Holiday Characters book

Standard

We are in the holiday spirit this week (let’s be honest…this MONTH) and we are talking all about the different holiday characters that we see around this time of year.  This is a special book because it features a one-of-a-kind background created by our art teacher, Judy, and her students.  It also features our students on each page dressed up as popular holiday characters, from Frosty the Snowman to Suzy Snowflake.  Take a look at the book to get into the holiday spirit with us!

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: What Holiday Characters Do You See?

Holiday Characters

Standard

For a final theme of the year we chose Holiday Characters—–seen everywhere this time of year! Our sensory groups explored boxes dedicated to different characters. The fine motor groups made character themed ornaments and the language group made a fun holiday themed treat.

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Our first box contained a variety of holiday character toys including Nutcrackers, polar bears, SugarPlum fairies, and elves. Some of the toys made noise, either by squeezing or crinkling which added to the fun. The lighted elf wand and Santa hat were big hits—–hohoho.

 

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

 

 

 

 

This first box is not exactly a holiday character but since lights are EVERYWHERE this time of year they almost are 🙂

 

 

 

 

Our students always love our light boxes and this colorful one was no exception.

It was very eye catching!

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize a source of light is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

The students had fun making their own Grinch character using green Floam, a plastic Grinch face, and some Mr. Potato head hands. Pretty darn cute!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

The Coca Cola polar bear is often seen on TV this time of year so we thought a box of Insta Snow was perfect for this character. There was a picture of polar bears to find at the bottom of the box and we put in a spoon, scoop and a little penguin friend for our students to play with. Insta Snow feels cool like the real stuff and was lots of fun to explore.

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

 

 

 

 

The Nutcracker ballet is a must see for many people. Our ballet themed winter umbrella was pretty magical, especially when twirled around! Music from the ballet was recorded on a voice output device.

 

 

 

Track objects in motion is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

We made some delicious smelling gingerbread playdough this week. While definitely NOT yummy tasting like real gingerbread, it was still lots of fun to play with using our cute cookie cutter.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

We found a package of craft foam holiday symbols such as presents, hats, lights, trees in a dollar store and decided they were perfect for water play. The students used a measuring cup and sifter to scoop up and rinse the different shapes. They also adhered to the sides of the tub which was pretty cool!

The science access point match objects by an observable property, such as shape, can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Our scent this week was  sugarplum swirl by Bath and BodyWorks. Our students really liked it and left the group smelling like yummy little sugarplums 🙂

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made snowflake ornaments.

First, we identified a circle using communication symbols. For our visually impaired students we used textured symbols.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Next, they were helped to squeeze a hole puncher, making a CIRCLE shaped hole in the snowflake.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Then they glued a CIRCLE shaped photo of themselves onto the snowflake.

Again, recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes is addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

The students helped pull a chenille stem through the small hole.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Sammy and Suzi Snowflakes!

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made gingerbread man ornaments.

First, using communication symbols,  they let us know how many buttons they wanted to put on their gingerbread man.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Next the students used a hole punch to punch a hole in their ornament. Most of the students needed help with this but some of them could do it independently!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Then they glued their faces and buttons onto their ornaments—–great pincer grasp practice!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students helped pull a chenille stem through the small hole.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TA Da!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Cute little gingerbread people!!!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

Well, the weather turned downright COLD for our language group so maybe hot chocolate would’ve been a better choice, but we went with our Grinch smoothies instead.  Here is the recipe we used: Let’s Make a Grinch Smoothie

We started out by measuring our orange juice.  We talked about how we had to use a measuring cup rather than measuring spoons since we had to measure out 1 cup.  We had a volunteer who poured it into the blender.

Next, we added some spinach.  We need our Grinch smoothie to be GREEN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we got out the frozen mixed fruit.  Everyone had a chance to touch the bag.  They then had to indicate if it felt COLD or HOT.

 

 

 

Recognize an item as warm or cold is a science access point.

 

 

 

We added the frozen fruit to the blender.

Finally, we added some agave nectar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we always taste test the lemon juice when we use it, we decided to taste test the agave.  We think some of our students thought we were trying to trick them with the lemon juice because they were a little hesitant to open their mouths at first 🙂

 

 

We just put a bit on their lips, though, and they could tell that it was sweet.

 

 

 

 

Everyone got a chance to turn on the blender so the ingredients could be mixed up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We counted out how many students were in the room and poured the Grinch smoothies into our Grinch cups.

Cara traced Grinch faces onto our cups!

 

 

 

 

The students were intrigued once they tasted it they gave it a big thumbs up!

YUM!

 

 

 

What a fun filled week we had! Our very own little holiday characters will be on winter break for a couple of weeks. Join us again in January for more fun and learning——Group by Group.

 Happy Holidays!

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade book

Standard

Although it’s a week after Thanksgiving, we are still in the Thanksgiving mood!  We are talking all about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  There are all sorts of balloons that can be seen during the parade.  Our book covers a few of them, like Ronald McDonald, Trolls, and Hello Kitty.  We have a couple of our students attending the parade who are featured on the front and the back.  See what other balloons were at the parade!

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: At The Macy_s Thanksgiving Parade

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

Standard

The Macy’s Thanksgiving parade with all those huge balloons inspired us this week! The sensory groups explored boxes related to some of the different balloon characters. The fine motor groups made paper balloons which the language group used for their own version of Macy’s parade.

It was a really fun week!

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

This box contained a variety of things associated with the parade including some shiny mylar balloons which were very eye catching and also made an intriguing crinkly sound. There were toys that represented some of the different balloons, beads, and a little wooly scarf since it can be pretty chilly in NYC this time of year. The real hit was the My Little Pony mask which the students loved admiring themselves in using the Hello Kitty mirror 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Sinclair dinosaur is one of the favorite balloons in the parade. Our little dinosaurs roamed around some green and purple rice which when pushed aside revealed a picture of Dino at the bottom of the box.

Also, one of the dinosaurs roared when the button on his tummy was pressed.

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

 

 

 

 

There were 3 toy characters to find in the  soft pink sand of this Hello Kitty box. The students really liked watching and feeling the fine sand as it fell through the sifter we also included.

 

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

 

 

 

 

These red, yellow, and white pompoms represented Ronald MacDonald and were perfect for sorting and counting.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

We pulled out some of our colorful glittery and gem filled discovery bottles for our Trolls box. We included a voice output device with their theme song “Can’t stop the feeling” and a little toy Troll to dance along to the music.

 

 

 

The science access point track objects moving up and down can be addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

 

Everybody loves the Pillsbury Dough Boy balloon! We used cloud dough for this box—-of course! It is a little messy but has a very cool texture so totally worth the mess. There was a big scoop and small measuring spoon to let the students practice their scooping skills.

 

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

 

 

 

 

Hands were rinsed in Sponge Bob’s lagoon. In addition to a Sponge Bob toy there was a measuring cup and sifter scoop for added fun.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Because it had a Thanksgiving vibe, we used Bath and BodyWorks cranberry scented to lotion this week. This had a really strong aroma that was a hit with the students!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP 

On Tuesday the students made a paper Dino, the Sinclair dinosaur, balloon.

The students took turns using sponge brushes to paint  our great big balloon.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

After they were finished painting, the students used communication symbols to identify our paint color—–GREEN!

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

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Dino the Dinosaur!

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students divided into 2 tables to paint some more balloons!

First the students identified our paint colors using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

We painted Pikachu yellow………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

………..and Hello Kitty pink!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!!!!

It’s Pikachu!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Hello Kitty!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

Since we were talking about a parade this week, we decided to have our OWN parade.  This time, instead of having our students dress up, the adults dressed up!

Thank goodness for adult onesies lol.

The adults represented the different balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We decorated the students’ wheelchairs with garland and some helium balloons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since it was a Thanksgiving parade our turkey led the way!

 

 

 

 

 

Our balloons and costumes were VERY eye catching which made for a pretty exciting parade!

 

 

 

 

 

Since the Macy’s parade ends with Santa, we included him too!

He was pretty popular 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After we paraded down the halls of the elementary building, we all had some socialization time while enjoying some snacks.

Each student had to request what they wanted from the snack table.  Sentence strips were presented at each different item.  Students had to point to each symbol in the sentence strip in order to get what they wanted.  Some students required hand-over-hand help to point to each symbol.  Our verbal students had to say what they wanted verbally.

If our students chose ice cream, they would have to request the different toppings that were available, again using the sentence strips provided.  To be polite, we had “thank you” symbols out as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, we had our makeshift photo booth so everyone could take festive pictures.

There were also lots of props to add to the fun 🙂

 

 

 

A good time was had by all. Join us again next time for more fun and learning——-

Group by Group!

National Parks Book

Standard

We are celebrating National Hiking Day (November 17) by talking about some of the national parks that we have here in the United States.  We journeyed all across the nation, from the Everglades in Florida to the Smoky Mountains in Colorado to Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii.  There are so many beautiful places to go for a hike!  We have a couple of our students “taking a hike” on the front cover and on the “the end” pages of the book.  A big THANK YOU to Jeannie for providing us with the Sequoia National Park pictures and to Leisa for the Grand Canyon picture.  We hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Let_s Take A Hike

National Parks

Standard

November 17 is National Take a Hike Day so we decided it would be great time to learn a little more about some of our national parks. Our sensory groups explored boxes related to specific parks. The fine motor groups made art projects featuring things you might see on a hike. The language group made a hike worthy snack!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Our Smokey Mountain National Park box was filled with things you might see while hiking here. There were leaves, pine cones, plastic pine needles, and plush animals including a bird that chirped when squeezed. There were also a pair of binoculars that were a hit.

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

 

 

 

 

Volcano National Park in Hawaii has a very unique landscape—-flowing lava! Black kinetic sand moves a lot like lava and with a piece of red plastic at the bottom of the box  we had our own little volcano landscape going!  The students made lava rocks with some blocks from a shape sorter.

The math access point recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

We thought our pink Floam was the perfect choice for our Grand Canyon box. Since mules are one way people get up and down the canyon we decided to put in some laminated ones of 3 different sizes for the students.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

California has a lot of National Parks including Yosemite. For this box we used our blue and yellow rice which are the state colors. There were letter Y’s, a California magnet, and a picture of Yosemite to find at the bottom of the box. The students were especially intrigued by the magnet!

Recognize two objects that are identical to each other is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

If you want to find some dinosaur fossils, Badlands National Park is the place to go! The students had fun digging for fossils or making their own with the moon sand in this box.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

We made our Everglades swamp out of green jello and it was a HIT! Some of the students were a little hesitant but others dived right in 🙂 We put in some toy animals like alligators, snakes, lizards, and spiders—–things you might run into while exploring this national park!

 

Match living things to their habitats is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Yellowstone National Park is known for its geysers like old faithful. When a button was pushed this bath toy sprayed water like geysers———- and produced LOTS of giggles!

 

 

 

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

LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF GIGGLES 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bath and BodyWorks mahogany woods seemed a perfect scent for this week. The students really responded to its “woodsy” scent.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday our students made some black bears, like those you might spot in the Smokey Mountain National Park.

First, we discussed the shape of the day and asked the students to identify it using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A black construction paper circle was cut into 2 pieces using adaptive scissors. We used either switch operated or tabletop scissors.

The math access point recognize parts of whole objects can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Then the 2 semi-circles were glued on to a black paper plate to make the ears.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then a small grey circle nose  was glued down and 2 googlie eyes were added.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       Let’s go for a hike in the woods!

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made a giant sequoia tree—-like the ones at Grand Sequoia National Park. In our book there is a picture of one with Jeannie’s husband standing under it so be sure to check it out!

First we discussed the color of our paint and identified it using communication symbols. We got 100% right on this one—–our students totally rock!!!!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Then each student got a chance to paint some leaves on our tree shape cut from some scrap foam board and its shape cut out by Ms. LaShayla—-one of our wonderful volunteers!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

We attached the tree top to our trunk made from leftover cardboard and discussed that while we were LITTLE the tree was BIG! Ms. Alexa, another of our wonderful volunteers, cut up a cardboard box to make the tree trunk.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TA Da…….

we made a Giant Sequoia tree!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We made a protein packed smoothie this week since protein is good for energy which we need while taking a hike!  Here is the recipe we used:  Let_s Make A Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie

We started by putting some vanilla soy milk into the blender.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, each of our students got to smell the peanut butter before we put it in the blender.  This was a little confusing to some of students because they were presented with the peanut butter on a spoon 🙂  No one ate it off the spoon, though, so it was a successful smell test!

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

 

 

 

 

We put 4 tablespoons of peanut butter into the blender.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the peanut butter, we put in the frozen bananas.  Each student got to feel the bananas.  We talked about how they were COLD.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we added some old fashioned oats to the blender.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each of our students got to help blend up the ingredients using a wireless switch that was connected to a power link.  We made sure that it was nice and smooth.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Time to drink our smoothies!  Now we’re all energized 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are glad you joined us this week and hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving! We will be back after the holiday with more fun, learning, and smiles——-

                                                                ——Group by Group!

 

Colonial America book

Standard

This week, we are using the Unique theme to talk about Colonial America.  Times were much different back then!  Our book talks about some different jobs they had, food they ate, and games they played.  We have a few of our students dressed up in some of the clothing that people during that time period would wear.  Look and see how much has changed!

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: What Was Colonial America Like?