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Cooke Center Grammar School Newsletter

Francis Tabone, Head of School Cindy Surdi, Assistant Head of School

Bicycle Weather
Choosing a Helmet Almost all helmets offer a universal-fit sizing wheel on the back of the helmet's internal sizing ring. Chinstraps are adjustable, too. A few helmets, most often kids' models, offer a selection of internal pads to fine-tune the fit. To adjust the fit, first expand the sizing wheel before you place a helmet on your head. Once the helmet is in place, reach behind your head and tighten the ring (usually by twisting a dial) until you achieve a snug fit. We all know how important it is for kids to be kids, especially those needing special needs equipment. Riding a bicycle or tricycle is one of the most common skills that we learn as children, a fun way to encourage therapy like balance or stability. For those children with special needs, riding a regular bicycle or tricycle may be difficult . The special needs bikes and adaptive tricycles we purchase make it possible for children with physical disabilities to experience for the first time a very essential therapy activity and enjoyable play skill: riding. These special needs bicycles and special needs tricycles are designed with built-in adaptive support features to help children and adults sit and pedal themselves independently. We do not only ride with our younger students, we have two-wheel, and adult size trikes. All students can benefit. Bike safety is important. All student wear helmets during riding sessions. Non-Tipping trikes are available at recess every day. A good-fitting helmet should be snug but not annoyingly tight. It should sit level on your head (not tilted back) with the front edge no more than 1" (a width of approximately 2 fingers) above your eyebrows so that your forehead is protected. Push the helmet from side to side and back to front. If it shifts noticeably (1" or more), adjust the sizing wheel (or pads) to snug the fit. Most kids' helmets are one-size-fits-all with a range of 18"-22.5" (46cm-57cm). Some adults with smaller heads can wear these comfortably. Between sizes? Opt for the smaller size.

Our School visited Green Meadows Farm recently. The Hayride, pumpkin picking and feeding the animals were the highlights! Dates to Remember: October 17Medicaid Waiver Workshop 6:30 pm October 18th PTA meeting at CCGS 8:30am October 25th Noon dismissal for Students

In this issue: Cycling 1

Toys that make a difference 2 Math Ideas 3


Cooke Center Academy 60 Macdougal St 6:30 p.m. Thursday 10/17/1
This months presenter, Michelle Lang from YAI Link, will join us to discuss the services available through the HCBS Medicaid Waiver. Ms. Lang will explain what is meant by a waiver service, how these services can provide support to your family, and the process of securing these supports. With more than 450 programs that serve more than 20,000 people every day, YAI is one of NYCs largest service providers for individuals with disabilities. Please join us for what is sure to be a very informative evening.

Jase and Richard plan for pumpkin pie during their trip to Green Meadows Farm

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This being the holiday season, parents spend considerable time and effort shopping for the right toys for their children. Toys encourage play, stimulate a child's imagination, and foster parentchild interaction. Playing with toys helps children to discover the world around them and to develop the physical, mental, social, emotional, and creative skills needed to mature and thrive. Parents of children with developmental or physical disabilities should ask their pediatricians for guidance regarding toy selection. In anticipation, we should familiarize ourselves with wonderful resources that will help parents choose the most suitable toys for our special patients. The Toy Industry Foundation, in collaboration with the Alliance for Technology Access and the American Foundation for the Blind, involving hundreds of toy experts, has produced a directory of toys for children with a variety of special needs and interests. The 18-page catalog of toys, Let's Play, is organized by category (outdoor toys, building toys, creativity toys, musical toys, and so on). The guide includes a picture of the toy as well as a brief description, a suggested price, and a recommended age range based on the developmental age of the child. Each listing includes an explanation of the skills a toy encourages and has a label that indicates for which disability the toy would be most appropriate. These labels include physical impairment, hearing impairment, blind or low vision, and developmental disabilities. Children with physical impairments are most likely to play with toys that have large parts and sturdy bases to prevent movement. Those with a hearing impairment might enjoy a toy that provides lights or visual feedback and has interesting textures. Blind children would benefit from toys with a variety of textures, surfaces, and sounds. Children with developmental disabilities may enjoy toys that let them act out real-world situations. The guide suggests that parents need to determine the child's interests and skill level in preparation for purchasing toys for a specialneeds child. By flipping through the catalog pages and paying attention to the toy labels, it's an easy matter for a parent to find a toy that would suit a child with a variety of disabilities. Another outstanding resource is the 60page Toys R Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, which has been published annually for 20 years by Toys R Us in cooperation with the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children with disabilities. The toys in the guide are labeled with icons that indicate what skill or skills the toy fosters. These skill labels include auditory, gross motor, self-esteem, social, thinking, and others.

Parent Support Group CCGS is offering a Parent support group twice a month for those seeking to work with our counselors and other parents. The group is designed to give support to parents of special needs students on a variety of topics and share information. This is an excellent opportunity for those looking for advice, strategies or share resources. When: Thursday, mornings at 8 am October 24th is the next meeting November 7th and 21st December 5th and 19th Please contact Nancy Wright nwright@cookecenter.org to RSVP. We invite all family members to join.

How did Ms. Baldini and Ally Malcolm both know to wear a blue shirt with white dots on the first day of school?

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Ways Parents Can Support Math at Home

We are fortunate to have Bindia Shah working with us a s a math consultant. She is here twice a week to help teachers unify and enhance their practice with math instruction. Over the next few newsletters, I will include some support ideas she has provided for parents. It will help bridge the home school math connection. 1. Understanding Numbers Numbers are used to describe quantities, to count, and to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Understanding numbers and knowing how to combine them to solve problems helps us in all areas of math. Count everything! Count toys, kitchen utensils and items of clothing as they come out of the dryer. Help your child count by pointing to and moving the objects as you say each number out loud. Count forward and backwards from different starting places. Use household items to practice adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Sing counting songs and read counting books. Every culture has counting songs, such as One, Two, Buckle My Shoe and Ten Li ttle Monkeys, which make learning to count both forwards and backwards fun for children. Counting books also capture childrens imagination, by using pictures of interesting things to count and to add. Discover the many ways in which numbers are used inside and outside your home. Take your child on a number hunt in your hom e or neighborhood. Ask your child to help you solve everyday number problems. We need six tomatoes to make out sauce for dinner and we have onl y two. How many more do we need to buy? Practice skip counting. Together, count by 2s and 5s. Ask your child how far he or she can count by 10s. Roll two dice, one to determine a starting number and the other to determine the counting interval. Ask your child to try counting backwards from 10, 20 or even 100. Make up game using dice and playing cards. 2. Understanding Measurements We use measurements to determine the height, length, and width of objects as well as the area they cover, the volume they hold, and other characteristics. We measure time and money. Developing the ability to estimate and to measure accurately takes time and practice. Measure items found around the house. Have you child find objects that are longer or shorter than a shoe or a string or a ruler. Together, use a shoe to measure the length of a floor mat. Fill different containers with sand in a sandbox or with water in the bath, and see which containers hold more and which hold less. Estimate everything! Estimate the number of steps from your front door to the edge of your yard, then walk with your child to find out how many there really are, counting steps as you go. Compare and organize household items. Take cereal boxes or cans of vegetables from the cupboard and have your child line them up from tallest to shortest. Include your child in activities that involve measurements. Have your child measure the ingredients in a recipe, or the length of a bookshelf you plan to build. Trade equal amounts of money. How many pennies do you need to trade for a nickel? For a dime? Homework Ideas for this semester 1. Count to 30. Practice verbally 3 times. 2. Identify numbers to 10 or higher even when they are all mixed-up. Begin writing your numbers to 10. Memorize the number poems for correct formation when writing your numbers. 3. Practice identifying shapes. Do you recognize a circle, square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, oval, hexagon, pentagon, octagon, sphere, cone, cylinder and pyramid? Draw the four basic shapes (circle, square, rectangle, triangle). 4. Say your telephone number 3 times. Write it once on paper. Practice calling someone use phone manners. Be sure to press the numbers yourself. Tell the special person your phone number (example: grandma) and have them call you back. 5. Practice telling time to the hour on a circle clock and a digital clock. 6. Say your address 5 times - number and street. Copy it once onto paper. 7. Practice counting pennies, buttons, Lego's, spoons, or other fun objects. How many blocks (or whatever objects you are counting) do you have? Draw a picture of the object you are counting and then write the number on a piece of paper to record your answer. For example, if you counted 23 blocks, just draw a block and write 23 on the paper: 8. Practice math words Get some objects and tell which group has more, less; greater, fewer; line up objects and tell which one is first, last; in front, behind; find objects to show which are thick, thin; long, short; empty, full; heavy, light. Draw a picture and have a grown-up help you label your illustration showing the math words you practiced to record your work. 9. Physically practice directional words: over, under; up, down; left, right; outside, inside; above, below; on, off; in, out; first, middle, last; through, beneath, next to, in between, around, etc. 10. Practice making a pattern using objects, then use stickers or draw and label your pattern. Make an AB pattern, ABC pattern or an AABB pattern. Illustrate one or more types.