Colombia book

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We are learning about the country Colombia this week!  This is the home country of one of our amazing teachers, Maria.  We learned a lot about this country including some things that are exported from there as well as all of the different types of habitats there are.  It seems like a VERY cool place and we’ve already asked Maria if we can travel there with her the next time she visits 🙂  Take a look and see what you can learn about Colombia!

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Let’s Learn About Colombia!

Colombia

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Hola—-we learned about the country of Colombia this week, thanks to Ms. Maria who is from Colombia and traveled there this past summer! Our sensory groups explored boxes related to facts about Colombia. The fine motor groups practiced their cutting skills while making Colombian symbols  and the language group prepared a tasty Colombian treat!

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Colombia has made different regions including a rainforest. We made our own little rainforest with vines, flowers, fruit, and a variety of animals you might find there. The fluffy plush sloth and big orange frog were big hits.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Andes run through Colombia and some of the summits are permanently snow-capped. The students had lots of fun digging and making snow balls in this box of Insta Snow. This stuff feels a lot like real snow—-but not quite as cold!

 

 

Use senses to recognize objects is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Colombia is world famous for its coffee! There was a measuring spoon for scooping and letter C’s to find hidden in some very aromatic coffee beans.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Colombia is also famous for the emeralds that are mined there. We thought our sparkly emerald green kinetic sand would be a good representation of those precious gems and we added a rolling play dough toy that left some cool “gem like” impressions in the sand.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Colombia has some beautiful beaches—-it borders both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans! In this sand filled box there were shells and a shovel. There was also a picture of a jaguar to find at the bottom of the box.

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

 

 

 

 

 

There are active volcanos in Colombia! For our messy play we made our own volcanos using shaving cream and food coloring. The students were pretty fascinated watching the changing colors as the red and yellow colors combined to make the lava on our laminated volcano.

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

 

 

 

 

 

So, a lot smaller than the Pacific, our little ocean contains a number of fish to catch. To add to the fun, the fish could squirt water when squeezed.

 

 

 

Recognize two objects that are the same size or color is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Bananas are a top Colombian export so we used that as our scent this week. The water was scented with Minions bath gel we got at Walmart. We purchased the lotion a few years ago at World Market but unfortunately they don’t carry it anymore 😦  Banana is a really strong scent which the students loved!

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday we made some Andean condors which are a symbol of Colombia. We used this template: Andean condor

First, we discussed the shape of our background paper using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students glued the condor’s body DOWN on to the background paper—-making sure to “pat pat pat” to make it stick.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students used adaptive scissors to snip some wing feathers. We used either table top or switch operated scissors, depending on the students skill level.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

The wing was glued on to the top of the body—–we wanted it to be able to flap a little.

We also squeezed out a dot of glue and added a cool looking googlie eye.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

 

 

 

 

 

The Andean Condor is a symbol of Columbia!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday we made a Colombian flag.

First we discussed the color of our background paper and identified it using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students used a paper cutter or switch to cut a strip of red paper and a strip of blue paper.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

We glued the red strip at the bottom of the yellow paper and then glued the blue strip above the red strip. Some of the students preferred to glue the blue strip on first and then put down the red strip—–either way worked 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ta DA!

We love Colombia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We made a pretty tasty frozen drink this week that is made in Colombia: Let_s Make Limonada de Coco!, also known as Coconut Limeade.

We started out by measuring out the cream of coconut and putting it in the blender.

Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we had to add some ice.  Each of our students felt the bag of ice.  We talked about how it felt COLD.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Since we needed 5 cups and our measuring cup only holds 2 cups, our students had to indicate that we needed MORE.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, we needed to add some lime juice.  Just like the lemon juice we used a couple of weeks ago, we had each of our students taste a little bit.  We talked about how it tasted SOUR.

We also let our students try the agave nectar, the next ingredient to go into the blender.  We talked about how it tasted SWEET.

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

 

 

 

 

 

We measured out our lime juice and added it to the blender.

The math access point recognize when an object is added to a situation, is addressed again here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the ingredients were in the blender, our students turned it on using wireless switches.

Recognize that electrical systems must be turned on in order to work, is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it was smooth, we all got to try it.  Not one of the most popular things we’ve made—a little too tart——– but a good experience nonetheless 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

We Love Charlie Brown book

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Our theme for this week was lots of fun!  We took a look at some of the characters in the comic Peanuts.  Some of our amazing students posed as the characters–from Charlie Brown to little sister Sally to piano-laying Shroeder.  Our awesome art teacher, Judy, and some of her talented students helped us by painting a Peanuts background for our models to pose in front of.  Very cool!

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Who Are The Characters In Peanuts

We Love Charlie Brown!

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The comic strip Peanuts first ran on October 2, 1950. So, this week it is all about Charlie Brown and his friends!  The sensory groups explored boxes related to some of the different characters in the comic strip. The fine motor groups made some colorful art projects and the language group made a Peanuts inspired treat.

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

We used plastic pine needles, a nod to the Charlie Brown Christmas special,  as the base of this box. Then we added some of the cartoon characters, a small Linus blanket, a laminated comic strip, a Great Pumpkin, and a voice output device with the theme song recorded on it!

 

Identify characters in a story is a language access point.

 

The Joe Cool sunglasses were a hit……

our students always rock a pair of sunglasses 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

This box contained chenille stems in the colors of Charlie Brown’s shirt. The students could bend them like the zig zags in his shirt.

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

 

 

 

 

 

In Snoopy’s box we put in some white Floam that the students could shape into clouds for a little laminated Red Baron to fly around in!

Recognize that the appearance of an object is a science access point that can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Linus’ blanket is SOFT and Schroeder’s piano is HARD. There were a variety of hard and soft items to compare and contrast in this box.

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

 

 

 

 

This box was dedicated to PigPen. We usually use coffee ground for anything that calls for dirt or soil but we had a little money to spend and bought this awesome clean play dirt from Beyond Play. This stuff is really cool and a lot like kinetic sand—-so you know we love it! We added some fun digging tools and a letter P cookie cutter. There was also a picture of the Peanuts characters to find at the bottom of the box.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone loves Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin tv special so we chose pumpkin puree for our messy play this week. YES, we have done this before and it is truly messy but definitely a  different texture for the students to explore.  Some of the students loved it—–others not so much 🙂 There was also a laminated pumpkin to decorate with the orange goo.

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

 

 

 

 

 

There were different sized letter P’s to scoop up in our water play this week. For scooping we included a measuring cup and sieve shovel.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Peppermint swirl from Bath and BodyWorks was the perfect scent for our lotion and water play. This was a really strong scent that really permeated the whole room! We definitely think Peppermint Patty would approve.

Recognize one or more external body parts.

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday we borrowed an idea from http://whereimaginationgrows.com, it even came with the free printable silhouette we used—–how cool is that!

First we used communication symbols to identify the color of our paint this week.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We watered down the paint a little bit to make it easier to spread and then the students started painting their sunsets.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

After they had finished painting, we helped the students glue down their silhouettes since copier paper was a little flimsy.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

 

 

 

 

Charlie Brown and Snoopy—–best friends forever!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday we were inspired by the Great Pumpkin and made our own pumpkin Patch!

First identified the color of our pumpkins using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students used a switch operated LadyBug marker to make leaves and vines on  the background. It was a true group effort and the students had a blast!!!!

 

 

 

 

Share objects with a partner is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

We put the poster up on the table and gave the students regular green markers to finish make even more vines.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Each student then planted a big craft foam pumpkin on to the poster by gluing it DOWN.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

We are ready for the Great Pumpkin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

This week we made a yummy treat that we think the crew of Peanuts would enjoy.  Here is the recipe we used: Let_s Make The Great Pumpkin Mousse!

We started by putting the vanilla pudding mix and some cinnamon into a bowl.  We smelled the cinnamon and talked about how it smelled sweet.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we put a can of evaporated milk into the bowl.  Our students had to request if they wanted to help turn on the mixer.  We talked about if we were DONE mixing or if we needed to mix it MORE.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

After it was all mixed up, we put the pumpkin puree in.  We observed how the color changed from yellow to orange.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we added some whipped cream next and stirred it all up.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We counted out the number of students and divvied up the pumpkin mousse.  We topped it with some more whipped cream and a bit of cinnamon and got down to the fun part—–TASTING!

After the students ate their pudding, they used communication symbols to tell us if they liked it or not.  The verdict was YUM!!!!

 

 

 

Thanks for joining us and come back again for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

August/September After Party

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Welcome 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.

Here are photos teachers have sent of their students exploring the different sensory boxes during the months of August and September 2017.

 

 

 

 

Our first unit was What Teachers Do For Fun!

Some of our teachers take turns dressing up as Hootie our Owl mascot. For his box we put a little owl and the letters O, W, L in some birdseed.

The birdseed had a really interesting texture that the students enjoyed exploring.

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of teachers have fun at the beach! Kinetic sand is perfect for digging and making sand castles.

Lots of fun as usual!

 

 

 

 

 

 This box featured props teachers might use when participating in our annual talent show.

It was a hit!

 

 

 

 

Some teachers have fun playing with their dogs. The students had fun cutting using a dog shaped cookie cutter and some green play dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our teachers went to Norway and hung out with some trolls 🙂 We used grey Floam and some laminated troll cut outs to make our Troll Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of our teachers love to make crafts. For them we added glitter to our shaving cream.

Shaving cream is great messy play, made even better with glitter added!

 

 

 

 

As part of Fun Day we have some fun water slides. Of course, the teachers have to try them out  🙂

Well we didn’t have any mini water slides but figured a water wheel toy would be pretty fun too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Our Year Magical is our school wide theme. We had a lot of fun with this unit! Each of the boxes related to a different Disney movie character.

 

 

 

 

This box was filled with Mickey and Minnie items.

The mouse ears hat was a huge hit!

 

 

 

 

Our Bippity Boppity Blue moon sand had some fun Disney stamps.

Lots of fun, as usual.

 

 

 

 

 

This blue and white Prince Charming rice box had some toy knights and horses to sort and match.

There was also a picture of a prince to find at the bottom of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

These toys required muscles to make them STRETCH—-just like Hercules!

Fairy dust discovery bottles were quite popular.

Very mesmerizing.

 

 

 

 

 

We put a Little Mermaid in our water play!

Super cute!

 

 

 

 

 

Next we learned about the state of California—-one of our teachers went there for vacation so we wanted to learn a little more about it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This box contained a variety of symbols of California, all in a box of blue and yellow paper shred.

Lots to discover!

 

 

 

 

California is nicknamed the Golden State.

The students had fun digging for gold in this box.

 

 

 

 

Death Valley is the driest, hottest place in the US.

The students used funnels and scoops to explore our little version of the desert.

 

 

 

 

Astronaut Sally Ride was born in California.

In addition to a little astronaut, there were 2 stars to find in this box of spacey black beans.

 

 

 

 

 

California state colors are blue and gold…….

so we put blue and gold glitter in our shaving cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We put some California coast sea life in our water play.

The sharks and dolphins were a hit!

 

 

 

 

In recognition of Farm Animal Awareness Week we chose Old MacDonalds farm as our theme.

The students dug up and planted some crops in our coffee grounds “dirt”.

There was also a picture of different fruits and vegetables to find at the bottom of the box.

 

 

 

They discussed which farm animals had fur and which had feathers.

We used Pixon communication boards to help with identification.

 

 

 

 

The students cut out different animals shapes out of the play dough and found farm related items in the raffia “hay”.

 

 

 

 

Lots of fun themes to start the year. See you next month 🙂

Johnny Appleseed book

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We are ALL about apples this week because we are celebrating Johnny Appleseed Day which is on September 26.  Our book has some different facts about who Johnny Appleseed was and what he did.  We even have a couple of our students on the front and the back of the book looking like they are enjoying some time in an apple orchard.

Check it out to find out about Johnny Appleseed!

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Lets Celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day!

Johnny Appleseed

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Johnny Appleseed Day is September 26 so we decided to learn a little more about him this week! Our sensory groups explored boxes that were all about apples. The fine motor groups made apple themed art projects and the language group made a yummy apple snack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

We turned one of our umbrellas into an apple tree this week and it was a total hit with the students! There were 3 different apples to find and a voice output with the song “Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me”—–an oldie but a goodie!

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

 

 

 

 

As we said, this umbrella tree really captured the students’ attention.

So we couldn’t resist adding a few more super cute photos 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

A is for APPLE——the students searched  for letter A’s in green rice with black bean “apple seeds”. There was also a map of his home state to find at the bottom of the box.

Identify objects by observable properties, such as shape, is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Apples come in lots of different colors but mostly RED, YELLOW, or GREEN. In this box the students sorted colorful “apple” pompoms into matching plates.

The science access point identify objects by one observable property, such as color, and the math access point recognize objects with three-dimensional objects, such as balls (spheres) can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

The students used apple shaped cookie cutters to make BIG and LITTLE apples in red moon sand. We didn’t actually have apple cookie cutters so we used the pumpkin cutters we had on hand since they are a pretty similar shape—–sometimes you just have to make do with what you have 🙂

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apple seeds are kind of black and brown so we thought these small beans would work as a nice stand in for them. There was a little dish to fill and a measuring spoon for fun scooping practice.

 

 

The math access point recognize when an object or person is added to or is taken away from a situation, can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

We added some green food coloring to shaving cream this week. We encouraged the students to draw apple shaped circles or straight line stems.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Hands were rinsed in apple scented water with a floating plastic apple, watering can, scoop, and an apple shaped sponge. Lots of different things to interact with here and the students had a blast.

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

 

 

 

 

The watering can was especially fun and

the students were fascinated by the streaming water!

 

 

 

 

 

Our apple scent this week was country apple from Bath and BodyWorks.

It was a pretty yummy scent that left our students smelling like delicious little apples 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On ‘Tuesday we made apples using this template: apple

We started by identifying the color of our paper shred.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next the students painted glue (watered down a little bit to make it easier to spread) with a sponge brush.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then came the fun part—–dropping handfuls of paper shred onto their apples! They really liked this part.

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

 

 

 

 

 

A little green leaf was added and ………..Ta DA!

                                                                   Just delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made apple trees. We used green plates from the Dollar Tree (a whole stack for $1, how can you beat that!) and leftover corrugated cardboard for the tree trunks. This was a really cheap craft—–and we like that 🙂

First the students identified the shape of the plates and the color of our “apple” pompoms

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape such as a circle, is a math access point.

 

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

 

 

 

 

Then they practiced eye hand coordination skills by dipping red pompoms into glue and then gluing them onto their “trees”. Of course, we counted the number of apples on each tree!

 

The math access points recognize when an object is added to a situation and associate quantities with number names, can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Da!

 

 

 

 

                                                        Look at our apple orchard!

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

This week we made our own applesauce!  We also learned a lot about patience since the food processor was acting up a bit during group.  Here is a link to the recipe we used: Let_s Make Cinnamon Applesauce

We started out by peeling the apples.  We got to use an apple peeler which was pretty cool to our students.  They helped us turn the handle to make the peeler work.

 

 

 

We found that the peeler also cored AND cut the apple so we got to skip that step 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

We checked out the string of apple peel!

Some of the students thought it was pretty fascinating but others weren’t quite so sure about it.

 

 

 

 

Next, we had to add some lemon juice.  Each of our students got to try a little taste of the lemon juice.  We talked about how it tasted SOUR.

 

 

Then we added some lemon juice to the food processor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our students helped turn the food processor on.  We found that we had to add a little bit of water to help get the mixture going.

Recognize a way to stop an object from moving is a science access point that can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

We poured the mixture into a bowl.  Next, we added some sugar and cinnamon.  Our students smelled the cinnamon and we talked about how it smelled sweet.

We stirred everything up and voila!  No-cook applesauce!

 

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

 

 

 

 

Yummy deliciousness

this was a hit 🙂

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about Johnny Appleseed.

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