Red Ribbon Week book


IMG_7082Red Ribbon Week is October 23-31, so we decided to celebrate here at school.  Some of our students are in the book showing how they celebrate Red Ribbon Week.  They have lots of different ways, from wearing red clothing to playing with red toys.  We are a drug free school and proud of it!  Enjoy the book and celebrate Red Ribbon Week!





IMG_4483Here is a link to the book: This is How I Celebrate Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week


IMG_6902Red Ribbon Week is October 23-31 and we celebrated with, well—— everything RED of course! Our sensory group explored a variety of textures that were all the color RED. The fine motor group used RED materials in their art projects. The language group identified items that were RED.

This week we would like to give a big thank you to our volunteers Sarah, who helped photograph some of the fun this week and Skylar, who helped prepare our fine motor projects!




IMG_6555This red moon sand is so bright and colorful! It has a wonderful tactile feel and molds easily—–nice! We included a letter R cookie cutter for added fun.

Always a favorite with our students!

The science access point apply a push to move an object is addressed here.







IMG_6535We just got these red plastic spaghetti strands from the Lakeshore catalog. They are a great addition to our sensory stash, different from any of our other items.

We put in some red monkeys (from a Barrel of Monkeys game) for the students to find and we conveniently included a little container to put them in:)

This was a super fun way to work on visual discrimination skills.

Recognize common objects as the same is a science access point that can be addressed here.



IMG_6862IMG_6881Paper shred was the base for this RED box! A little something for everyone, there were lots of fun red things to find including: kitchen scrubbers, a feather boa, accordion tube, plush fox, and some duplo blocks.

IMG_6598The science access point recognize common objects in the environment is addressed here.


IMG_6629Visual and tactile discrimination skills were addressed with this box—–HARD, shiny beads and SOFT round pompoms were mixed together for the students to sort. Of course, the beads were by far the favorite item!

Match items by an observable property, such as size, shape, and color can be addressed with this activity.







IMG_6867IMG_6684Our little red vibrating crab is so cute, he is responsive to both sound and touch—–a total hit with the students. There were lots of smiles and giggles heard when students had their turn with him!

Track objects in motion is a science access point that can be addressed here.








IMG_6578For messy play this week we went ALL out with some red jello. The students had a blast and were pretty good about not tasting it.

We included another “R” cookie cutter and the word “RED” on the bottom of the box but the feeling of  the jello squishing through fingers is what most of them were interested in :)






IMG_6612And yes, they did end up with red hands——kind of fitting for our theme!

Recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli—–vision and touch here——is a science access point addressed.








IMG_6712IMG_6658Those messy hands were rinsed in water scented with Suave cherry blossom bath gel. There were 2 red heart shaped measuring cups to address the math access point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids (capacity).







IMG_6754We finished with Bath and Bodyworks lotion, addressing the science access point recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli.

Our students left group smelling like delicious cherries—-a great scent to help them remember the color RED!









IMG_6774On Tuesday we made apples to put on an awesome tree made by Skylar our fabulous volunteer! It’s kind of amazing what you can do with a cardboard box!

The students were first asked to identify the color red using communication symbols. Identify common classroom objects by one observable property, such as color.

Next we tore 1 rectangular piece of tissue paper into  2 pieces—–a great bilateral coordination activity! It also addresses the math access point solve simple real-world problems involving joining or separating small quantities of objects.


IMG_6806Then the paper was crumpled up into balls……..








IMG_6820dipped into glue……… and placed on the tree!

Recognize the next step in a sequence of activities is a math access point addressed here.








IMG_6831IMG_6835Ta Da—–we LOVE our red apple tree!!!!










On Thursday we made some MAGIC art pictures!

IMG_6963First we asked the students to identify the color red using communication symbols—-they did a great job today!

The science access point identify common classroom objects by one observable  property, such as color is again addressed.






IMG_7024IMG_7013After we pointed out the shape of our paper and counted the sides (addressing the math access point recognize common objects with 2 dimensional shapes) we started painting with red paint.

We used regular tempera paint but watered it down A LOT!





IMG_7052IMG_7060We prompted our students to make horizontal strokes to promote prewriting patterns. As they painted the MAGIC happened——thanks to Skylar  who had spent LOTS of time writing the word “RED” on each page with white crayons before we started!

IMG_7076                                                                           TA DA——the color of the week!!!!!




IMG_6939IMG_6934Following along with the theme of our groups this week, we targeted identifying the color RED by playing a little game with our students in the language group called “Show me the one that is RED!”

Each student was presented with 2 different objects: one was a RED object while the other object was a color other than red.  Our students each were asked to identify which object was RED.

The science access point identify an object by one observable property is again addressed.


IMG_6950Students identified the RED object by pointing to the object or using eye gaze.







IMG_6942IMG_6943For our visually impaired students, we used a light box to help the color pop more.

Our students did a fantastic job finding the color RED!





IMG_6930We all had a great time learning about the color red this week, hope you enjoyed seeing all the fun we had. Join us again next week for more fun and learning——-Group by Group!





Columbus Day book


IMG_6329In honor of Columbus Day, we are focusing on Christopher Columbus this week.  Our story tells about who Columbus was and why he is an important piece of history.  On each page there is a little bit of information.  When it is our students’ turn to read the repetitive line we asked them, “what did Columbus do?”  The repetitive line answers, “Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”  We hope you enjoy!




IMG_6114Here is a link to the book: Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

Columbus Day


IMG_6163In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue! October 13 was Columbus Day and we spent the week learning a little bit more about the famous explorer. Our sensory group explored a variety of boxes including some colorful ocean blue play dough. The fine motor group made some sparkly crowns and the language group played a Columbus Day game—-what fun! All our activities addressed the social studies access point associate a celebration with an event.




IMG_6024Our first box was filled with red, white, and green rice which are the colors of the Italian flag.

Italy is the country that Christopher Columbus comes from! There were 2 letter C’s—-for Christopher Columbus—– to find and a picture of Columbus hidden beneath the rice.

The social studies access point recognize a person in a story can be addressed in this activity.





IMG_6057Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain helped fund the trip. This box had red and yellow rice—-the colors of the Spanish flag. As the students explored the rice there were some compasses to find and a picture of the royal couple at the bottom of the box. This bright colorful rice certainly invited exploration!

Recognize pictures or artifacts that relate to important people or events is an access point that can be addressed in this activity.






IMG_6363IMG_6389Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand used gold and jewels to help pay for voyage. We didn’t have any real gold but this box filled with gold mardi gras beads made a great stand in——bright, sparkly, and touchable :) Our students loved wearing them or grabbing handfuls and shaking them. Total fun!

IMG_6220The science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled can be addressed here.


IMG_6446Discovery bottles are always a hit with our students and this one was pretty eye catching!

The colorful jewels looked so pretty floating around. A great way to track objects in motion—-a science access point.





IMG_6430Since our world is round we wanted to include a reference to that in our boxes. We put some beautiful ocean blue play dough in this box and added a circle cookie cutter.

Recognize a common object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point. Since the play dough can be rolled into a ball the math access point recognize a common 3 dimensional object can also be addressed.





IMG_6107IMG_6182Columbus landed on the sandy shores of the Bahamas. We used some kinetic sand for our sandy shore and believe us when we say that this stuff is TOTALLY cool! It is kind of like this dry oobleck——adults and children were totally mesmerized.

The science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled can be addressed here.

We are SO getting more of this stuff :)




IMG_6194One of the things Columbus was hoping to find was a trade route for spices from the orient! To add a little “spice” to our oobleck we added some oregano flakes. So ok, oregano is technically an herb but it was what we had and it made the oobleck very aromatic :)

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point that can be addressed here. The science access point recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli, in this case smell, can also be addressed.





IMG_6404We used Bath and Body Works ocean scented water—-it seemed appropriate! We also put in a small boat to float around in our little ocean.

Recognize water as a liquid is a science access point.







IMG_6227Our students really liked the scent of the matching lotion and loved feeling it massaged onto their hands, arms, necks, or even knees!

Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point.








IMG_6263IMG_6276On Tuesday for our art project we made some cute little sailing ships! We started by asking the students to use communication symbols to choose a color for their ship sails. Then they used adaptive scissors to cut construction paper into rectangular shapes—–1 big and 1 little.

Recognize differences in size of objects is a math access point. The science access point recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed is also addressed.



IMG_6301The sails were threaded (little slits were cut into the rectangles) onto a straw——with a little triangle flag already attached! Our students needed a little help with this part but it was a great activity for practicing pincer grasp and bilateral coordination skills.

We used some black and brown paper plates folded in half to make the boat. These plates were leftovers from other projects—-it was nice to use them up! The straw mast was slipped through a hole snipped into the middle of the plate and stapled into place.





IMG_6249IMG_6325Ta Da—-our little captains are ready to set sail!









Our Thursday art project was a pretty quick one—–the students made some fun paper crowns. We found this silver and gold bulletin board trim on the give-away table and knew it would be perfect for our project!

IMG_5980The adaptive scissors were pulled out again to snip a length of bulletin board trim.

Recognize that pushing and pulling a object—-in this case the scissors handle—-makes it move is a science access point.






IMG_5983Pincer grasp skills were practiced as the students added some glitter stickers as the “jewels” for the crowns. They really liked this part :)

The math access points indicate desire for more of an action or object and indicate desire for no more of an action or object are addressed here.






IMG_6467IMG_6458TA DA—–we have royalty in the classroom!





IMG_6345After reading about Columbus’ travels, we wanted to take one of our own!  We decided to play a Christopher Columbus game using a globe, a small laminated ship, and an All-Turn-It Spinner.

Each of our students took turns playing the game.  They used the All-Turn-It to see how many places they would move forward.  We only used numbers 1-3 on the spinner.  Once they landed on a number, they moved the ship that many places.  Of course, we all counted out loud how many places the ship moved.



IMG_6351IMG_6355While moving the ship, we talked about how the ships sailed on the water and showed our students the route Columbus used on his trek.







IMG_6349Our students had such a great time taking turns, counting, and moving the ship.  They are officially captains of their ship!


IMG_6014IMG_6377Wow we really learned a lot about Columbus this week, hope you join us again next week for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!





Fall book


IMG_5581Although we’re not feeling so much of the cool, crisp air here in Florida and all of our evergreens are still, well, GREEN, it is officially fall!  Our book takes a look at some of the different things we might see when fall comes around, such as leaves changing color, people wearing long pants and jackets, and pumpkins, to name a few.  Our students were back to asking a question as the repetitive line.  The question was, “what do we see during fall?”  The yellow background helped the pictures to pop.  I think after reading this book we are ALL ready for some fall weather to come to us!



IMG_5652Here is a link to the book:  What Do We See During Fall?



IMG_5330We have finally gotten a little relief from the heat down here so it is a perfect time to do our unit about fall. The sensory group had fun exploring scents and colors of fall. The fine motor group made some cool nature inspired art work and the language group made some pumpkin spice play dough! All of our students loved our colorful fall umbrella!

Read along to see all the fall fun we had this week!





IMG_5455The first thing people think about when they think of fall are the colorful LEAVES! We attached tons of silk and craft foam leaves to this umbrella and our students loved it—–it was just like being under a tree. We were pretty pleased with the way this turned out. The bright yellow umbrella made a terrific background for the leaves and the whole thing was quite eye catching.

Recognize a seasonal change in the appearance of a common plant is a science access point addressed here.






IMG_5849IMG_5855Fall also brings breezy weather to help the leaves fall. We made our own wind using a battery operated fan which produced lots of giggles from our students :)

Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.






IMG_5891More colorful leaves are the base of this box. We added a variety of seasonal items including pinecones, scarecrows, squash, and pumpkins. All over the country, fall means football games so there was a little football in the box. Colorful strands of yarn and a cute plush squirrel were also tucked in among the leaves.

Just a whole bunch of items to explore and discover!

This box had lots of opportunities to address the science access point recognize a model of a real object.



IMG_5886Once leaves fall to the ground they get dry and crunchy. Dry cornflake cereal makes a very satisfying crunch when pounded or stomped, just like fall leaves!

YES we did put a box of cereal in front of children and asked them NOT to eat it——what can we say, we like to live life on the edge :)

Some students crunched the cereal with their hands, and some got to use their feet which they thought was WAY FUN……

…….and a little messy!

The science access point recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli—-in this case touch and sound—– is addressed here.




IMG_5171IMG_5203As we said, football is played all over the country in the fall and football is HUGE around here! This box contained a variety of pom pom shakers with colors of some of our favorite colleges teams—–go Gators, Seminoles, Rattlers, and Hurricanes!

Our students always have fun with the pom pom’s, this was a very popular box!

Shaking these pom poms is a fun way to explore the science access point recognize an action as fast or slow.



IMG_5925The students had fun stamping leaves in our cinnamon and ginger scented cloud dough. We made the cloud dough with wheat flour and loved how the color turned out.

It also had a great texture and aroma——it really invited exploration!

The science access point apply a push to move an object is addressed.







IMG_5877This box contained a skein of wonderfully soft pom pom yarn in fall colors—-perfect for a sweater or blanket. Our students really loved exploring it. Some of them shook it, others tried to pull it apart, and still others  loved the feel of it draped around their shoulders.

Just delightfully cozy and touchable!

Use senses  to recognize objects is a science access point explored here.






IMG_5223We hid some letter F’s—-for fall—- inside our mixed “bean soup” box. Always a fun media for exploration to practice visual and tactile discrimination skills. Since there were so many different colored beans it was even more tricky this week!

The science access point apply a push to move an object is again addressed in this activity.

With the amount of beans that end up on the floor the science access point track objects that fall to the ground could also be addressed :)





IMG_5162Aspen caramel woods from Bath and Body Works was the scent we chose to help us remember all the fall fun we had in group.

For our water play we also added two different sized scoops which addresses the math access point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids.

Track objects in motion is another science access point that can be addressed.






IMG_5342IMG_5357The aroma was even stronger in the lotion. Our students gave it a definite “thumbs up” and left the group smelling like some yummy caramel candy—–YUMMY!

Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is the science access point addressed here.






IMG_5390For our Tuesday art project our students made some colorful fall trees. We started by painting our students forearms and hands with brown paint and then stamping them on a piece of rectangular paper. As usual, we discussed the shape of the paper before we started.

Recognize a common object with a two dimensional shape is a math access point.






IMG_5417IMG_5432After the paint was washed off we discussed the color of the leaves that were going onto our trees and used our communication symbols to identify the color.

The science access point identify common classroom objects by one observable property, such as color is addressed here.

Then we counted out 3 orange leaf doilies (purchased at the dollar store) for each student to decorate their trees. There were 32 leaves in the package so PLENTY to go around.

We reinforced the number recognition by writing the numbers on the back with the glue—–we get pretty clever around here sometimes :)


IMG_5402                                                                    Ta Da! Some beautiful fall foliage!


On Thursday we made some super fun fall shaker bottles!

IMG_5668We started by looking at different bowls of colored rice—-orange, purple, and yellow. Then we dumped all the rice into one bowl and the students stirred them together.

Periodically their friends would let them know whether it needed MORE stirring using their communication symbols.

We ended up with this beautiful fall rice blend. The picture doesn’t really do it justice but in real life it was FABULOUS!

The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here. The math access point indicate desire for more of an action or object is also addressed.


IMG_5680IMG_5714Then we scooped the rice into some empty water bottles. The funnel helped but we still ended up with quite a bit of rice scattered around the table…..and the floor :)

Everyone helped count out loud as each student scooped 5 spoonfuls of rice into their bottle.

IMG_5686In addition to eye hand coordination and scooping skills, this activity addressed the math access point associate quantities with number names.



IMG_5701Next some acorns were added to the bottles.  Pincer grasp skills were really practiced while picking up those tiny acorns!

The math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed here again!







IMG_5734After the lids were hot glued onto the bottles it was time to make some NOISE!

As you can see, the students had an absolute blast with their Fall Shaker Bottles :)







IMG_5627We decided to make some pumpkin spice play dough with our language group students this week.

After reading about all of the different things that we see during fall, one being pumpkins, we looked over the directions on how to make our no cook pumpkin spice play dough.

While going over the ingredients, we went over how “boiling” means HOT.


IMG_5609We also passed around the pumpkin spice so our students were able to smell it——YUMMY!

Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.






IMG_5620IMG_5625The students helped POUR the ingredients into the bowl, with the exception of the boiling water of course :)

Adding the ingredients gave lots of opportunities to work on the math access point solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions, using language , such as enough, too much, or more.





IMG_5629We MIXED all of the ingredients up and watched them change into play dough.  The students loved this part!

Our students were able to feel the WARM bowl once it was cool enough to touch.

The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here.

Recognize the temperature of items as cool or warm is also addressed.





IMG_5642Look at this playdough!  I bet you can imagine how great it smells :)

Rolling, squeezing, pinching , poking—–lots of ways to play AND work on improving hand intrinsic function, which needless to say the OT really liked!






IMG_5598IMG_5918IMG_5591Well we welcomed Fall with style and fun this week! Join us again for more fun and learning——-Group by Group!

Native Americans book


IMG_4713We are following the Unique theme this week and focusing on learning about Native Americans.  All of the pictures (found using google images) and information relate to Native Americans from long ago.  On each page there is a piece of information about Native Americans.  After the information is read to the students, we asked them, “what are we learning about?”  The repetitive line answers, “The life of a Native American.”  We hope you enjoy!




IMG_4535Here is a link to the book: The Life of a Native American