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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tere Bowen-Irish Seminar

I went to a (Bureau of Education & Research) seminar today taught by occupational therapist Tere Bowen-Irish- titled  Practical Strategies for Occupational Therapists to Collaborate and Integrate Interventions as Integral School Team Members.

This was one of the best seminars I have ever been to.... Tere was extremely energetic, enthusiastic and inspiring, even as the end of the day approached- she was still smiling and sharing with the same enthusiasm she came in with at 8:30.  Tere covered my favorite topics- creative and fun gross and fine motor activities that enhance sensory processing and hand skills.  But Tere went several steps further by  explaining  how to bring these strategies into the classroom so that the entire class can benefit and children  engage in movement activities that help them focus and learn- ALL DAY LONG.

Notice that Tere's hands or feet are blurry in these photos. She is moving them during two of the many Drive -thru menu sensory motor activities.
You can read about these, see video samples and find ordering info on her web site:

The menu items are designed to focus on
  • Attention
  • Strength
  • Relaxation
The great thing about the menu posters is that they can hang in the classroom so that the teacher or students can easily pick out their favorite movement activities or games throughout the day- and integrate them into the curriculum subjects.

The seminar was much more than looking at Tere's products (although they are awesome!)  Occupational therapy is all about helping kids learn and movement is central to brain enhancement. So whether we are using Brain Gym, Infinity Walk, the Drive-Thru menus or some other program-the important concept is that integrating movement into  spelling, grammar, math facts or history lessons will make learning more successful and fun.
Here are just a handful of  tidbits I learned:
  • An ironing board can be adjusted to different heights and used as a desk while child is kneeling, half kneeling, etc.
  • kids can vary sitting positions during circle time using "side-of onions" side sitting, "French fries" long sitting or "criss cross applesauce" 
  • stretchy cloth book covers can be used as fidget tools
  • paper lunch bags can be cut and folded into basekts (every day) and used in class  

Drive-thru Menu products are available on Tere bowen-Irish's website and also at
Therapro also carries my books From Rattles to Writing: A Parent's Guide to Hand Skills
and The Recycling Occupational Therapist

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