified and supported in different ways so all members of the group can participate.
Here are a handful of language and literacy goal areas that will be addressed:
- Improved literacy attitudes and self-image as a reader and an author
- Reading fluency and comprehension
- Basic phonic knowledge and alphabetics (sound-letter relationships)
- Narrative formation
- Telling stories with a beginning, middle, and end
- Using logical reasoning/linking ideas with language
- Emerging writing skills:
- Drawing meaningful pictures
- Taking writing risks
- Using phonic knowledge to facilitate early writing
Additionally, projects like this support DIR goals, regulation, engagement and contingent communication.
Our first few stories included a special birthday party and a trip to a Jump Zone. It is great to hear our Otters share their ideas with their classmates and feel empowered by seeing their stories written down on paper.