London book


IMG_9605Since the Unique theme is all about transportation, we decided to “take a trip” to London!  The front of the book features a student in front of one mode of transportation, a plane.  Looking through the book, you can see real pictures from Joy and her sister-in-law from previous trips they have taken to London.

Our students got to “travel” to see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Tower of London, to name a few.  The The End page even has one of our students dressed like a guard in front of Buckingham Palace!




IMG_9704Here is a link to the book: Let’s Take a Trip to London!



IMG_9533Our students are learning about transportation in their Unique Curriculum units this month and we thought a virtual trip would go perfectly with this unit. Soooo many choices, but for this trip we decided London would be a perfect destination!

Our sensory groups had fun exploring boxes with lots of British flair. The fine motor groups made colorful art projects and the language group “traveled” on a scavenger hunt.





IMG_9253IMG_9240Time to get on the plane! We recorded the phrase “fasten your seat belts” and the sound of a jet taking off on our voice output device. Our vibrating tube added to the feeling of being on a plane and was a huge hit with our students.

IMG_9621Recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is a science access point.




IMG_9762IMG_9799——–did we mention how much fun the vibrating tube was :)









IMG_9510This British flag banner made for lots of fun draping and waving! We also included a little souvenir teddy bear, wearing his own little British flag vest—-super cute and huggable!

Associate an object, picture, or symbol with a location is a social studies access point.








IMG_9812IMG_9244Filled with red, white, and blue paper shred this box included things tourists might see while visiting London. There were play figure people, some “crown jewels”, and London souvenirs such as a GIANT pencil!

IMG_9776We included some transportation vehicles like a plane, cars, and of course the ultimate symbol of London transportation—-the double decker bus!

The science access point recognize a model of a real object is addressed here.






IMG_9250IMG_9480Trains are another great way to travel around London. There were 3 letter “L”s to find and a little train to chug through this box of tea. There was also a map of the London Underground to find at the bottom of the box.

Recognize a method of transportation is a social studies access point.









IMG_9564IMG_9291The Tower of London is a must for any tourist. Our students made their own replica’s using our grey Floam. They really had fun with this. Since we didn’t have a British flag, we laminated a picture of one and used an unsharpened pencil as the flag pole—-it worked pretty well!

IMG_9808The social studies access point associate an object, picture, or symbol with a location is again addressed with this activity.





IMG_9288IMG_9795Red and blue glitter made for some pretty colorful oobleck—-and represented the colors of the British Flag.

IMG_9760Recognize that pushing or pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.








IMG_9600Hands were rinsed in our Calgon “english garden” scented river Thames. Roses are a symbol of Britain and lots of rose bushes can be found all over London! There was  a little river boat for cruising down the river. We also included a little teapot and cup—–for tea time, of course!

Recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids (capacity) is a math access point.








IMG_9302IMG_9868We used Crabtree and Evelyn rose scented lotion to finish our group and leave our students with a great olfactory memory of our trip! This lotion had a strong aroma that really got the students attention and as usual, we asked them to show us where they wanted the lotion.

IMG_9640                                           Recognize external body parts is a science access point.





On Tuesday our students made their own Crown Jewels! We used these pre-made crown shapes purchased at the thrift store.

IMG_9313IMG_9312We started by asking the students to pick a crown and then identify it’s color using communication symbols.

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





IMG_9323IMG_9358Then they used a large brush to spread some glitter glue over their crown. The glitter glue didn’t add as much sparkle as we had hoped but still worked as glue :)

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




IMG_9334IMG_9379Those crowns needed some jewels and a few old spice jars worked pretty well as confetti and sequin shakers.

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






IMG_9347IMG_9354Ta DA—-

IMG_9375                                                                              their royal majesties!




On Wednesday our students made a fabulous travel poster! It was a pretty quick and easy project but it turned out really cute.

IMG_9643They started by using the adaptive tabletop scissors to cut squares from black paper.

Recognize an object with a 2-dimensional shape is a math access point.







IMG_9667IMG_9660After they glued their photo to a square we told them it was time to “get on the bus” and glue themselves onto the double-decker bus!

Placing their photos on the squares addresses the math access point match one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence.




IMG_9697                                                               TA DA—-Lets visit London!!!!




Since Unique was all about traveling, we decided to do a “travel” scavenger hunt with our language group using all of the different locations that were in our book.

Before our group, we went around and put pictures of the different London sights from the book all around school, making sure that they were located in places that were familiar to our students.  We took a picture of each of the locations as well.

IMG_9814IMG_9819In order to travel to each London sight, our students had to look at the picture of the location in the school and help us find WHERE it was.  Our students could use gestures to point to where we should go or they could use verbalizations to tell us where it was (library, clinic, etc.).





IMG_9861IMG_9822When our students found each London sight, they had to verbalize the word LOOK in order to get the attention of the class…..

IMG_9818                                              ……or indicate LOOK using a picture symbol provided.




IMG_9853It was so much fun and we found that some of our students have a great ability to navigate around our school!









IMG_9274We had such a great time traveling to London this week! We will be out next week for Thanksgiving but come back in December for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

Fall Festival book


IMG_5036We just had the fall festival at our school recently, so we thought it would be fun to do our theme on fall festivals this week.  There are SO many things to do at a fall festival and our book touches on a few of the different activities.

We used real pictures of our students participating in the activities and you can tell that they had a pretty good time :)





IMG_5102Here is a link to the book: We Have Fun at the Fall Festival

Fall Festival


IMG_8889 (1)It is getting a little cooler (in our case, emphasis on LITTLE) and that means it is the time of year for fall festivals. Ours’ was just so much fun we decided that it would be a perfect theme for us—-and a way to relive all the fun!

Our sensory groups explored boxes filled with a variety of textures and scents of fall fun. The fine motor group painted a fall tree and the language group made some yummy festival food.






IMG_8918IMG_8925This box had lots of textures and objects related to a fall festival. There was hay and a truck for the hayride, colorful fall leaves, and some little “students” to enjoy the fun. We also included a football, pie, scarecrows, and pumpkins!

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






IMG_5064IMG_5051Everyone had fun playing Bingo while eating yummy chili! So,we combined the two for this box—–adding numbers to our dried bean mix.

In addition to number identification and sequencing, both visual and tactile discrimination skills are also addressed!

IMG_8936                                Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.








IMG_8960IMG_8982Popcorn was another fun treat that we enjoyed at the festival. There were 3 upper case and 1 lowercase letter “f”s to find in our popcorn box.

Recognize quantities 1 to 3 using sets of objects is a math access point.








IMG_8967IMG_5090At our fall festival, we had a big bubble machine blowing bubbles everywhere—–there is something about bubbles that always make you smile :) Instead of the machine during group, the students had to blow their own bubbles.

IMG_9007Of course, not all the students could blow the bubbles themselves but they sure had fun watching them drift by or trying to catch them!

Track objects in motion is a science access point.





IMG_8940IMG_5105One of the highlights of this group was our fall fun umbrella—-it is one of our favorites! The students loved looking at and touching the colorful leaves. They also had fun watching them waft to and fro as we slowly twirled the umbrella.

The science access point track objects in motion can be addressed with this activity.








IMG_8933IMG_5074The dessert booth is always a favorite at any festival. We made some chocolate cloud dough to remind us of all the yummy treats to be found there! A cookie cutter and large scoop added to the fun.

Recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is a science access point.






IMG_5067IMG_8896We turned our water play into a fishing booth—–complete with fishing pole! The students really had a blast with this one and operating the fishing pole really works on bilateral coordination!

IMG_5073In addition to being counted, since the fish were different colors the science access point identify objects by one observable property such as color, can be addressed.







IMG_9028IMG_9017Bath and Bodyworks pumpkin was the perfect scent for our water play and lotion this week. The students REALLY liked this one :)

IMG_5107                          Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point.







Due to Veterans Day holiday we only had one fine motor group this week but it was a really fun and colorful one! For our tree painting project we used the super cool stampers made from fringed craft foam rolled and secured with rubber bands——thank you for the idea Ms. Kim! Here is the template for the tree:tree template

IMG_9046We started by discussing the 3 different colors of paint for our project—–red, yellow, and orange—and asking the students to identify the number 3.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.







IMG_9055IMG_9093The students were encouraged to stamp with UP and DOWN motions but of course, they all had their own techniques—-whether using 1 or 2 hands :)

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






IMG_9062IMG_9088TA DA——

IMG_9070                                                                          fabulous fall foliage!





IMG_5164We had a very special visitor help us out with the language group this week!  Our very own Jeannie!  She came in to help the class make a sweet dessert that could be sold in the bake sale at a fall festival.

We made edible haystacks using this recipe: Let’s Make Edible Haystacks




IMG_5132First, our student helped pour some chow mein noodles into a medium sized bowl.








IMG_5111IMG_5117We then poured an entire bag of butterscotch chips into a smaller, microwaveable bowl.  We talked about the different sizes of the bowls; which bowl was BIGGER and which was SMALLER. Then we heated the butterscotch up so it would melt.

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






IMG_5120While we were waiting, we brought the fall umbrella around so our students could look at it—-it was a HIT!!!










IMG_5138IMG_5141Once the butterscotch was melted, Jeannie poured it into the chow mein noodle bowl.  Each of our students got a turn to stir it up until the noodles were all coated with butterscotch.

This was a great opportunity to address the math access point solve problems involving small quantities of actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more.







IMG_5156Finally, each of our students got to spoon out ONE sponful of the mix onto a piece of wax paper.  We found that if we waited a little bit longer for the mixture to cool, it would form more easily into a “haystack”.

Match one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is a math access point.

Once they were all nice and cooled off, our students ate their haystacks.  YUM!






IMG_5154Join us again next week for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

Egypt book


IMG_8177On November 4, 1922, the entrance to King Tut’s tomb was discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter.  We decided to base our theme for this week around that discovery and learn a little bit about Egypt.

Our book includes some facts about Egypt, both from ancient times as well as present times.   You should definitely check it out!





IMG_7904Here is a link to the book: Let’s Learn About Egypt



IMG_8330We chose Egypt as our theme this week because on November 4, 1922 Howard Carter discovered the entrance to the tomb of Tutankhamen and we thought it would be fun to learn a little more about the country of Egypt both today and long ago!

We splurged a little with our sensory group and bought the Egyptian TOOB from Amazon and really added a lot to our sensory boxes. The fine motor groups worked on their cutting skills and the language group made a yummy Egyptian treat.






IMG_7507IMG_7474We used paper shred as our “papyrus” base for this box. There were a lot of different items representing both ancient and modern Egypt. From our Amazon order there were lots of Egyptian gods figures, busts of pharaohs, and of course—–a sarcophagus with King Tut!

IMG_7721We included “lotus” petals, palm trees, a hippo (they were considered bad omens), and a giraffe (ancient Egyptians used their tails as fly swatters!). In addition to all the ancient Egyptian items we included some modern “kids” and the word HOME—-to a population of approximately 82 million people! Finally there was a little oil holder that Joy’s aunt brought back on her Egyptian vacation—-pretty cool!

Recognize differences between cultures is a social studies access point that can be addressed here.





IMG_8260IMG_7976King Tut wore a pretty amazing blue and gold headdress. We put some shiny beads with those colors in this box and it turned out to be very eye catching. Needless to say, the students had a lot of fun with this box :)



IMG_7487 (1)Match objects by one observable property, such as size or color is a science access point.




IMG_7714IMG_7470 (1)There are over 100 pyramids in Egypt and tourists come from all over the world to visit them. In addition to the pyramids and sphinx we included a couple of camels to trek around the desert. Underneath the sand there was a picture of the current Egyptian flag to discover.

IMG_7725Recognize an achievement of civilization, such as art, architecture, writing, or technology is a social studies access point.




IMG_8247IMG_7462If you are doing a unit on Egypt you HAVE to include a mummy box! There were a bunch of gauze strips to wrap around a small doll. In our research we learned that the ancient Egyptians also mummified cats so we included a little plush kitty to mummify.


IMG_7763The science access point recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed can be addressed with this activity.




IMG_7732IMG_7747Pomegranate seeds were a favorite treat for ancient Egyptians and still are for modern ones. We didn’t have any dried pomegranate seeds but we thought these red beans made a pretty good stand in. There were 3 letter “E”s to find, as well as a couple of “scarab” beetles.

IMG_8084Match objects by an observable property, such as size, shape, and color is a science access point.




IMG_7520 (1)IMG_7740Our messy play shaving cream reminded us of marshmallows—-we can thank the ancient Egyptians for that tasty treat! We printed out the hieroglyphic alphabet to let students try imitating some of the letters.

IMG_8408Most of them were way too hard for our students to duplicate but the semi circle symbol for “T” was a great one to practice.

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




IMG_8395IMG_7744Hands were rinsed in our Nile River basin complete with a crocodile! We used strawberry scented Valuetime bubble bath in our water because we learned that strawberry juice is a favorite drink for thirsty Egyptian children.

IMG_8349 (1)Match common living things with their habitats is a science access point.





IMG_8547IMG_7779Mango juice is another popular drink found in the refrigerator of Egyptian homes so we finished our group with mango scented lotion. It had a very yummy aroma and our students really enjoyed the scent as we rubbed it on their hands and arms. There were lots of requests for “more”!

Indicate a desire for more of an action or object is a math access point.






On Tuesday we made an ancient Egyptian headdress. Prior to the group the base was cutout of a yellow paper plates (found at Family Dollar store). We just cut across the bottom and then cut a square piece out of the middle. The top piece was cut from the scrap and glued to the top.

IMG_7538 (1)First we discussed the color of our plates and asked the students to identify the color yellow using communication symbols.

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







IMG_7550Then the students cut strips of blue paper using the adaptive scissors.

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








IMG_7574IMG_7623We prompted the students to glue 2 of the blue strips on one side of the head dress, and 2 on the other side.

IMG_7567Solve simple problems involving joining or separating sets of objects  is a math access point.




IMG_7608IMG_7630 TA DA—-time to walk like an Egyptian :)









On Wednesday we made an Egyptian pyramid scene for our art project.

IMG_7788We started by discussing the shape of our paper and then counted it’s sides. We also asked the students to identify the color using communication symbols.

Recognize an object with a 2 dimensional shape is a math access point. Identify objects by one observable property, such as color, is a science access point.






IMG_7796IMG_7809Then we tore 1 piece of yellow paper into 2 pieces—-great for working on bilateral coordination! These were glued down onto the blue paper to make the “sand” for our scene.

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




IMG_7831Next we used a paper cutter to cut the 3 sides of a triangle and glued our “pyramid” onto the sand. Of course, we counted aloud as we cut each side.

The math access point recognize common objects with 2 dimensional shapes is again addressed here.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.





IMG_7867IMG_7888Ta DA—–

IMG_7846                                                                              let’s visit Egypt!





While researching facts about Egypt, we found that children like to drink strawberry juice and mango juice.  Since we LOVE making food, we decided to take a stab at making our own juice.

We used the recipes found here: Let’s Make Strawberry Juice and Mango Juice!

IMG_8568We started out by making strawberry juice.  Our students helped measure out the correct amounts of strawberries and sugar and we put them in the blender.

We talked about WHERE we had to put the ingredients since all of them went into the blender.  We love repetition!







IMG_8585Once the ingredients were in the blender, each of our students got to activate the blender by pressing a switch.







IMG_8612 (1)We had to practice holding the button down since our students like to tap the switch which turns the blender off and on.








IMG_8625IMG_8652Once the juice was finished, it was time to taste test!

We counted out cups for the students and then cups for the adults.  We had 6 students and 7 adults, so we asked our students  to indicate which there were “more” of.

Determine if the quantity in two sets of objects is same or different is a math access point.




IMG_8653IMG_8656While our students were trying out the strawberry juice, we started making the mango juice.  It was nice that each of these recipes were almost exactly the same!

Once each student and adult had tried each kind of juice, we voted to see which was preferred MORE.

IMG_8645                                                          Mango juice was the winner!




IMG_7703Join us again next week for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

October After Party


IMG_0739IMG_4271Welcome 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 October.




image7We started the month with a really fun unit about the Emmy’s. There is a really fabulous book that goes along with that unit so be sure to check it out!







IMG_1635IMG_4275The Doc McStuffins box

image2                                                                                    was a real hit!

IMG_4819IMG_4812The stethoscope was really intriguing to the students.

IMG_4565                                                  Our little patient was well cared for!



image12Staff also :)










IMG_4814IMG_4561Of course, we had a box of GOLD to represent that golden Emmy statue.


image1                                                                        Those sparkly beads!




image4image11The lure of GOLD!










IMG_0451image8We put some red velvet cake mix in Ellen’s box—-it is her favorite!

IMG_4272We also had a box  full of Sesame Street fun! There were play figures, letters, number, and a fun book to read.










Next we celebrated German-American Day which was on October 6.

IMG_0666IMG_5143Germany has more zoos than any other country—-we thought that was a pretty cool fact!

IMG_0668The elephant hat turned out to be a crowd pleaser :)



image6image7There were lots of things to discover in the box.



IMG_5354IMG_5371IMG_0749Many of the animals made noises when buttons were pushed—–very cool!









IMG_5130image5This box contained black beans, red beans, and yellow rice—–the colors of the German flag. Autos are a leading industry so we included some in this box.










IMG_5140IMG_5210Uranium is a German natural resource. We used our fabulous kinetic sand to represent the uranium.

IMG_5335                                                               Our students had a blast!



image4Kinetic sand is just SO cool :)









IMG_5342IMG_5149We added poppy seeds to make our play dough look like bread—-sold in fabulous bakeries throughout Germany.

image3The students also had fun making castles—-just like some of the ones you can visit in Germany—-out of moonsand.






IMG_0667IMG_5134The Brothers Grimm came from Germany so we made a fun fairy tale box just for them!

IMG_5382                                                                              Pretty magical!




In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness everything in our next unit was pink!

IMG_6417IMG_5816The students found the pink sand and sifter very fascinating.

IMG_6083                                                                       It really was very cool!








IMG_5790IMG_5845Our pink rice had 4 letter “P”s to find and the word “pink” hidden at the bottom of the box.

IMG_6097                                                   The students enjoyed this box.


IMG_6408IMG_5803Here are some more pictures of the rice box—-

IMG_6440                                                            ——it really was popular :)




IMG_5794 (1)IMG_6454They enjoyed making cool floam sculptures.








IMG_6122IMG_5804There was quite an assortment of pink items in this box, including a baton that lit up and a fabulous sparkly pom pom.






IMG_5789IMG_6412IMG_0777Something fun for everyone!









IMG_5791IMG_6072It was hard to tell which was a bigger hit the sparkly beads or…….

IMG_6086                                                                   ……….soft, fluffy yarn in this box.




IMG_6402IMG_5840Even the oobleck was colored pink for this unit :)








IMG_6134IMG_6409This fun water fountain toy was a HUGE hit!








IMG_6676IMG_6657Our Creepy Crawly Critter unit was tied to the students curriculum unit on animal habitats.







IMG_6699image4The “owl” feather boa tickled our students :)

IMG_6732                                                  They all like owls—-of course!



IMG_6671IMG_6673It doesn’t get any creepier than spiders!

IMG_6719We had a bunch—even one that vibrated when the string was pulled!!!



IMG_6669IMG_6714Our desert habitat had snakes and lizards to roam around in the sand.








image1IMG_6684There was a GIANT water bug in our pond habitat!

IMG_6655                                                                             Now that is CREEPY!



IMG_6701IMG_6712Bats were cut out of black play dough—-great for counting fun.









IMG_6653IMG_6667The lights got turned off and the students got to check out some glowing bugs in a box.

IMG_7373                                                       Our light boxes are always popular.




IMG_6646IMG_6662The lights were kept off and a black light turned on to check out some glowing centipedes.

IMG_6681                                                                               This was a hit!




IMG_8751 (1)IMG_7670Our final theme of the month was Peter Pan. We had lots of magical fun with this unit.

image7                                                   The Captain Hook box was a huge hit!



image11 (1)IMG_0782There were lots of things to explore including an eye patch  and crocodile.








IMG_7390image3We brought out kinetic sand again—–this time a vibrant green!

IMG_8747                                                                      The students loved it.



IMG_7392IMG_7656Black beans made for a perfect night sky complete with Wendy and stars to find.

IMG_7662                                    There was also a picture of Peter Pan hidden underneath.



image5image10Glitter was added to yellow play dough which made the stars cut from it really twinkle!

IMG_8717The different size cookie cutters enabled size comparisons.



IMG_8705IMG_8724The Mr. Smee box contained red and white items. They could be sorted by either texture or color.

IMG_8716                                                       The beads were also fun to shake and move.



IMG_7681A really fun box!









IMG_8711IMG_8757The students loved the pixie dust discovery bottles.

IMG_8738                                                                                       And the mermaid lagoon!



IMG_8727IMG_8731Of course the highlight was our Fairy Hollow umbrella—-

IMG_7389                                                                   —–this was a HIT!



IMG_7386IMG_7691Truly one of the prettiest umbrellas we have put together.



image1                                                                          Just fabulous!




IMG_6686IMG_6714What a fantastic jam packed month—–filled with fun and learning, Group by Group!