Germany book


IMG_4799Since October 6 is National German American day, we decided to do this week’s theme on Germany.  The book contains different facts about Germany as well as takes a look at some of the famous people who are German.  The front and back of the book feature one of our lovely students taking in the German scenery.   Take a look to find out some awesome information about Germany!




IMG_4755Here is a link to the book: Let’s Celebrate National German-American Day!



IMG_4834We found out that German-American Day is celebrated on October 6 and thought this would be a perfect time to find out a little more about the country of Germany. Each of the sensory group boxes represented a fact about the country. The fine motor groups art projects focused on the colors of the German flag. The language group became little scientists—-just like Albert Einstein!







IMG_4847IMG_4860We mixed yellow rice with red and black beans to represent the colors of the German flag. Then we added a few cars to drive around the mixture, since Germany is a leading car manufacturer. There was also a map of the country to find at the bottom of the box. It was a really eye catching box!

Track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is a science access point.

The social studies access point recognize an example of goods can be addressed with this activity.




IMG_4542IMG_5028German brothers Jacob and Wilhem Grimm collected folk tales that are the basis for many of the fairy tales we know and love! Our fairy tale box was filled with a variety of characters, sparkly gold beads, and a magic wand!

IMG_4926Yep, it was magical :)

The science access point recognize two objects  that are identical to each other can be addressed here.




IMG_4888IMG_5078Germany has more zoos than any country in the world—-how cool is that! The plastic “straw” strands were really fascinating to our students but they also enjoyed exploring the other things in the box.

There were lots of animals—-some of which made noise when their buttons were pushed. We also included a little zoo keeper and a variety of food for him to feed the animals. Finally, there was a cute elephant hat that our students thought was a lot of fun :)

IMG_4496Recognize a model of a real object and identify basic needs of animals are science access points that can be addressed in this activity.




IMG_4854IMG_5074Uranium is one of Germany’s natural resources. We thought our sparkly gold kinetic sand was a good stand in for the real thing—–and a lot less radioactive :)  We included a letter “G” cookie cutter that was fun to push into the sand and then watch as the impression slowly filled back in!

IMG_4913Kinetic sand is a completely fun way to address the science access point track objects in motion.





IMG_4882IMG_5038Germany has LOTS of castles! So we built a few of our own using moonsand. There was a rectangular shape sorter block that the students could use to “stamp” castle walls. A little cup and spoon were included so they had the option to make a castle the old school way—-like on the beach.

IMG_4902The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here.




IMG_4835IMG_4850Germans are known for their fantastic bread! We added some poppy seeds to give our play dough a more authentic look. Not sure if we quite got the look we were going for but the students had fun anyway! The rolling pin was great for practicing bilateral coordination!

IMG_4919Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.




IMG_4948IMG_5063Since oaks are a symbol of Germany, we figured Bath and Body Works oak body wash was a perfect scent for our “Rhine river” water play. Of course, we included a little boat to cruise around in!

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








IMG_4945IMG_5089We finished our group with another Bath and Body Works scent, moonlit path. We picked this because you might walk along one in a fairy tale—–ok, so work with us on this one :)

IMG_5093This is a great opportunity for our students to use their communication devices to tell us whether they like the scent and if they want some lotion!

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









On Tuesday our fine motor group made German flags. This activity addresses the social studies access point associate an object, picture, or symbol with a location.

IMG_4567We started by showing the students the colors of the flag and asked them to find the color red.

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







IMG_4574IMG_4765Then they used a paper cutter or switch operated scissors to cut pieces of yellow and black paper into smaller rectangles.

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







IMG_4634IMG_4597These strips were then glued onto a piece of rectangular shaped red paper.

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





IMG_4578IMG_4607Completely fabulous flags!

IMG_4656                                                                                  TA DA!





Our Wednesday art project was a nod to Levi Strauss. We used precut figures and denim “jeans” using these templates: Person-clothing template

IMG_4957We started by asking the students to glue jeans onto the legs of their figures. Some of them needed a little help with this but they really did a pretty good job of getting the jeans in the right place.

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








IMG_4969Then the students choose which color they wanted for their t-shirt.

Their choices were red, black, or yellow—–the colors of the German flag!

Use pictures, symbols, gestures/signs, or words to communicate meaning is a language access point.







IMG_4988The students did a great job painting their shirts!

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








IMG_4979IMG_4964After the shirts were painted, we glued them on the top and……









IMG_5018TA DA—–we love Germany!





This week, our language group changed from students to little scientists in honor of Albert Einstein.  They participated in 2 different experiments that demonstrated chemical reactions.

IMG_4502In our first experiment, we got to use some test tubes.  Each of our students helped spoon some baking soda into each test tube.  We used a funnel so that we wouldn’t spill.

Then, each student got to pick a color and we squirted a couple of drops of food coloring into each test tube.






IMG_4505Finally, our students got to pour some vinegar into the test tubes and WOW! The reaction definitely amazed our students and watching the colors bubble out was super fun.

The science access point investigate and describe that an unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed, or direction of motion, or both is addressed with this activity.






IMG_4510IMG_4512For the next experiment, we used a small baking pan.  Our students helped cover the bottom with a mixture of Epsom salt and baking soda.

We dissolved some citric acid in water, putting some in a squirt bottle and the rest in 2 different cups.  Then we added food coloring to each.





IMG_4527IMG_4517Our students took turns spraying the salt/baking soda mixture using the squirt bottle or medicine droppers.  We even tried squirting some lemon juice to see if the reaction was bigger.  We tried pouring some vinegar on the mixture and that caused a big reaction as well.

IMG_4522It was fun trying different things out to see which had the biggest reaction.

The science access point measure and compare the mass and volume of solids and liquids is addressed here.



IMG_5044We loved learning so many interesting things about Germany this week and hope you did too! Join us again next time for more fun and learning——Group by Group!







The Emmy’s book


IMG_4013We are SO excited to be talking about the Emmy’s during our groups this year.  For the book, we thought of some different television shows that our students might watch during the week.  Our wonderfully cute students got to be models for us again and pose as some of the characters from the different TV shows, such as Sesame Street, Doc McStuffins, and So You Think You Can Dance, to name a few.  The front of the book even features one of our students with an Emmy of her own!




IMG_3814Here is a link to the book: This Show Deserves an Emmy

The Emmys


IMG_4246With the Emmys so recently in the news we thought it would be a really fun unit for our students.  The sensory group boxes were related to different tv shows, the fine motor groups used everyday objects to make tv related art projects, and the language group made a yummy dessert!








IMG_4071IMG_4250This first box is GOLDEN—-just like an Emmy award! It was filled with a bunch of shiny gold mardi gras beads which are always a favorite with our students.

Recognize common objects in the environment is a science access point.








IMG_4043IMG_4019The students were able to make their own “Berk”  mountains using grey floam. There were also a couple of cute little play dragons to fly around their creations.

IMG_3812The science access point recognize a change in an object can be addressed in this activity.





IMG_4230IMG_3801The Sesame Street box was really bright and colorful—–very eye catching!

We started with a base of red paper shred then added some character figures, alphabet letters, numbers, play food cookies, and an Elmo board book. A totally fun filled box!

IMG_4047Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.





IMG_4229IMG_3971Our Ellen box was filled with red velvet cake mix, her favorite cake flavor! We included a cookie cutter letter for stamping fun and there was a picture of Ellen——-holding an Emmy OF COURSE :)

The little spoon we put in the box was great for scooping practice!

Recognize that pulling or pushing an object is a science access point.





IMG_4253IMG_4010Just like the dog with a blog, our students got to do some writing with this activity! In this case, foam letters D-O-G were placed in the shaving cream for them to use. Of course, they could also use their fingers to write whatever they chose—–including free form designs :)

IMG_3796Use upper and lower case letters and words is a language access point.





IMG_4024IMG_4271Doc McStuffins is a huge favorite with many of our students so we had to include a box for that show! We filled it with the usual “medical supplies” such as cotton balls, tongue depressors, medicine cups, bandaids, and a surgical mask. A stethoscope and cute plush patient were also included.

IMG_3834                                                     The students had an absolute blast :)

This box addresses the science access point recognize a model of a real object.





IMG_3825Curious George was the inspiration for our scent this week——-BANANA! We added some banana scented bubble bath (from Walmart) to our water play and added 2 different size yellow scoops.

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







IMG_4082IMG_4288Banana scented lotion (from World Market) left our student smelling just delicious and was a perfect scent to help them remember all the tv shows we discussed today!

It was perfect for putting on hands, arms, AND noses :)

IMG_4092Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.






On Tuesday, our fine motor group was brought to you by the numbers 1 and 2!  We made Sesame Street characters using colorful paper plates!

IMG_3881We started by asking each student if they wanted to make Cookie Monster or Elmo. They were pretty evenly divided between the characters :)

Effectively communicate wants and needs, with prompting, to a familiar person is a language access point.







IMG_3851The students were then asked to identify the number 2 using communication symbols—–they did a really great job!

Associate quantities 1 and 2 with number names is a math access point.









IMG_3856IMG_3867We discussed the shape of the plates and also noted that the eyes were also circle shaped. Then we used a circle punch to cut out 2 eyes. For those that chose Elmo, they also used an oval punch to cut out 1 nose.

This activity addresses the math access points recognize differences in size of objects and recognize a common object with a two-dimensional shape.





IMG_3870IMG_3919Next all the pieces, including pre-cut mouths, were glued down onto the plates. 2 googlie eyes were then added—-a great chance to work on pincer grasp skills!

Associate quantities with number names and match one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence are both math access points.















IMG_3916IMG_3896What a bunch of characters :)

IMG_3934                                                                                So cute!




On Wednesday, our fine motor group made microphones! Nina, one of our great volunteers prepared the toilet paper rolls for us by covering them with paper and gluing on styrofoam balls.

IMG_4105First the students got to choose which microphone they wanted.

Effectively communicate wants and needs, with prompting, to a familiar person is a language access point.








IMG_4136Then the students decorated their microphones with foam stickers. The stickers turned out to be a little lacking in the sticky factor so we brought out some glue sticks which worked perfectly! We also applied some glue to the styrofoam ball and added a little silver glitter.

The math access point solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more can be addressed in this activity.





IMG_4127IMG_4197Time to get this party started!

IMG_4204                                                 TA DA—–here are some new American Idols :)





Since one of Ellen’s favorite foods is red velvet cake, we decided that a good cooking activity would be something with red velvet cake in it!  We decided to make Red Velvet Cake Trifle.  Here is a link to the recipe: Let’s Make a Red Velvet Cake Trifle!

IMG_4300We began by getting the pudding ready. The students helped add ingredients to the mixing bowl.

Recognize the next step in a simple pattern or sequence of activities is a math access point.








IMG_4290After they touched the milk carton, we asked the students if it was warm or cold.

Recognize common objects or materials as warm or cold is a science access point.









IMG_4308IMG_4323 Our students always love activating the mixer with a switch–EVERYONE gets a turn!

Share objects with a partner is a science access point.






IMG_4336While the pudding was being set, we got out the red velvet cake and talked about how it was RED.  After counting out cups for all of our friends, we put some cake in the cup. Half way through, we stopped and asked the students if we had “enough”.

Solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more is a math access point.





IMG_4346Next, we put some pudding on top of the cake.  We made sure to take note of the pudding and how it had changed from a liquid to a solid.

Identify objects and materials as solid or liquid is a science access point.

We topped it off with some whipped cream and sprinkles.  Everyone had a chance to sprinkle the chocolate on top.





IMG_4354And of course, our favorite part came last–eating it all up! YUM!!!!!









IMG_3983What fun we had this week! Join us again next time for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

September After Party


IMG_2595image9Welcome 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 September.

image1                                                           So lets get this party started!




IMG_2131IMG_2608Our first unit was based on following school rules such as listening.

IMG_2134The students had fun exploring toys that made noise and those that were quiet.




IMG_2136IMG_0653Another school rule is playing safely with equipment—-such as keeping materials inside the boxes.

IMG_2615                                                          Especially important with water!





IMG_2620IMG_2142Taking turns with massagers was a blast!










IMG_2622Demonstrating raising your hand is especially fun if you are catching bubbles.










IMG_2795IMG_2808Our next theme was related to the Unique Curriculum theme of government.

IMG_2803The students had so much  fun exploring wind energy using fans found in the department of energy box. This box was a real favorite.




IMG_2799IMG_0440It was all about the money with the Department of Treasury box!









IMG_0438Floam was used to make replicas of the White House!











Our Jobs with Hats unit had lots of really fun boxes to explore.

IMG_0728IMG_0729The mariachi musician box had a maraca, shiny beads and a music recorded on a voice output device had the students rocking out :)








IMG_3034IMG_3065They had a blast!!!!











IMG_3083IMG_3056Blue flashing light batons in the police officer box were really fascinating.

IMG_3025                                                                                 Pretty cool!





IMG_3062IMG_3045Of course, the football player box with both pom poms and a football was a BIG hit!

These students had fun showing off their ball handling skills.








IMG_3036IMG_3085And these students showed us how to cheer for the home team!






IMG_3075                                                                       GO TEAM!!!





IMG_3092IMG_3031The construction box, as with all our boxes, encourage communication skills practice.









IMG_3028IMG_3617There were lots of things to discover in the cowboy box, including animal figures that made noise when buttons were pressed.








IMG_3040IMG_3614Pop rocks were added magic to our oobleck—–although some of the students were not so sure about it :)









IMG_3032IMG_3605The students had lots of fun experimenting with the large syringe in our firefighter water box.









Our next topic was pretty unusual but really interesting—–Pets in Politics. We learned a lot about the pets of famous politicians. This unit was especially popular!

IMG_3777IMG_4360The French president has a camel!

IMG_4364Our students searched for camels in red, white, and blue rice which are the colors of the French flag.





IMG_0657IMG_0660They had lots of fun with President Jackson’s parrot named Poll!

image7The students got a kick out of the big plush parrot!



IMG_3954IMG_4362And they TOTALLY rocked the feather boas :)











IMG_3941IMG_4372Black play dough was perfect for making Bo, President Obama’s dog!

IMG_4187It is also a great activity for hand strengthening.





IMG_4198image6Can you tell, the play dough was popular :)










image4IMG_4368Our Socks the Cat box was all about similarities and differences in materials—–hard, soft, white, black!

IMG_3939A cute plush cat and lots of great textures to explore.



IMG_4378IMG_4386There was a fun plush corgi puppet and a fabulous British flag banner in this box—-Queen Elizabeth’s favorite pets are her corgis!








IMG_4379IMG_4366John Quincy Adams owned an alligator! There were plants and alligators to find in the jello swamp. Some of our students thought it was very inviting to touch……

IMG_3775                                                             …………others not so much :)




IMG_3776IMG_4369Hands were rinsed in cherry blossom scented water. There were also 2 “gobi” fish—-Emperor Akihito of Japan is an expert on them!






IMG_4189IMG_4188And just a reminder, not only are our boxes filled with fun but there is lots of learning going on. Here are 2 very diligent students answering questions about the boxes they have just explored!



IMG_0724Hope you enjoyed seeing our fabulous students. We will back next month with another After Party!

Pets in Politics book


IMG_3344This seems like a crazy theme, but since it was Dogs in Politics day on 9/23, we decided to celebrate not JUST dogs, but ANY pets in politics.  We found that there have been some pretty interesting political pets around the world, for instance, a camel and an alligator.  You’ll have to take a look at the book to see which other animals were pets to political people.







IMG_3126Here is a link to the book: Pets in Politics

Pets in Politics


IMG_3276September 23rd is Dog in Politics Day—–who knew! We decided to expand the theme a little bit to include other pets owned by politicians. It was a lot of fun and we definitely learned a lot this week. Our sensory group boxes included a variety of plush pets that were a huge hit. The fine motor group painted dogs and the language group played a matching game.







IMG_3328IMG_3339President Clinton’s cat was named Socks. This box had a cute black and white plush cat, just like Socks. We also included a variety of black and white items to compare and contrast. There were pieces of fur, a dusting mitt, beads, and fabric making for some really interesting textures to explore!

IMG_3402Match objects with similar observable properties, such as size, shape, color, or texture is a science access point.




IMG_3111IMG_3398There was once a presidential parrot owned by President Jackson! This box had a fabulous plushie and a bunch of feather boas which made for lots of giggly moments :)

The science access point identify objects by one observable property, such as color can be addressed here.





IMG_3374IMG_3395The students used a cookie cutter to make black water dogs like President Obama’s first dogs Bo and Sunny. It took a lot of food coloring to get this dark color but we were pretty happy with the result!

In addition to counting the number of dogs, the science access point apply a push to move an object is addressed.




IMG_3140IMG_3165French President Hollande owns a camel—-how cool is that! Our rice box with the colors of the french flag had 2 little camels to find. There was also a picture of the french flag underneath the rice.

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







IMG_3144Queen Elizabeth of England owns corgis. In this box we included a banner with british flags and a cute little dog puppet that turned out to be tons of fun for our students!

The science access point recognize a model of a real object and the social studies access point associate a symbol with a location are both addressed here.









IMG_3102Which politician had a pet alligator? The answer is John Quincy Adams! There were 2 alligators roaming around our green jello swamp, along with a variety of leaves and grasses. Since we keep the jello refrigerated, not only is this stuff sticky but it is also cold—–very different feeling!

Distinguish between a plant and animal is a science access point.








IMG_3380Of course after playing in the jello, hands HAD to be rinsed. Our water play activity was a nod to the gobi fish——Japanese Emperor Akihito is an expert on them! There were 2 little fish floating around the water and to add to the fun they could squirt water :)

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








IMG_3202We thought Bath and Body Works japanese cherry blossom was a perfect pick for our scent this week. Our students thought the scent was pretty cool and really did a great job communicating which body part got the lotion.

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










Due to a district wide holiday this week, we only had one fine motor group—-but it was a fun one! We made scotty dogs just like Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dog Fala.

IMG_3219We started by showing the students the paint we were going to use then asking them to identify the color black using communication symbols. They did a pretty good job!

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







IMG_3264IMG_3260Foam brushes were used to apply paint to the scotty template found here: Scotty Dog Template

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







IMG_3237IMG_3225Then the students squeezed glue over their dogs and sprinkled on pieces of black yarn.

They did such a great job——look at that concentration :)

IMG_3251                     Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.



IMG_3271IMG_3253Ta DA!!!!!!

IMG_3232                                                                          So cute!





For the language group this week, we talked about WHERE we see the animals that are in the political pets book.  We had pictures of land, sky, and water.  The pets we talked about were dogs, cats, alligators, parrots, camels, and fish.

IMG_3442IMG_3428For each of their turns, our students were presented with a picture of a pet.  They had to figure out where each of the pets would be seen.

Match common things with their habitats is a science access point.





IMG_3425IMG_3440Once they were able to give the correct location, they would glue the animal onto the correct picture.  Our students had a little difficulty with animals that are not so commonly seen here, such as camels, but with a little help it all came together perfectly!


IMG_3451IMG_3448Our students had a little difficulty with animals that are not so commonly seen here, such as camels, but with a little help it all came together perfectly!






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