Flowers, birds, butterflies, eggs—-its springtime in Tallahassee! Spring is a really special time in our hometown and we had a great time celebrating the season this week. Our sensory group boxes were filled with bright colors and textures. The fine motor group made some fabulous butterfly and bird art projects. The language group dyed eggs in different ways and decided which way was the best!
We used some bright yellow basket filler as the base for this box. Then we put in a variety of flowers, carrots, eggs, bunnies, chicks—-all symbols of spring! There was also a little toy clock to remind us that daylight savings time happens around this time of year. We also included a pair of silly glasses with a flower motif, just for fun :)
Distinguishing between a plant and animal, which is part of learning about the organization and development of living organisms, is a science access point addressed in this activity.
Colorful beans—-what would we DO without food coloring!—-looked like tiny eggs scattered on our green rice lawn. Ok, this may totally be our new favorite rice box!
Visual and tactile discrimination skills are addressed as students find the letter S hidden amongst the beans and rice.
Springtime in Tallahassee means the Rough Riders are coming to visit our school before marching in the Springtime Tallahassee parade. These people are really wonderful as they bedeck everyone at the school with beads and give a teddy bear to each of our students—-how cool is that! In their honor, this box is filled with colorful beads and teddy bears. There were 2 bears in the box, 1 little and 1 big one to compare and contrast.
The access point recognize differences in size of objects, related to ordering objects by measurable attributes, is the math access point addressed in this activity. Another math access point addressed is recognize length of real objects, such as big, little, long, or short.
This lovely spring weather we are having, makes everyone think about planting gardens. Our garden box contained coffee ground dirt and some “carrot seeds” (actually brown beans) to plant. We also included some toy carrots and a little scoop. Our students had a great time with this box, they especially loved scooping up the dirt and filling the tops of the carrots!
Recognize that plants grow is a science access point addressed in this activity.
The math access point associate quantities with number names can also be addressed.
While some people plant vegetable gardens, other plant flowers in hopes of attracting butterflies! We have used our colorful pasta box before and we really love it——pink butterflies and green spiral pasta, just so pretty. A laminated butterfly picture and wooden caterpillar were also tucked into this box.
Students were encouraged to match the different pastas which addresses the math access point recognize two objects that are the same size or color.
Store shelves are filled with yummy spring treats including marshmallow peeps in a rainbow of colors. We mixed shaving cream, cornstarch, and some yellow food coloring to make our peeps. This mixture really does end up with a marshmallow consistency. It is light, soft, and moldable—–completely cool!
This is a totally fun and messy way to explore the science access point apply a push to move an object. Most of our students LOVED this gooey mess………others not so much :)
Well, that marshmallow mixture is quite messy so we rinsed our hands off in sun-ripened raspberry bath gel from Bath and Bodyworks! We thought a fruity scent was perfect since it reminded us again of spring gardens. Along with 2 different sized measuring scoops, we included a little carrot shaped container for more scooping fun.
Recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids is a science access point addressed. Another one is recognize one way people use water.
We finished with the matching lotion—-leaving our students smelling like yummy little raspberries! The students liked the scent this week, it was quite a hit. Some of our students really anticipate this part of the group and immediately start putting out their hands when they see us bring out the bottle. Rubbing lotion on different body parts is a fun way to promote body awareness.
Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point addressed in this activity.
FINE MOTOR GROUP
Our Tuesday art project evolved from an idea we got from Mr. Chris (thanks again!). We started with these cute and colorful butterfly placemats we got 2 for a dollar at Target—-we may have mentioned how much we love the dollar section before :) We cut a butterfly stencil out of some black poster board (a freebie on the giveaway table—–another score!) using one of the placemats as a pattern.
Each student got a placemat and when it was their turn, we put the stencil on their placemat while they colored their butterfly with Crayola Pipsqueak markers. We like making our stencil black because we thought it helped reinforce where we wanted the color to go. The markers were used for 2 reasons. First, we like their size which works well for our students little hands. Second, markers have low friction and bright color—-as opposed to crayons—- which is more visually appealing to our students.
We also used our communication cards to work on color recognition as the markers were passed around the table.
This activity worked on lots of science access points including share objects with a partner, recognize a change in an object, identify objects by one observable property, and recognize a change in an object.
our artists were just so proud!
For our Thursday art project we made little bird nests! We saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it fit perfectly with our springtime theme. Our students started by gluing green paper shred onto a small paper plate. Squeezing the glue works on hand strengthening and eye hand coordination is addressed as the paper is put onto the glue.
Next we used our adaptive scissors to cut 1 diamond shape into 2 triangles—–perfect little wings! Then we did it again because we are making 2 birds!
Recognize an object with a 2 dimensional shape is a math access point. In addition, associate quantities 1 and 2 with number names is another math access point addressed in this activity.
The wings were attached (with tape and a little help) to the 2 halves of a plastic egg that had been pre-decorated with googlie eyes and a beak.
Ta da, our little birdies are now tucked into their nests looking quite adorable!
Just like our students :)
We decided to have a little spring experiment! Since people dye eggs during the spring, we decided to find out which way is the best way to dye eggs. We used the colors pink and purple for our experiment. To obtain those colors, we used PAAS Egg Decorating Kit, McCormick’s Neon food coloring, and Kool-Aid.
We used small, clear, plastic cups so our students were able to see the eggs change color. Each cup had a label on it to show us which dye we were using.
We started by taking out a boiled egg which had been in the refrigerator and letting each student feel it. They were asked if it was WARM or COLD and also if it was HARD or SOFT. Then we brought out a plastic egg—-in some ways it was the SAME as the real egg but it was DIFFERENT in other ways!
Recognize the temperature of items as cool or warm is a science access point addressed by this activity.
Recognize similarities and differences in size of common objects is a math access point addressed.
After touching the eggs, the students each picked which color they wanted their real egg to become. Identify classroom objects by one observable property such as color is a science access point.
Very CAREFULLY, and without a lot of adult assistance, the students put their egg in the dye. Yes, we do like to live life on the edge :)
We used small, clear, plastic cups so our students could see the eggs as they changed color. Every few seconds, we used a spoon to stir the egg around.
After a few minutes, we lifted the eggs out of the dye and put them in the egg carton. They all came out so differently and SO colorful!
The students told us which egg they liked the BEST. After the eggs dried a little bit, the students put a sticker on the egg they liked the best to decorate it.
It was a neat experiment! The boldest colors came from the PAAS and the neon food coloring, while the Kool-Aid eggs had texture on them. It was lots of fun to see the differences!
As with all our groups this week, we finished by doing the chicken dance along with our dancing chicken :)
Fun! Fun! Fun!
Join us again next week for more fun, learning, and occasional dancing——Group by Group!