Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Report Card Time

The kids in our universal Pre-K program get report cards every semester. We just received Nolan's first report card, and the little guy is doing very well academically.

He knows all of his shapes, all of his colors, and can count accurately up to 16.

He knows 24 out of 26 upper case letters (he missed P and U). He called "P" a "B" and couldn't recall the U.

He knows 22 out of 26 lower case letters (he missed d, l, q, and u). He named the d and the q as b and p, which makes sense since those letters are rather confusing, anyway. He called the lower case l an I, which also makes sense (a capital I and a lower case l look very similar)!

He knows his days of the week and most of the months of the year, in song format. He doesn't know his phone number or address, so we need to work with him on that. And he can't tie shoes, but neither can Matthew. That's my bad - I need to ditch the velcro!

For his fine motor development, he is "improving" on his pencil grip - he can hold the pencil the proper way at first, but doesn't have the strength to maintain a proper grip and reverts to a fist-hold for most writing activities. He can draw a circle and a square, but not a triangle. He cannot snap a snap, but he can button - again, a problem with muscle strength in his hands. The button takes coordination and not strength, so he can do it. The snap takes physical force to snap closed, so Nolan can't do it. Not the end of the world, but something we're keeping an eye on as it may hinder his ability to write in kindergarten. It also hinders his ability to snap his own pants after using the bathroom - something that might be embarrassing as he gets older.

Scooter-riding skills should be on report cards.

His "weakest" area is gross motor, something that didn't really used to be a problem. It isn't so much that he's regressed, but that his peers are surging ahead and he's not. He can't skip, though that is a hard skill and  I am sure a few kids in the class can't skip. He has difficulty throwing a ball and catching a beanbag. Last year, he could hop on one leg for a short period of time. He can't do that anymore, at all. I don't think it is a balance issue, as he is "proficient" at standing on one leg - he just doesn't have the strength to hop on it. He's completely lost that ability - not sure what to make of it, but we're keeping an eye on his motor skills, too. I think it is a muscle weakness issue more than anything else. He can run and kick a ball, which is good! His teacher noted that they will work on a lot of hopping during play time - we need to strengthen those muscles.

My favorite portion of the report card was the "listening and language development" section. I love looking at his "grades" in the mainstream classroom. His grades were:

Speaks in whole sentences: Proficient
Participates in circle time: Proficient
Attentive for stories: Proficient (thank you, FM system)
Follows multi-step directions: Improving
Expresses thoughts freely: Skill needs work
Rhymes words: Improving
Produces opposites: Proficient
Uses appropriate voice level: Improving (too quiet)

He is proficient in nearly all of the social skill areas, which makes my heart sing. His pre-math skills are solid - he can sort objects by size, color, and shape. He is improving on extending a simple pattern.

Basically, he is rocking mainstream Pre-K. We need to work on some muscle strengthening exercises, but the academics are easy for him!


Melanie said...

WOOT! My boys both need to work on their fine motor hand strength. They can't snap, button, etc. either. No biggie. Glad he is doing so well!!!

rouchi said...

I am so happy for you guys....clap clap !! He is a fine boy and am so happy to hear he is doing so good and can feel mommy dear so happy too !! Congrats guys, way to go!

TheSweetOne said...

Hooray for Nolan! The Gap has great pants - they look like they have a snap/button but it's a little slide hook. We scored some great deals out of clearance for Roman including "slim" fit for that boy who has no butt to hold them up.
Can you have Nolan assessed for low muscle tone? It's not something that can be improved through exercise (though exercise can improve endurance...). Same with his hands - if his ligaments are too loose, no amount of practice holding a pencil will help but a gripper might or switching to markers because they don't require pressure to get a clear mark. He may be switching grip because it starts to hurt not just because he's tired of holding it a certain way. Lauren switches hands instead of switching grip...

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Well done, Little Man!

Good news to rejoice over :D


Kimmy K said...

Grey is always too quiet, too. You'd think it would be just the opposite.

dlefler said...

I love those slim fits! Nolan does have low tone - and hypermobile joints in his hands/wrists. He has very poor upper body coordination because of it - He does say it hurts to hold the pencil the right way. That is interesting...they've been watching him for potential OT needs but we've been waiting to see if he'd get better. He is heading slightly in the opposite direction of "better" for that - no big deal, but just keeping an eye on it. He has enough on his tiny little plate right now.

I'm thrilled that his language is so wonderful, and that his academics are thriving. Kimmy, isn't it interesting how being too quiet is the real problem? I think voice modulation is difficult no matter which direction it goes in (too loud or too quiet).

Sarah said...

Yay for Nolan! He's doing amazingly well on all those academics. Good job, Mama! Regarding the tone, he sounds so similar to Isabella. She was not really delayed initially, but then stopped making progress as quickly as other children both in fine and gross motor. She seemed to be able to compensate for the low tone better when she was physically smaller and when less complex skills were required. Our PT explained that as their limbs get longer, tone and core strength becomes more important. Isabella's hands are also hypermobile. She switches hands and reverts to a whole fist grip when she gets tired. The good thing is that OT and PT are fun therapies if it turns out he needs them. The gym at Isabella's school has all sorts of swings, slide, a ball pit, trampoline... Totally understandable to take these things one at a time, though!

Kyla said...

That is awesome! And reminds me a lot of KayTar...she STILL can't snap a snap! She has a grown-up do it, or just leaves it undone!

xraevision said...

It's always a good feeling to get in writing the skills that your kid has accomplished! We just got X's first JK report card too, and we were pleased to find that he could peddle a tricycle. While he is with his peers in some areas, he is behind (often waaaay behind) in others. He has enjoyed sports in the past, so I had imagined him using a bicycle with training wheels and, yes, a scooter too, by now. He has some fine and gross motor delays that surprised us, but as Sarah said, one thing at a time!

tammy said...

That's awesome Leah! especially the language section! I think Aiden will always lag in any gross motor that takes balance, although yesterday he did a full two foot jump over a pretty big puddle. We're also working on the pencil grip, but we still don't know which hand he prefers because he uses both the same. Sounds like you all have an amazing mainstream! So exciting!!!