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Dear Gunners Mom,

Based on observations in the preschool class this semester, we have been


able to learn about Gunners interests and strengths. Gunner is the oldest of the
boys in our classroom. He has short hair and is one of the taller children for his
age. He has siblings, but none of them are in any of the other labs at the same
time as ours. He enjoys playing near other children but seems to also be content
by himself as well as long as he is engaged in an activity. If he is playing with
other children in the classroom, it is usually Tanner P., Emma, and Simon. He
seems to be most interested in the blocks and dramatic play areas of our
classroom. His strengths are certainly in these areas because that is where he
tends to spend his time. We have noticed that he understands the concepts in
these areas and has a desire to be challenged. Wherever he is though, he
follows activity directions very well after the transitions have been made. The
two domains that we tried to focus on with Gunner have been the social and
emotional domain and his goal of letter recognition, especially with the letters in
his name.
In the social and emotional domain, several behaviors were observed
toward the beginning of the semester that related to his abilities when he
entered our classroom this semester. From the beginning, Gunner was interested
in the feelings that other children had. On May 9, 2016 it was observed that
Gunner rushed to the aid of a child that had fallen. He made sure to call out for
a teacher and tried to offer comfort to the child. While he showed emotional
sympathy for other children, we also noticed that he would become upset with
the teachers, especially when we would try to transition him to another activity.
On May 20, 2016 he said, This is a bad day. I wanted to keep playing. Mom said
that I could play at school today. This showed us that he was having a difficult
time with transitioning, but that he did recognize his feelings and wanted to
express them.
As the semester has progressed, we have seen growth in the social and
emotional area and we have also noticed that he has expanded his abilities.
There have been many days when Gunner has become upset about
transitioning or something else that happened in the classroom, but we found
him saying to himself, I just dont know what to do and then thinking about it
for a short time. He eventually always came to the conclusion that he needed
to talk to a teacher and express his frustrations. When we would talk to him
about the situation, we found that if we validated his feelings, he was willing to
listen, and would become excited about what we were trying to do with him.

Not only did he grow in this area, but we also saw him engaging socially in more
settings than just to help another child. On June 22, 2016 it was observed that he
sat down next to another child at the manipulative table and tried to make eye
contact with him. When the child did start talking to him, they had a
conversation that lasted at least 5 minutes about the activity they were
participating in.
In the beginning of the semester up until midterms, Gunner did not really
choose to demonstrate many of his abilities when it came to working on his
goal. We would try to guide him to the literacy area and talk with him about
letters, but he just did not seem interested. On May 16, 2016 a teacher tried to
spell out words with him using the connecting letter monkeys. He explained that
he did not want to spell words and that he did not know how to sing the
alphabet. Later that day he did end up singing the alphabet with another
teacher, so that led us to believe that he was just not interested at the time he
was prompted before. On June 3, 2016 Gunner was reading a book with Miss
Brittany and when she pointed to several of the letters and asked him what they
were, he just asked her to keep reading the story.
With the second half of the semester however, we discovered that
Gunner is able to expand on her interests and participate in literacy and letter
recognition activities. On June 13, 2016 we introduced a new activity with
magnetic letters on the white board. We gave him a marker and asked if he
could help us spell out his name. He picked up each letter to his name and
spelled the entire thing. He even wanted to spell out his last name too, but he
saw that we did not have enough of the letters that he needed so he became
interested in a different activity. On June 29, 2016 Gunner was playing in the
Sensory Table where the lead teacher had placed a laminated card with each
childs name inside. He was playing around in the toys and ended up searching
for his name. When he found it, he became so excited and talked about how it
had all of the same letters as were on his name tag. When a teacher tried to talk
about each individual letter with him, he ran over to the wall where the letters
were hanging, and pointed to each one as he spelled out his name.
In conclusion, as the semester comes to a close we have thought about
how we would better serve Gunner and encourage him if we were to continue
working with him. We would like to continue to encourage his literacy and letter
recognition abilities by challenging him in multiple centers throughout the day.
We feel that this can be done by including letters in any activity that he is
engaging in. We would also suggest that he be given a variety of opportunities,
both inside and outside, to participate in activities that will not only strengthen

his interest in working on his social and emotional skills, but also his ability to
regulate his feelings in these areas. We would like to first help him with these skills
and then slowly back off to provide less support. The more opportunities he is
given, then the more he might be willing to try new experiences there as well.

Sincerely,
Miss. Katie