Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Success at the Preschool Transition Meeting

We had a great meeting this morning!  The meeting included the director, infant/toddler room lead instructor and the teacher of the 2-3 year old classroom in the preschool and myself.  It started off with me sharing a document that I created that introduced Sweet Pea, our dreams for her (get a diploma, etc), what her strengths and weaknesses are and things she loves.

We then talked about the daily contact sheet that I had created:

Meals: All        Some      None       Naps:  Slept Well           Slept Briefly            Relaxed Quietly

My favorite activities today were:
I had a hard time with:
I excelled at:
Sign(s) Needed:

They liked this and wanted to photocopy the page each day so that they too could have a record so that they could look back and see how things were going and what was working the best.

Next we moved into her sign language and the book that I made of her current signs with pictures of Sweet Pea doing them next to pictures of either a flashcard or Daddy doing the same sign (the proper way).  They all loved it and were very happy to be able to have that as a reference.  I talked about my desire for the other kids in her class to learn some basic signs so that they can communicate with Sweet Pea and they were all in favor of that.  I explained that Sweet Pea's receptive language is far more advanced than her expressive, but that she is learning new signs all the time.  We also talked about sharing signs for the current month's theme (May is transportation so I would teach the teacher and Sweet Pea signs for car, bus, train, airplane, etc) so that the teacher can do them as she teaches the lessons.  June will be ocean so I can start working on that one now since Sweet Pea already knows a lot of the transportation signs.

It was around this point that I finally got the courage to ask how they were thinking of making this transition.  This was the worst part of the meeting by a long shot.  The director pulled out a schedule of the daily routine for the classroom and had highlighted the 7-9:30 and 10-10:50 times and explained that these times were when she thought would be the best for Sweet Pea to be in the classroom and that the rest of the time she should be in the infant/toddler room.  I was not happy about this, but I was not sure how to go about getting that changed.  I had two concerns...1) Sweet Pea has PT in the morning until 9 and so the earliest we could get her to preschool is 9:15 so that mean that she would be spending just about an hour a day in the preschool and the other 7 hours in the infant/toddler room.  2) I was afraid that she would have a harder time transitioning by being put back into the infant/toddler room for parts of the day.  I guess there were really three concerns but I wouldn't have mentioned this one...3) I think it gave the school too easy of an "out" and wouldn't push them to push Sweet Pea or the teachers to make this work.

So we talked about her PT and why it had to happen at that hour on those days and so there really wasn't an option to change it.  Then because she was only going to be in the class for 1 hour they knew something needed to change.  I offered to come in for the first 2 weeks to be there with her during the transition if they would do try her all day and they agreed to that, but later in the meeting when I asked what times they were wanting me there they only said a 30 minute period!  It was the time that the kids spend in the bike yard which is quite chaotic so it was understandable.  She isn't steady on her feet and isn't good on any of the bikes or cars yet so they want one on one supervision with her.

A few other things were discussed, but at the end of the meeting it was agreed upon for Sweet Pea to start in the preschool room tomorrow!  I will go for the bike yard time only.  We will meet again in two weeks to see how things are going.  Needless to say I am thrilled with the outcome!  Let's hope that tomorrow (or today by the time I post this) goes smooth!!!!

Here are some of the photos from our sign book: her mouth!



Daddy...boy does she love her Daddy!  She was saying and signing Daddy on Tuesday night on our way home from daycare...I think she was excited to be seeing him soon!


  1. Sounds like it was. Fantastic meeting! Glad you spoke up and got her in a classroom fulltime. Love the pics too!

  2. She is just sooo adorable!! Love her "cold" sign!

    Great job compromising with the school! Those meetings are so nerve-wracking. We just had Samantha's Kindergarten transition IEP meeting yesterday and eventually managed to come to a compromise that made all of us happy. Sometimes you have to think a little bit outside of the box to get there.

  3. I love the daily contact sheet and the sign book. I always make notes of these great ideas for down the road!

  4. YOU are so AWESOME!!!!! I love all that you did to prepare for the meeting and I will COPY YOU when we are ready to begin this process. I'm so glad that they are going to try out what you wanted to try out! I am screaming HOORAY!!!! from Salt Lake City!

    I look forward to hearing about how it goes.

  5. I don't think I've commented in awhile, but just wanted to say that I hope her first day went well. She's adorable, and getting so big!

  6. I LOVE the sign-book idea!!!! I think I want to do one for Chloe when she starts preschool in the fall! Especially if she's not talking yet and still signing! Thanks for the GREAT idea! :)