This week our theme is weather to go along with this month’s Unique Curriculum unit. Each of the boxes in our sensory group represented different types of weather.
The fine motor group practiced using writing and cutting tools while making weather related art projects. In the language group we did a couple of really cool science experiments!
We have represented the sun in many ways in different units we have done and this time we focused on the sun’s color. Our box of sunshine was filled with some brightly colored yellow rice—–very pretty! Running fingers through the rice is a wonderful tactile experience that many of the students enjoy. They also love looking for things hidden in the rice so this week we included a picture of the sun at the bottom of the box and 2 letter S’s.
The science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is addressed here.
Our snow box also turned out really well. We used some purchased “fake snow” powder and were pretty pleased with the results. The batch lasted all week and hopefully will still be good when the sensory cart is available for check out next week. Fortunately we do have lots of the fake snow left if it doesn’t last since a little of the powder really does go a long way!
We included 2 different sized measuring spoons and taped a sparkly snow flake decoration to the bottom of the box.
The math access point recognize similarities and differences in the size of objects (the measuring spoons) can be addressed with this activity.
The thunderstorm box was a real favorite with the students. We recorded the sounds of a thunderstorm (found on Sound Bible) on our voice output device and also included a rainstick.
Between the voice output device and rainstick it really sounded like a thunderstorm in the room and the students LOVED it!
The access point recognize and respond to common sounds is addressed here.
For our “hail” box we focused on the fact that hail is HARD. These plastic balls were hard and had a rough textured surface and really looked like some giant hailstones. Of course, they DID include something not typically found in a hailstone—–colored lights! So not quite authentic, but we certainly were not going to pass on the opportunity to add some cool light effects in our group :)
Needless to say—–the students loved them! Since some of them tried stacking them to make “snowmen”, we can certainly say they mastered the access point recognize a model of a real object! The science access point recognize a change in an object is also addressed as the orbs changed color.
This little fan worked really well for making some indoor “wind”. The students had a blast with the fan and loved feeling the air move around them. There were also fine motor skills practiced as they turned the fan on and off.
There were lots of giggles with this activity :)
Indicate awareness of air moving is a science access point.
We couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring out our winter wonderland umbrella which fit our weather theme perfectly. Between the snowflakes, silver bead icicles, and white pompom yarn snowballs it was pretty irresistible to the students!
Explore, observe, and recognize common objects in the natural world can be addressed with this activity.
The students got elbows deep into our shaving cream “cloud”! Wonderful tactile fun—–what more can we say :)
The science access point apply a push to move an object is addressed here.
Hands were rinsed in “rainwater” scented with Bath and Body Works dancing waters scented bath gel—-it seemed a good choice for the unit :)
The rain was created by using a plastic food container with holes poked in the bottom. It worked really well and added a novel twist to the usual water play!
The science access points recognize materials as warm or cold and track objects in motion are addressed here.
The dancing water lotion was pretty much universally liked by the students. Even some of the students who usually dislike having the lotion applied wanted to try a little this week!
It was a nice light fresh scent to remember all the fun learning about weather this week :)
Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is the science access point addressed.
FINE MOTOR GROUP
On Tuesday we made a puffy paint thundercloud for our art project. We started by squirting some WHITE shaving cream onto a plate and then added some WHITE glue. Next we squirted in some BLACK paint and asked our students to mix it all together.
Our little artists discovered that when you mix black and white you get GREY—–a perfect thundercloud color!
Recognize a change in an object is the science access point addressed here!
We scooped some of the mixture onto a cloud shaped piece of paper and the students spread it out using a large foam brush. They did a really great job of keeping their brushes in the designated area!
Track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is a science access point addressed.
After they finished painting, they dropped a yellow lighting bolt onto the cloud.
We asked the students to identify the color yellow using communication symbols—–they did a great job, totally rocking the science access point recognize an object by one observable property!
Ta Da—–time to get out the umbrellas!
On Thursday we made another fun weather related art project. This time we made some kites—–perfect for flying on windy days!
First we talked about the shape of our kite, which was cut from some wallpaper samples. We noted that it was a diamond shape—–targeting the math access point recognize objects with a 2 dimensional shape.
After “writing” their names on the back of the kites, they were put aside for a moment while 3 rectangles were cut from construction paper using the paper cutter.
We counted out loud as each student cut their lines and also counted the rectangles after they were cut. The students were then asked to identify the number 3. They are starting to get better at number recognition—–we are so proud!
The math access points recognize objects with 2 dimensional shapes and associate quantities with number names are both addressed here.
The rectangles were then glued onto the kites. Some of our students were very thoughtful about this step—-those rectangles had to go in JUST the right spot!
Recognizing when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.
The students had a great time waving their kites around, they absolutely LOVED them!!!!
So then we all started channeling Mary Poppins and singing “lets go fly a kite”—–go on and sing along, you know you want to :)
We found some really cool weather experiments to do for today’s group! These experiments help increase the students understanding of the practice of science. Assist with investigations with a partner is the science access point addressed.
For our first experiment, we made RAIN! We started with a big, plastic jar that we filled about 3/4 full with water. Then we put some shaving cream on top of the water to make a “cloud”.
Recognize that rain comes from clouds is the science access point we are learning about in this activity.
We sucked up some blue tinted water in a medicine dropper. Then we asked our students to make a prediction: was the food coloring going to stay in our “cloud” or was it going to fall through?
We used a drawing and our students made their prediction by touching or looking at their prediction. A little over half the class voted that it would fall through the “cloud”.
Each of our students had a turn squeezing some “rain drops” into the “cloud”. It took a second or two, but the blue food coloring started going through the “cloud” to make “rain”!
Our smart little scientists were right!
After watching it “rain”, we began our next experiment: a tornado in a bottle. For this, we printed out some directions so our students could follow them. What we needed for this experiment was: a plastic jar with a lid, clear dish soap, vinegar, water, and glitter. We didn’t have clear dish soap, but blue worked fine :) It just gives it a little tint.
First we filled the jar 3/4 full with water. Then we added 1 tsp of vinegar and 1 tsp of dish soap. We let our students pour the ingredients into the jar—–with a little help :)
After that, we added some glitter to act as the debris you would see during a real tornado.
This science experiment relates to the science access point recognize the weather conditions, including severe weather, in Florida.
Finally, we swirled the jar in a circular motion and TADA made a tornado!
Our students were so captivated by today’s experiments! They were attending throughout the entire process. And, BOTH experiments WORKED!! YAY! We love it when things fall in place so nicely :)
Learning about the weather has never been so much fun! Join us again next time for MORE fun and learning——-Group by Group!