Nursery Rhymes book


IMG_3164IMG_2910Since it’s national poetry month, we decided to do a unit on Mother Goose nursery rhymes.  We had SO MUCH fun making this book!  Some of our amazing students were our models and got to dress up as some of the characters who appear in Mother Goose rhymes, like Jack & Jill, Old King Cole, and Humpty Dumpty, to name a few.  Thank you Ms. Lois for helping us with costumes!

Our characters are super cute, so check it out!





IMG_2973Here is a link to the book:  We Introduce Mother Goose

Nursery Rhymes


IMG_2798April is National Poetry Month so we decided to make nursery rhymes our theme this week! Our sensory groups had lots of messy fun exploring boxes related to different characters. Our fine motor groups made some fun animal character art projects and the language group made a yummy treat based on nursery rhyme character.






IMG_2949IMG_3216There were three number 3’s to find in our Old King Cole black bean “coal”.  The students had fun discovering the hidden numbers as they ran their hands through the beans.

They also like picking up handfuls and watching them drop back into the box.


IMG_2969Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.






IMG_2724IMG_2875Little Bo Peep’s lost sheep could be found in this box as well as some geese—that perhaps belonged to Mother Goose!

Both sets of animals came in a variety of sizes, shapes, and textures for sorting fun.



IMG_2814Match animals that are the same is a science access point.






IMG_3201IMG_3247Our Jack Be Nimble box contained Wikki Stix which are waxed strings like candles.

We also put a light toy that looked a little like a candle when the button was pushed.


IMG_2952 The students really had fun with this.

IMG_3172The science access point recognize a source of light energy and the science access point initiate a change in the motion of an object are addressed with this activity.






IMG_2777IMG_3282Spiders scared Little Miss Muffet away but ours were super cute and not scary at all! We had 2 cute little furry spiders, one that jiggled when it’s string was pulled, and a discovery bottle with spiders that scuttled up and down.



IMG_2886The science access point track objects in motion can be addressed here.

Lots of giggles were heard with this box:)






IMG_3291IMG_3186The Queen of Hearts and the baker both love to bake so this box was filled with red velvet cake mix. We put in 2 different size scoops and a heart shaped cookie cutter for our little bakers to play with.

IMG_2774This was pretty messy but LOTS of fun:)

Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.






IMG_3160IMG_2931Speaking of Little Miss Muffet, we learned that curds and whey are kind of like cottage cheese. We added cotton balls to our oobleck to get a lumpy kind of texture and were pretty pleased with the results. The oobleck started out white with each group but hands that had explored the red velvet cake mix tinged it pink!

IMG_3196The science access point demonstrate pushing away (repulsion) and pulling (attraction) is addressed here.






IMG_2921IMG_3256While rinsing their hands, the students had fun playing with Jack and Jill’s pail along with a couple of different size scoops.

The science access point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids (capacity) is addressed here.







IMG_2824IMG_2990As a nod to our Baker and the Queen of Hearts, both our water and lotion were raspberry scented (from Bath and BodyWorks). It was a really yummy smell that our students loved!

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








On Tuesday our students made handprint sheep!

IMG_2834IMG_2835First we discussed the shape of our paper and asked the students to identify it using communication symbols.

Recognize common objects with 2-dimensional shapes is a math access point.








IMG_2836IMG_2841Next we painted one of their hands with white paint. The students were pretty intrigued with this step:)









IMG_2840IMG_2844Then we helped them press their hands onto our grassy green paper.

IMG_2842The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here.






IMG_2857IMG_2853After their hands were cleaned, the students put 3 cotton balls onto their sheep’s tummy.





IMG_2849Match objects to designated spaces to show one-to-one correspondence is  math access point.






IMG_2847IMG_2852Ta Baaaaaaa Da!

IMG_2862Tell Little Bo Peep we found her sheep:)












On Wednesday it was all about mice with our Hickory Dickory Dock clock! Our fabulous volunteers did all the set up for this project—-thanks ladies! Here is the template for the mice:mouse template for clock

IMG_3041We started by asking the students to out “mouse heads”  using adaptive scissors—-counting how many cuts it took, of course! We also discussed the fact that the shape was a TRIANGLE!

Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.









IMG_3009IMG_3045After they finished cutting out triangles, the students glued them onto an OVAL shaped body—complete with colorful tail. They added 2 big  CIRCLE ears and 1 little circle nose were added.

Recognize similarities and differences in size of common objects is a math access point.





IMG_3021IMG_3017Ta tick tock Da!!!

IMG_3046                                                            The students were SO proud!





IMG_3067IMG_8174To finish up, the students glued their mice onto the fabulous clock that our volunteers made. Then we counted them!

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.











IMG_3322IMG_3325We channeled Humpty Dumpty for our language group and made some egg salad.  We had already pre-boiled the eggs and cut them up.

Before we put them in the bowl, we let each of our students smell the eggs——and got some pretty funny faces from some of the students:)

IMG_3317Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.





IMG_3335IMG_3343Once the eggs were put INTO the bowl, our students counted out the spoonfuls of mayo (2) and the squirts of yellow mustard (3) that we put into the bowl as well.

Solve simple problems involving going or separating sets of objects to 5 is a math access point.








IMG_3340IMG_3347Our students helped POUR the cut up green onions and pickles into the bowl and helped SHAKE a little salt and pepper in as well.

IMG_3348We had to STIR the ingredients around until they were all mixed up.





IMG_3364IMG_3367We made 1 sandwich and cut it in HALF to make 2.  Then we cut one of the halves in half and counted 3 pieces and then cut the other half and counted 4 pieces.  Math with food is always a fun and YUMMY thing!

Partition a rectangle into equal parts with equal area is a math access point that can be addressed with this activity.

IMG_3368Since it was her last day, we also had a surprise for  Joy’s practicum student——yummy cupcakes!  We are sure going to miss you Ali!

India book


IMG_2370We learned about India this week and have some special pictures in our book featuring some of our students and their families.   You will learn different facts about India such as the national bird, the Taj Mahal, and some foods that are common.

Take a look and see some of the wonderful things about India!






IMG_2556Here is a link to the book: Let’s Learn About India



IMG_1997Many states in the Republic of India are celebrating the New Year this week so we thought it would be fun to learn a little more about the country.

We are lucky enough to have students whose families are from India so that made it even more special for us as they contributed some of the photos we used in our book. The sensory groups explored boxes related to different facts about India. The fine motor groups made art projects with animals that are symbolic of the country and the language group made a yummy ethnic dish to eat!






IMG_2513IMG_2474Our rice was orange, green, and white this week because those are the colors of the Indian flag. There were lots of letter I’s to find both upper and lower case, as well as a picture of a Bengal Tiger, which is the national animal, at the bottom of the box.

Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.






IMG_2358IMG_2024We went with the flag colors, paper shred this time, as the base of this box. It was filled with animals that are symbols of the country such as tigers, peacocks, lions and elephants. We learned India is the only country in the world with both lions and tigers—-how cool is that! Cricket is a favorite sport so we included a picture of that also! There was a little teapot and cup in the box because tea is an important Indian export.

IMG_2504Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.






IMG_2324IMG_2532The Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and is located in Agra. Our students tried their hands at building a replica of the Taj Mahal using our white Floam. Not quite as lovely as the white marble used for the original but our students had fun anyway:)

IMG_1993Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.





IMG_2564IMG_2367Dahl or lentils are a staple food throughout India. Our box of dried lentils felt so cool to run hands through—-the students loved it! There were some King Cobras to find AND match in this box.

IMG_2535The math access point recognize two objects that are identical to each other is addressed with this activity.






IMG_2481IMG_2550There were some interesting discovery bottles for the students to explore. One bottle was filled with sequins—-like those seen on colorful saris. If looked at closely enough, a little elephant could be found floating around too! Our peacock discovery bottle was filled with blue and green sparkly glitter which made it pretty fascinating to watch swirl.

Track objects in motion is a science access point.





IMG_1984IMG_2393The other discovery bottles were had cotton balls with scents associated with India—-sandalwood and curry. These were some pretty interesting aromas and very intriguing to our students.

IMG_2499Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli—-in this case smell—-is a science access point.






IMG_2050IMG_2349We put some green and orange glitter into our white oobleck—–once again representing the colors of the Indian flag. It was lots of fun to practice making the vertical and horizontal strokes needed to make a letter I!

IMG_2517Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.






IMG_2029IMG_2355Hands were rinsed in our Ganges River, complete with an Indian crocodile—-ours  a very cute one:)  India is known for periods of rain called “monsoons” so we created a little one here using a hand operated water mister fan. When pointed above the students heads it created a mini rainfall—-resulting in lots of giggles.

Our water was scented with coconut bath gel as a nod to the fact that it is an important crop in India.

IMG_2368Recognize weather conditions including hot/cold and raining/not raining during the day is a science access point that can be addressed here.






IMG_2403IMG_2064We finished our group with mango scented lotion. Mangos are the national fruit of India. A perfect scent to remind us of all the things we learned about the wonderful country of India! The students really liked the aroma and as usual they practiced body part identification by indicating where they wanted it applied.

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








On Tuesday our students painted a Bengal Tiger using marbles. The tigers were cut from orange poster board using this:  tiger template

IMG_2100IMG_2101First the students identified the color orange using communication symbols.

Identify objects by one observable property such as color is a science access point.









IMG_2104The tiger was placed in a box, then the students scooped 3 marbles out of black paint and put them in the box.

Recognize when 1 or 2 items have been added to or removed from sets of objects to 3, is a math access point.









IMG_2127IMG_2107Next came the fun part which our students always LOVE—–time to shake, shake, shake!

IMG_2116Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.






IMG_2108IMG_2119The lid was opened and our tigers had their stripes! Googlie eyes and popsicle stick handles were then added.

Recognize that the appearance of an object has changed is a science access point.








IMG_2123IMG_2110Ta Da…………….. GRRRRRRR!












On Wednesday, our students made peacocks—–the national bird of India. We used this:  peacock template

IMG_2429We started by discussing the shape of the coffee filter and asked the students to identify it using communication symbols

Recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes is a math access point.









IMG_2442IMG_2434They used blue and green markers to scribble on the coffee filters and then…….sprayed their art work with water.

Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.







IMG_2454IMG_2447The filter was then folded in half and placed on a paper plate (we had cut in half ) to make it a little more stable. The peacocks body was placed on TOP of that then everything was stapled together.

Recognize a half of an object as part of the whole object is a math access point.






IMG_2463IMG_2450Ta DA! What beautiful peacocks!












We made some curry hummus  in our language group!  This was a neat recipe because there were so many things for our students to SMELL.

IMG_2590We started by putting a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas in our food processor.  One student poured HALF of the can in and another student poured the REST of it in.

Recognize when an object or person is added to (addition) or is taken away from (subtraction) a situation is a math access point.






IMG_2592IMG_2600We then measured out some sesame oil and poured that in as well.  Our students got to smell the sesame oil——some liked it and others were not so thrilled about it:)









IMG_2611We then squirted some lemon juice into the mixture.  This time, our students got to TASTE the lemon juice.  We talked about how it was SOUR.

They made some pretty funny faces when the lemon juice hit their taste buds!









IMG_2622After that, we shook some curry, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into the food processor.  Each of our students had a turn smelling the different spices.

These spices have some strong smells!










IMG_2645With all the ingredients added, the students used a switch to activate the food processor——-they always love that part:)

Observe and recognize a predictable cause-effect relationship related to a science topic.










IMG_2658IMG_2654Once all of the ingredients were smooth, each of our students got to taste some of the hummus on a piece of pita bread.





IMG_2613                                                                           YUM!



Hope you enjoyed our visit to India this week! Join us next time for more fun and learning———–Group by Group!

How We Make Money book


IMG_1702We are putting our spin on the Unique theme this month by talking about how we can make money in order to be able to buy things.  We had a “dress-up-as-what-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up” day at school recently and got to take pictures of students and staff.  We photoshopped the pictures onto backgrounds that went with the jobs.  We had beekeepers, a marine biologist, and a pediatrician, among other jobs.

You’ll just have to read it to find out what other jobs we looked at!





IMG_1498Here is a link to the book: I Make Money at My Job

How We Make Money


IMG_1290This week our theme compliments the April Unique Curriculum unit for our students. They are learning about money and what we do with it. Our focus is on how we earn it! The sensory groups explored boxes related to specific jobs. The fine motor groups painted job related art projects and the language group got real time job experience—–they made a dessert:)






IMG_1681IMG_1244Helping people get an education as the President of a University would be a pretty important job to have! If you were the president of FAMU you would cheer on the Rattlers. Our box featured the team colors of ORANGE and GREEN and the little egg shaker we included made rattling sounds when shaken.

The science access point recognize objects that create sounds can be addressed here.






IMG_1685IMG_1456Paleontologists study dinosaur bones—–how cool is that! There were four little bones to find buried in our sand and we included a small scoop so they could be buried again.  Of course it was also really fun to watch the sand sift through fingers. This box was lots of fun:)

IMG_1292Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.






IMG_1480IMG_1674Veterinarians take care of our pets. There were lots of “medical” supplies in this box for fun pretend play. There were soft cotton balls and gauze as well as a fun stethoscope to try out. Our little vets took good care of their patient!

Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.






IMG_1268IMG_1506One really cool way to earn money would be as a Rock Star! In addition to finger drums and a tiny toy guitar, there were some star worthy sunglasses and feather boas in this box.

IMG_1679The science access points recognize objects that create sounds and the science access point recognize one or more external body parts can be addressed with this activity.

IMG_1697IMG_1236Everyone got in on the fun……..

IMG_1256…..looks like we have some future superstars in the making:)






IMG_1525IMG_1299We brought out our underwater umbrella for our budding Marine Biologists. To add to the experience there were orca and humpback whale sounds recorded on a voice output device. Everyone found it fascinating!

IMG_1668Match living things with their habitats is a science access point that can be addressed here.





IMG_1220IMG_1631Our little Chefs had fun icing the play food cupcake with whipped (shaving) cream. Great messy fun!

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.








IMG_1454IMG_1281Our students got to play Lifeguard by scooping swim rings (made out of water noodle slices) and a little toy figure out of the water. This activity is great for counting and eye hand coordination practice!

IMG_1693Recognize 2 dimensional shapes in the environment is a math access point.





IMG_1723IMG_1720We chose Bath and BodyWorks vanilla sugar scent for our water play and lotion this week because the aroma reminded us of some of the yummy treats that Chefs might make! This is always a popular scent with our students:)

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









On Tuesday we talked about Beekeeping and our students made some bees using this: honey bee template  We used yellow poster board for the base so it was a little sturdier and just regular white paper for the wings.

IMG_1322IMG_1323We started by discussing the shape of the bees body—-an oval—-and asked the students to identify the color yellow using communication symbols.

Identify objects by one observable property such as size or color is a science access point.






IMG_1326IMG_1331Next the students painted black stripes on their bee.

Recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed is a science access point.








IMG_1342Then they used a glue stick to apply glue to the wing and put it on their bee. We encouraged them to put the wing DOWN onto the bee’s body.

Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship, such as up and down is a math access point.








IMG_1350With a little help they added a googlie eye by placing in ON a glue spot.

The math access point match one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is addressed here.









IMG_1346IMG_1353Ta Da!

IMG_1337                                                                 BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!





On Wednesday like Paleontologists, we discovered some dinosaur fossils! To prep this an adult traced this: dinosaur bones template  Instead of making copies of our template, we took another piece of paper to trace over it with a pencil and made copies of that. By doing it that way the outline was very light. One of our fantastic volunteers then filled in each template with glue—-all 7 of them! She used a paint brush and it actually went really fast!

IMG_1561IMG_1562The students identified the shape of the paper using communication symbols—-they did a really great job and we were SO proud:)

Recognize 2-dimensional shapes in the environment is a math access point.






IMG_1563IMG_1577Then they dipped their sponge brushes into VERY watery brown paint. You need your paint to be pretty translucent for this project to turn out correctly. As the students brushed the paint over the paper, their fossils appeared—–this was super cool!!!

Recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed is a science access point.





IMG_1574IMG_1566Ta Dino DA

IMG_1580                                                            Fabulous fossil finds!!!!







We tied in a couple of the jobs we talked about in our book because we made an edible treat (chef) with honey (beekeepers)!

IMG_1767IMG_1773We started by going around the room and letting our students look at and smell some real honey comb that Joy brought it.  We talked about how it smelled SWEET.  We also talked a lot about looking with our eyes and smelling with our noses, not with our hands!

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





IMG_1777IMG_1780Next, we counted out cups for all of our friends.  Each of our students got to indicate how many spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt they wanted by pointing to the numbers 3, 4, or 5.  When scooping out the yogurt, we counted out loud to make sure that we put in the correct amount.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.





IMG_1800IMG_1807Our students then got to indicate if they wanted strawberries on top by verbalizing yes/no or by nodding/shaking their heads.

Once the strawberries were in, our students helped SQUEEZE the honey onto their yogurt and strawberries.  Finally, we topped the mix with some granola.





IMG_1838IMG_1815We think this job was a successful one for our students!

IMG_1822They thought it was a pretty a delicious one as well:)


We had an absolute blast this week! Join us again next time for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

March After Party


IMG_9524IMG_9293Welcome to the After Party! Each week after the weekly blog featuring activities in the elementary department is posted, our sensory cart is parked in the media center where it is available for check out by the rest of the school.

This post has photos of our middle and high school students enjoying the books and cart during the month of March.





IMG_9286IMG_9463We learned about Nevada with our first unit. In this box students learned about some of the symbols and key industries of the state.

IMG_9254                                                  The sunglasses we included were a big hit!





IMG_9245IMG_9505The students explored hydroelectric power, like that produced by the Hoover Dam.







IMG_0469IMG_9270They totally rocked the “hard hat”!


IMG_0464First invented for the workers who constructed the Hoover Dam.










IMG_9265IMG_9493Las Vegas is one of the brightest cities in the world so we included a box with some lights of our own.

IMG_9282Of course the brightest light would be from the sun. The students made replicas using yellow Floam.







IMG_9251IMG_9521There were letter N’s to find in turquoise (the official semi-precious stone) beans.

They also searched for animals in the sandy desert habitat.








IMG_0465IMG_9544The students practiced making circles—–like the sun—–or writing letters in the shaving foam.

IMG_0467                                                                            Always fun!





IMG_9257We finished with some lemonade scented lotion——YUMMY!










We celebrated Women’s History month by learning about some famous women in history.

IMG_0417IMG_0054Maria Montiessori, an Italian educator, promoted education for children with intellectual disabilities. Our rice was in the colors of the Italian flag.

Sacajawea was a guide for Lewis and Clark. Her tribe, the Shoshone, were clothing with beadwork.






IMG_0034IMG_0441Our Silent Spring box honored Rachel Carson—-she started the modern environmental movement.

Emmeline Pankhurst was a British suffragette.







IMG_0066IMG_0447Bessie Coleman was the first African American to become a pilot.

IMG_0421The students had a blast with the fun box dedicated to her!





IMG_0060IMG_0074Edith Flanigen was a scientist who invented a molecular sieve. The students experimented with a regular sieve in our water play.

Our scent for the week was a fruity scent dedicated to Julia Child.






March Madness was our next fun theme!

IMG_0494IMG_0500The students had a blast picking out shaker pompoms in the colors of the favorite teams…….








IMG_1104IMG_3638 ……….and wearing silly a fan hat!











IMG_0506IMG_0488Our red, white, and blue oobleck was a tribute to NCAA founder President Teddy Roosevelt.

IMG_1099                                                                                 Such cool stuff!







IMG_1096IMG_0512The students cut letter B’s out of our basketball orange play dough.

They scooped out foam numbers to score points in our water basin.







IMG_0480IMG_1105The students sorted pompoms and beads in the colors of UCLA which has won the most championships.

IMG_0483Our rice was blue and white like the colors of the University of Kentucky which as won the most games.





IMG_3642IMG_3654The final four games were scheduled to be played in Houston, Texas so there was a box dedicated to the state—-complete with fun cowboy hat!

IMG_1119                                                                Pretty dapper:)





Our final unit was all about the Hoedown we had at school. Our book included photos from the event—-be sure to check it out!

IMG_1420IMG_1404Hoedowns are all about music so we recorded some square dance music on the voice output device and added a fun shaker for the students.

IMG_0828                                                                             Yeehaw!!!






IMG_1392IMG_0838Of course we included cowboy hats and bandanas!

IMG_1394                                                                       Fun!





IMG_1166IMG_0839Since hoedowns are often held in barns, we filled a box with sawdust. We also added some farm animals and square dancers.

IMG_1434Swing your partner!





IMG_1155IMG_1430The students had fun using cowboy hat and boot cookie cutters in the blue moonsand.

They experimented with different sized scoops in the water play—-especially fun outside on a warm summer day!






IMG_1156IMG_1168We made a “Goo Bag” with some hair gel and the students practiced writing patterns, letters, and words with their fingers.

IMG_1162It was something different and the students really enjoyed it!





IMG_1405Toe tapping fun was had by all:)