Numbers book


IMG_1334Numbers is the theme for this week and it has been so much fun!  We have been counting up to 10 all week long.  The book features some of our amazing students with numbers coinciding with different objects around school.  You really have to check it out!






IMG_1270Here is a link to the book: I Can Count to 10



IMG_1277This week we were all about NUMBERS! The unit was a lot of fun to put together and we were thrilled with the way our book turned out—-make sure to take a look at it! Each of the boxes in our sensory group had something to count and our fine motor group made two fabulous art projects with numbers. The language group had a blast playing a counting game with a parachute!








IMG_1098IMG_1251We had 1 big tray of shaving cream. Perfect for practicing writing number 1—-or just feeling it squish around fingers!

What a fun way to explore forces and changes in motion while addressing the science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled.






IMG_0946There were 2 different shapes and colors of pasta in this box. It was a colorful and eye catching box, perfect for sorting but also lovely to look at! We made this “butterfly” and “caterpillar” pasta ages ago and it has really held up well—–it is amazing how durable it is!

Identify common classroom objects by one observable property, such as shape or color is the science access point addressed here. The math access point recognize two objects that are identical to each other can also be addressed.






IMG_0854IMG_1065Number 3 was the theme of our water play! There was a floaty foam number to find in the water as well as 3 different size scoops that were perfect for rinsing off all the shaving cream we used.

The math access point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids can be addressed here.






IMG_0915IMG_0887This box was filled with FUN—–4 shaker pompoms! Our students had an absolute blast with these, they were the hit of this unit.



IMG_1026The science access point recognize an action as fast or slow can be addressed here. Another science access point identify an object by one observable property, such as color, can also be addressed.




IMG_0862A “foot” cookie cutter with 5 little toes and a number 5 cookie cutter were included with blue moonsand.

Apply a push to move an object and recognize a change in an object are the science access point addressed here.









IMG_0981The numbers 6, 7, and 8 could be found while sifting around this oatmeal filled box. Taped on a piece of paper at the bottom of the box there a bunch of different animal stickers to count.

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









IMG_1112IMG_1074There were 9 soft pompoms and 9 hard beads to count in this box. The students enjoyed comparing the different textures——and of course wearing the fabulous beads!

IMG_1235The math access point solve simple real-world problems involving joining or separating small quantities of objects can be addressed here.




IMG_0956Lavender scented lotion was spread over 10 fingers to finish our group. Why lavender? Well……while resting on lavender scented sheets people might COUNT sheep to fall asleep!

Ok….so000 quite a stretch but we think it sort of……kind of…… works :)

Associate quantities with number names is the math access point again addressed here.









On Tuesday our art project involved a little bit of magic! First our students wrote their names of a piece of white paper. We discussed the fact that the paper was a rectangle and counted the sides.

IMG_1182IMG_1147Then they chose which color paint they wanted to use—-orange, green, or purple. They used foam brushes to cover the paper and watched as numbers magically appeared—–thanks to our volunteers who had written the numbers with a white crayon.

Recognize a change in an object is the science access point addressed here.




IMG_1208We counted the numbers which addresses the math access point associate quantities with number names then………….









IMG_1173IMG_1200TA DA!!!!!!  Numbers are FUN!










On Thursday we did a really fun hand stamping project that the students LOVED!

IMG_1445We started by asking them to pick two different stamp colors, 1 for each hand.

Then they put one hand on each color and held them down—–with a little bit of help :) while we counted to 5.

Recognize rote counting is a math access point.






IMG_1457Both hands were then pressed down onto a piece of paper that was a rectangle while we counted from 6-10!

The math access points recognize rote counting and recognize a common object with a 2 dimensional shape are both addressed in this activity.








IMG_1449IMG_1476Ta DA—–

IMG_1484                                                                   such cute little fingers!!!!





IMG_1372We had SO MUCH fun in the language group.  Our students were asked to choose which number they wanted from a choice of 2 different number puzzle pieces.

They indicated their preference either by verbalizing, touching, or looking at their choice.







IMG_1381Once they made their decision, the students got to throw the puzzle piece onto the center of a parachute.  Then came the fun part………








IMG_1323…..everyone in the room helped to shake the parachute the number of times that was indicated on the puzzle piece!  We all counted out loud while we shook the parachute and practiced STOPPING when we got to the appropriate number.

In addition to number and operation concepts, the math access point recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship, such as up and down is addressed with this activity.




IMG_1400IMG_1421Our students really loved feeling the wind that came from the parachute when we let them take turns sitting underneath it—–such fun!

We think you can tell by their facial expressions that they REALLY enjoyed this activity :)






IMG_0975What a great week—–filled with messy, fabulous experiences for our students!

Join us again next time for more fun and learning——-Group by Group!


The Ocean book


IMG_0465We are talking about ocean creatures this week and it has been so much fun!  The book is set up a little bit differently this week.  The repetitive line is a question, “what do you see in the ocean”.  Then another question follows, asking if certain types of animals are found in the ocean.  How we set it up was we had one student ask the question “what do you see in the ocean?” to another peer, who would answer YES or NO to the animal presented to them.  Overall, our students did well with distinguishing which animals were ocean animals and which were not :)




IMG_0491Here is a link to the book: What do you See in the Ocean?

The Ocean


IMG_0040Warmer weather has us thinking of the beach so we chose the ocean as our theme this week. The sensory group explored fun boxes and a fabulous ocean themed umbrella habitat. The fine motor group made sea life art projects and the language group sorted items that belong in the ocean and those that don’t.






IMG_0238IMG_0074We were SO pleased with the way this ocean habitat turned out—-pretty darn cool if we do say so ourselves :)  The students loved reaching out to touch the sharks, jelly fish, ribbon seaweed, and pearls that were hanging down from it. The humpback whale sounds recorded on the voice output device added to the total experience.

Recognize that different kinds of living things are found in different habitats is a science access point addressed here.




IMG_0163The students had a great time exploring and sculpting their own coral reefs with orange Floam this week. The bright orange color was really eye catching!

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









IMG_0184There was 1 BIG shell and 2 SMALL ones to find in our sand box this week—-addressing the math access points recognize similarities and differences in size of common objects and recognize two objects that are the same size or color.

In addition, there was a fun underwater scene to find as the sand was pushed around in the box. This also addressed the science point apply a push to move an object.







IMG_0142IMG_0166Blue is the color associated with the ocean and we thought our blue pom pom yarn was a fun way to discuss that element. With it’s soft tactile feel it was great for draping but when shaken it had a great visual element—-just lots of fun!

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






IMG_0068IMG_0409We love discovery bottles and this week we had 3 to explore! One was filled with blue water and a little toy submarine, another was filled with tiny beads and sequin jelly fish, the last one had fish and shell beads that swirled in glittery water. Our students thought that they were really mesmerizing!

IMG_0200                       Track objects in motion is the science access point addressed here.




IMG_0376IMG_0180Blue basket filler made a fabulous “ocean” base for this box filled with so many cool and interesting things for the students to find. There were boats, some sharks to swim around a shipwreck, shell and pearl beads, and a fishing net! The cute little orca puppet that squeaked when the mouth was squeezed together was one of the favorite items, producing lots of giggles :)

IMG_0099                              Recognize a model of a real object is addressed in this activity.




IMG_0022IMG_0410Shaving cream made perfect sea foam! As usual, the students had a blast with messy play—-so much fun to watch the different shapes and lines formed as it is smooched around the tray.

The science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move it addressed here.





IMG_0076Hands were rinsed in water scented with Bath and Bodyworks “ocean” bath gel—–that actually smells nothing like the ocean but it did have the perfect name :) We included a little pufferfish squirting toy and a realistic dolphin to swim about in our mini ocean habitat.

Recognize water as a liquid is a science access point that can be addressed in this activity.






IMG_0121We finished with the matching lotion—-a lovely aroma to remember all the things we learned about the ocean today!

The science access point recognize 1 or more external body parts is addressed here.









On Tuesday we made a cute and colorful seahorse cut from craft foam using this template: seahorse

IMG_0259Since our seahorse was yellow, we started by asking our students to identify the color yellow using communication symbols.

This addresses the science access point identify classroom objects by one observable property such as color.








IMG_0278IMG_0326Then we used a bubble wrapped kitchen scrubber dipped in orange paint to stamp on the seahorse. We emphasized stamping UP and DOWN.




IMG_0304The science access point recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship, such as up and down is addressed here.





IMG_0337IMG_0360With the addition of glitter and a cute googlie eye thes adorable  seahorses are ready to explore their underwater habitat——-ta DA!










On Thursday we used this colorful lunch bags we found at Target for our art project.

IMG_0502First we identified the color blue using communication symbols—-our students were 100% correct today!

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







IMG_0507Then we started by stuffing paper shred into the bag—-our students had an absolute blast with this part of the activity :)

In addition to bilateral coordination, the math access point solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more.







IMG_0510Bilateral coordination was again addressed as we wrapped tape around the bag to close it and make a “tail”. The students did need some help with this part of the project.

A fluffy white chenille stem was taped on to make a water spout.








IMG_0532IMG_0581TA DA—–our little blue whales are ready to hit the waves!












Our group went right along with the book today as we discussed which were OCEAN animals and which were NOT.  To add to the fun we placed a little “ocean” on the table, making sure it wasn’t  too close to curious hands :)

IMG_0459IMG_0447One-by-one, we presented 2 different animals to our students: one ocean animal and one land animal.  We asked our students to indicate which animal was the ocean animal.  They made their choice by touching the animal, looking at the animal, or verbalizing which animal lived in the ocean.

IMG_0457This addresses the science access point match common living things with their habitats.




IMG_0452Once the ocean animal was established, our students got to put them in the water—–they loved this part :)








IMG_0477After we were done finding all of the ocean animals, our students got a chance to experience our ocean umbrella habitat——what a hit!

This was such a great week, animal units are always so much fun for our students!

Join us again next time for more fun and learning——Group by Group!


March After Party


IMG_9384Each 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.

IMG_9962This post has photos of our middle and high school students enjoying books and activities from some of our March themes.






IMG_7819IMG_8497We started the month by heading to Texas! The students loved looking at the big bright stars of our Big Texas umbrella while listening to some toe tapping music recorded on our voice output device……




IMG_7837                  “the stars at night are big and bright—deep in the heart of Texas”!





IMG_7830IMG_8530The students enjoyed exploring the different boxes and items related to economics of the state, such as livestock, mineral, and OIL!







IMG_9380Energy was the theme of the next unit. The students had a blast exploring the boxes related to different forms of energy. They especially enjoyed exploring water power with the water wheel…….








IMG_9317…..and were fascinated by our gold kinetic sand (our stand in for uranium).










IMG_9362IMG_9338They also had fun finding different objects that use energy.

We included some interesting aromas with these oil and gasoline  scratch and sniff cards!







IMG_9314IMG_9329The hit of this unit was the wind power box……..

IMG_9379…….either feeling the air on their own skin or using it to power the pinwheel!



IMG_9396IMG_9406The students had a great time learning about Ireland in our next unit. They counted how many teaspoons of tea it took to fill teacups.

IMG_9424                                                                      What concentration!



IMG_9399IMG_9986They had fun cutting shamrocks out of the Bubber

IMG_9963                                           and finding a map of Ireland under potato flakes.




IMG_9956IMG_9410White oobleck had green and orange glitter represented the colors of the Irish flag…..










IMG_9426and hands were rinsed in water filled with boats and fish.











IMG_9415IMG_9968Irish music was recorded on a voice output device—-making everyone, including teachers want to dance :)









IMG_9402The students made their own Irish castles out of moonsand……


IMG_9430…..and found places of interest on a map of Dublin!











IMG_9960                                                      our leprechauns had a blast with them!


IMG_9987IMG_9974Erin go bragh!











IMG_0011IMG_0005Our final unit in March was a welcome to spring with the theme of Plants. The students planted seeds and searched for a plant eating groundhog in our coffee ground garden.


IMG_0594We have some future farmers here :)



IMG_0006IMG_0613They enjoyed experimenting with different containers that hold liquids…….

IMG_0585…..and discovering some cool lighted flowers floating in the water!




IMG_0600IMG_0008The different plant parts were discussed while sorting leaves and flowers.








IMG_9999Making play dough flowers was lots of fun and a great opportunity to make patterns, discuss concepts of same and different—-as well as strengthen hand skills!








IMG_0589The lotion scent for this unit was Plumeria—-a sweet floral scent that the students enjoyed.







IMG_0002IMG_0616The students loved our “chlorophyl”  oobleck whose fabulous green color was made with green apple scented koolaid—-





IMG_0670                                                  which left fingers a little green also :)



IMG_0662It was a great unit—–especially when enjoyed with friends!


Plants book


IMG_9697Spring is in the air as plants and flowers are in full bloom—–at least down here in Florida, they are :)  Our book specifically tells how flowers grow and worked as a step by step guide for our language group activity.  We are loving all of the beautiful colors that we get to see each day because of the flowers that are in bloom!  Now if only this pollen would go away…





IMG_9782Here is a link to the book: This is How Flowers Grow



IMG_9471Spring has sprung and since many of our teachers are busy planting gardens with their students we decided that a unit on plants would be the perfect theme for this week! Our sensory group boxes were filled with plants and plant like materials. The fine motor group made beautiful floral art projects and the language group planted some REAL flowers!






IMG_9611IMG_9759Lots of different things to discover in this box which was filled with play food fruits, vegetables, and flowers. We also put in some picture cards and toy animals—all plant eaters of course! A piece of fabric was included because the cotton plant was used to MAKE that fabric!

IMG_9464Recognize a model of a real object is the science access point addressed here. The science access point recognize objects related to science by name such as plant or animal is also addressed.




IMG_9723The students really had fun planting seeds (dry beans) and growing carrots (play food) in our coffee ground dirt. There was also a letter G for “grow” and “garden” and hidden at the bottom of the box was a picture of a cute little groundhog…..ok, so perhaps leftover from a previous unit BUT he is a plant eater after all :)

The science access point recognize that plants grow is a science access point explored here.






IMG_9554The different parts of plants can be explored in this fun and colorful box filled with silk flowers and leaves.

The science access point recognize the leaf and flower of a plant is addressed with this activity.









IMG_9733IMG_9563We made this pretty pink batch of play dough using koolaid and we really liked the way it turned out! The students had a choice of 2 different flower cookie cutters which allowed for the opportunity to discuss concepts of “same” and “different.

Not only can the flowers be counted, but the science access point. apply a push to move an object is also addressed.




IMG_9458IMG_9512Plant seeds are food sources for many animals such as birds. We filled this box with bird seed and put 3 little birds in it for the students to find. The bird seed had an amazing tactile feel on buried hands—-super cool!

IMG_9602In addition to visual and tactile discrimination, the math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed.




IMG_9726IMG_9558Our green oobleck represents chlorophyll which is the green coloring in plants. We used sour apple koolaid which made it such a pretty color gave it a very enticing aroma!

The science access point recognize the change in motion of an object is addressed here.






IMG_9502We put some cool LIGHTED flowers in our water play this week (thanks Ms. Kim). There was also a little watering can included so the students could water them—-such fun!

Recognize that plants need water is a science access point.







IMG_9541We finished the group with Bath and Body works plumeria scented lotion and the matching bath gel was used in our water play. This floral plumeria scent was very aromatic, a perfect fit for our plant theme this week and a great way to help us remember all the fun we had.

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







IMG_9633On Tuesday the science access point identify the major parts of a plant such as the root, stem, leaf, and flower with our art project.

First we used the paper cutter to cut out the green stems. Our students are getting so good at this!

This addresses the science access point recognize a change in an object.






IMG_9645IMG_9665Then we assembled the flower by asking the students to place the pre-labled (thank you Dana and Olivia) pieces on the designated places using glue as a visual cue. Our students are still practicing this skill but they are getting better at it! We discussed that the flower went on TOP of the stem, the roots at the BOTTOM, and that there were 2 leaves.

IMG_9684The math access point match one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is addressed here.




IMG_9689IMG_9718TA DA—-fabulous floral specimens!










On Thursday we made a fun torn paper art project!

IMG_9865We started by choosing which flower (cut from the Ellison machine) to decorate.

Communicate a preference for objects is a language access point.






IMG_9901Then the students chose pieces of tissue paper to tear, crumple, and glue onto their flowers.

In addition to promoting bilateral coordination, the science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed in this activity.







IMG_9878IMG_9892The flowers look fabulous—–especially with the addition of the students cute little faces :)

IMG_9946                                                                                 Ta DA!!!!





IMG_9812The weather was beautiful when we went outside and planted some flowers during our language group. We started by showing our students the flowers we were going to plant and they took turns smelling them.

Explore, observe, and recognize common objects in the natural world through observation is a science access point.






IMG_9792IMG_9803Each of our students got to take a turn planting their own flower and we worked through the steps with them—starting with digging a hole.  Typically, a spade is used.  But since we couldn’t find ours, we improvised and used a spoon :)

This is a great opportunity to address the science access point distinguish examples of soil from other substances.





IMG_9788Next, we took the flower and planted it in the hole.

As the soil is pushed back around the roots, the science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move.

Recognize common objects related to science by name, such as plant is another science access point addressed.






IMG_9809Once the flowers were planted, we watered them and  discussed the fact that water was a liquid.   Then we watched as the soil soaked up the water.

Recognize that plants need water is a science access point.






IMG_9831Finally, our nice little garden was finished!  Our gardeners were pretty proud of themselves and we were proud of them too!

Happy Spring!!!!

Join us again next time for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!