Talk Show Host book


img_4243This isn’t just a random theme this week!  We are celebrating TV Talk Show Host Day which is October 23.  Our book takes a look at some different talk show hosts and gives a couple of facts about them.  We now know some neat little things about Conan O’Brien, Ellen, and Oprah, along with several other TV talk show hosts.  The cover of the book features a student of ours on the Tonight Show and also features another student helping out behind the scenes.






img_3600Here is a link to the book:   fun-facts-about-talk-show-hosts

Talk Show Hosts


img_4247October 23 is National Talk Show Host day—-yes, there really is a day for everything!! While kind of an unusual theme, we had a lot of fun with it.

Our sensory group explored boxes related to some of our favorite talk show hosts. The fine motor groups made some fun art projects and the language group looked to Rachael Ray to make a tasty treat in less than 30 minutes🙂






img_3622img_4304Oprah is a legendary talk show host. The base of her box was green paper shred—-we learned that green is her favorite color! We added things that we associate with Oprah like books (for her book club), a peace sign, the word FRIENDS (she has lots of them), and some little play people (one in a dress that is the color purple). We also included lots of hearts because of all the love Oprah spreads🙂

img_4072Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.





img_4268img_4055Harry Connick is not only a talk show host but is also an actor and singer. He starred in the movie Dolphin Tale. Our students got to swim with the dolphins with our underwater umbrella. There were also some dolphin sounds we recorded on the voice output device.

They LOVED this umbrella!




img_3639img_4065The science access point match common living things with their habitats is addressed here.










img_4087img_4151Whoopi Goldberg is another talk show host who is also an actor. She starred in the Sister Act movies. We took a cue from the colors of the nun’s habit that she wore in those movies and used white rice and black beans for her box. There were lots of letter W’s as well as a picture to find at the bottom of the box.

img_3607The science access point recognize common objects as the same can be addressed here.





img_3609img_4078Our super cool galaxy play dough would be a sure hit with astrophysicist and host of Star Talk——Neil DeGrasse. We added regular gold glitter in addition to some chunky silver glitter to make the black play dough look out of this world! There were two different sized star shaped cookie cutters for our students to make size comparisons.

img_4384Recognize similarities and differences in size of common objects is a math access point.





img_3633img_3653Lots of people turn to the Dr. Oz show for health advice so his box was filled with “doctor” stuff. There were some gauze bandages, medicine cups, cotton balls, tongue depressors, and a stethoscope.

Of course, we included a little patient for our students to take care of.

img_4165Associate an object with a person is a social studies access point.





img_4109img_4129Conan O’Brien is well known to late night talk show fans. He is also famous for his red hair. We laminated a picture of a bald Conan and our students had a lot of fun re-styling his hair using orange shaving cream. Perhaps he should come to our school for a makeover🙂

img_4453Track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is a science access point.





img_4163img_4340Ellen DeGeneres not only has a hit talk show but starred as the voice of Dory in two movies that are huge hits among our students! Ms. Kim found a fun Dory pool toy that, when it’s string was pulled, swam around our little ocean. We didn’t have a Nemo toy but we did include an orange toy fish that resembled him—– and squirted water when squeezed!

The science access point recognize the change in the motion of an object can be addressed with this activity.





img_3670img_4172Our scent this week is one we are pretty sure Rachel Ray would like—-cucumber melon from Bath and BodyWorks! Our students really liked this aroma.

img_4500Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point.






On Tuesday our students made microphones!

img_3812First we discussed that styrofoam balls were spheres and identified their shape using communication symbols. We had pre-painted the balls with silver tempera paint.

This activity addresses the math access points: recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes, and recognize three-dimensional shapes.






img_3819img_3709Then the students used cutting tools such as paper cutters or switch operated scissors to trim some black construction paper. We noted that the shape of the paper was a rectangle.

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





img_3750img_3834Next the students used a glue stick to apply glue to the paper and then they rolled it around a toilet paper tube. The styrofoam ball was pushed onto the top for a finishing touch.

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





img_3835img_3765Ta Da—-

img_3806                                                           —-time for an interview!





On Wednesday the fine motor group made picture frames—to hold a picture of each student with Jimmy Fallon (cleverly made by Power Point whiz Cara).

img_4191We started by discussing the shape of the picture frame and asked the students to identify it using communication symbols.

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







img_4201img_4208Then the students painted the frame with some watered down glue.

img_4213The science access point recognize pushing and pulling an object makes it move is addressed here.





img_4230Time to add gold or silver glitter—-a celebrity photo needs to be framed in shiny glitter🙂

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









img_4237img_4226Ta Da!

img_4217                                                   We are just a little starstruck!






We channeled Rachael Ray today and made one of her recipes for the language group.  We made her recipe Whole Wheat Sweet Cinnamon Chips with Creamy Honey Dip (recipe found here:

img_4513img_4514Since the tortillas had already been pre-cut, we talked to our students about what shape they were.  They had to indicate the triangle out of a field of 2 shapes.

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





img_4521img_4534Our students got to HELP us spray the tortillas with cooking spray and then SPRINKLE cinnamon and sugar on top.  Of course, they got to smell the cinnamon first!

img_4525Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.





img_4545img_4556While the tortillas were in the oven, our students helped PUT the yogurt and honey in a bowl.  We observed how the ingredients MIXED together.







img_4559img_4572While we were waiting for the tortilla chips to finish, we got out our Dolphin Tale umbrella for them to look at

img_4581—–what a fun way to pass the time!





img_4588img_4591Once the chips were done baking, we counted out bowls for each of our students and put together our snack.

Lots of opportunities to use communication devices with this yummy treat!

img_4593Thank you, Rachael Ray, for the wonderful recipe!




img_4136We had a great time with our talk show host theme. Join us again next week for more fun and learning——Group by Group!


Fall Fun book


img_2962img_3063-1The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are changing colors…this can only mean that fall is finally here!  For us here in Florida, it is a wonderful shift in seasons.  The unbearable heat is finally tapering off!  There are lots of different things that go on during the gall.  Our school has our annual Owl Run and Camp Read A Lot, there’s a ton of football to be watched, and people start decorating for fall holidays.  Our book features one of our students wearing a super cute turkey hat on the front and another student dressed up in a costume on the back.



img_3179Here is a link to the book: fall-is-finally-here

Fall Fun


img_3049The weather is finally getting a little cooler and we are thinking about all the fun things that happen in the fall! The sensory group explored colorful, eye catching boxes. The fine motor group decorated some fall leaves and the language group made a tasty treat!







img_2842img_3336Fall festivals are so much fun with hay rides, pumpkins, decorations, and people in costumes! Our fall festival box had a base of raffia hay and silk leaves. There were lots of fall symbols including pine cones, jack o lanterns, turkeys, and squirrels to explore and discover in the box.

img_2814Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.





img_2892img_3275College football is a big part of fall around here. The students loved the shaker pompoms—-so much fun to cheer for your favorite team! They also had fun filling the game day cups with black and white “referee” paper shred or a little football.

img_2917Recognize the change in the motion of an object is a science access point.





img_2823img_2860We love our orange and black rice box—-it is SO eye catching! The students had fun scooping the rice and beans into the little pumpkin bowl or looking for a jack o lantern picture at the bottom of the box.

img_2936The math access point solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions, using language, such as enough, too much, or more, can be addressed with this activity.





img_2956img_3210The Owl Run is a race our school hosts for all the middle schools in our district. It is a popular event that we all look forward to each year. To represent the race, the students stamped our schools’ initials into yellow moon sand—-yellow is one of our school colors! There was also a t-shirt cookie cutter because you always get a t-shirt after a race🙂

img_2856Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.





img_2949img_3149We brought out one of our favorite umbrellas this week. Our fall umbrella is a pretty simple one—- just some fall garland and craft foam leaves attached to a yellow umbrella—but it is completely eye catching! A little hand held fan helped add to the experience by blowing the leaves around with a gentle breeze. Some of the students also loved the feeling of the air blowing on their faces.

img_3186The science access point recognize a seasonal change in the appearance of a common plant can be addressed with this activity.






img_3228img_2833This week our messy play was indeed messy—-we used pumpkin puree! The Dollar Tree stocks cans of pumpkin so this was pretty inexpensive.  In addition to an interesting texture, it also has a nice aroma which added to the experience. Most of the students were pretty intrigued by the pumpkin—–others not so much🙂

Use senses to recognize objects is a science access point.





img_2837img_2830Some craft foam and plastic symbols of fall (such as leaves, the letter F, and bats) were  scooped out of the water. Bath and BodyWorks cinnamon pumpkin scented bath gel in the water made it smell really nice.


img_3295The social studies access point associate an object with an event can be addressed here.





img_3363img_3352The matching lotion was rubbed on various body parts to give our students a yummy reminder of all the fun they had. They were able to communicate whether they “liked” the scent or not—-it was pretty much a universal LIKE!

img_2983Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point.






Due to a district holiday, we only had one fine motor group this week—-but it was a fun one! We used this template:  leaf-template

img_2999img_3007First we discussed the color of our leaves and the students used communication symbols to identify the color BROWN.

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







img_3020img_3021Then the students squeezed some gold paint onto their leaves and spread it around using paint brushes. They were pretty intrigued with the metallic paint!

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





img_3030img_3029Ta Da!

img_3035                                                                   Feeling fallish🙂






We got back into cooking during our language group and made a fall treat: Pumpkin Fluff Dip!  Here is a link to the recipe:  lets-make-pumpkin-fluff-dip

img_3368img_3372We started out by making the pudding.  We used the Pixon core 50 communication board throughout the process to model how symbols are used for communication.  Our students helped PUT the pudding mix into the bowl.  They all took turns feeling how COLD the milk was and then PUT the milk in the bowl as well.

img_3384Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.





img_3390Each student had a TURN pressing the switch to activate the mixer.  So fun!










img_3406Next, we took turns smelling the pumpkin puree.  This smell was not a favorite for some of our students but others thought it was pretty yummy!









img_3412We PUT the pumpkin puree into a different bowl and added half a container of whipped cream.









img_3415img_3423Then we added some cinnamon after taking turns smelling it.

img_3419We used communication symbols to let the students tell us if they “liked” the scent. For the most part, it was a pretty popular scent🙂





img_3425We mixed the pumpkin and whipped cream and then added the vanilla pudding.  We counted out the bowls for our students.








img_3432img_3433For the ones who are on a puree diet, they ate the Pumpkin Fluff Dip by itself.  For our students who eat solid food, we added some crumbled up Nilla Wafers.







img_3267It looks like we are ready for fall around here! Join us again next time for more fun—–Group by Group!

Scientist book


img_2656img_2471Our theme for this week is scientists, which goes along with the theme of Unique for the month.  Our book features lots of different scientists such as Mary Anning, Neil Degrasse, and Charles Darwin, to name a few.  Each of these scientists have contributed greatly to our society!  We have a scientist of our own featured on the front cover and our version of Jane Goodall featured on the back.  Check it out!





img_2389Here is a link to the book: scientists-are-amazing

Famous Scientists


img_1947This week we learned about some famous scientists. We chose this theme to compliment the Unique Curriculum unit for some of our grade levels. The sensory groups explored boxes related to individual scientists. The fine motor groups created science themed art projects and the language group performed some fun science experiments!






img_2386img_2379Galileo and Neil DeGrasse Tyson are famous for studies in the area of astronomy. Our little astronomers loved our solar system umbrella. With its twinkly stars and hanging planets, it was a real hit.

Recognize a space-related object is a science access point.






img_2431Stephen Hawking knows a LOT about black holes. We used black kinetic sand for our “black hole” box and added a star shaped cookie cutter. So much fun and irresistible to both our students and staff🙂

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








img_1970img_2399The thermometer was invented by Daniel Fahrenheit. In honor of him we filled a box with some “Insta-Snow”. While not quite as cold as the real thing, it still feels a little chilly!

img_2411Distinguish between hot and cold objects is a science access point.







img_1925img_2035We think our chimpanzee habitat would be a hit with Jane Goodall, she is an anthropologist who studies wild chimpanzees! Included in this box are binoculars, a variety of chimps, play fruit, and a voice output device with monkey sounds we recorded from You Tube. The monkey sounds were a huge hit!

The science access point recognize common objects related to science by name, such as animal or plant, can be addressed here.






img_1928Kepler was a famous mathematician. In our box of white cornmeal were numbers 1-9 for our students to find. We haven’t used this cornmeal box for a while and it has a really intriguing texture for our students.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.









img_2021img_2447Mary Anning was a famous fossil hunter. The students had fun hunting for dinosaur skeletons buried in our box of moon sand. They also had a lot of fun with the dinosaur molds.

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






img_2404img_2570Since our theme was all about famous scientists, we decided to put pop rocks into our shaving cream to start a “chemical” reaction. Those crackling pop rocks sounded pretty cool!

The science access point recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is addressed with this activity.






img_1895Charles Darwin’s boat the HMS Beagle sailed in our little ocean—-passing a giant sea turtle along the way!

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








img_2477Since we found out that chimpanzees like all sorts of fruit—not just bananas—-we used Bath and Body Works mango tangerine scent for both our water and lotion this week. The citrusy scent was a real hit with the students!

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








On Tuesday our students made a galaxy!

img_2076We started by discussing the shape of planets found in galaxies and used communication symbols to identify a CIRCLE.

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








img_2156Then we used a circle punch to cut “planets” out of wallpaper scraps. You have to push pretty hard to make the punch work, so the students needed a little help with this. Of course, we counted how many planets each student cut out.

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







img_2108img_2171Next they painted watered down glue onto black paper and the planets were placed on the glue.

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






img_2122Sparkly stars were added using chunky silver glitter.

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









img_2124img_2183Ta Da!

img_2093                                                                  It’s a galaxy!











On Wednesday the students painted with corn syrup! We have done this before and always love how the syrup retains its “wet” look after it hardens. VERY COOL!

img_2488First we discussed the color of our syrup—-we had added some food coloring🙂

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

The students identified the color using communication symbols.







img_2501img_2541We poured a little of the syrup onto their science lab beakers, cut from poster board using this:beaker-template

The students used regular paint brushes to spread it around. Yes, this did get a little sticky and messy but it was WAY fun🙂

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





img_2537img_2509TA DA!

Let’s do some experiments!











Our students turned into little scientists today!  We tried out 2 different experiments today.  Here is a breakdown of each experiment: experiments

img_2576img_2580For our first experiment, our students helped POUR some baking soda into a pan.  Then, our students helped fill up some cups HALFWAY with vinegar.  They also got to choose what color should be put into each vinegar cup.

img_2627Recognize when an object is added to (addition) a situation, is a science access point.






img_2608img_2613Once everything was ready, each student got a chance to use droppers and SQUEEZE some of the vinegar onto the baking soda.

img_2642Our students loved seeing the colorful fizz!

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





img_2620img_2589For our second experiment, we filled up a measuring cup HALFWAY with vinegar.  We added some food coloring as well.  Our students got to CHOOSE the color glitter they wanted.  They also got to help SQUEEZE some dish soap into the measuring cup.  We STIRRED it up.






img_2633Finally, we got a big spoonful of baking soda and POURED it into the measuring cup.  We gave it another little stir and watched it foam up!  It was pretty amazing how much foam came out of our experiment!


What an exciting week! Join us again next time for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

September After Party


img_9651img_0507Welcome 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 month of September—–enjoy!





The first unit complimented the Unique Curriculum theme for September. We learned about People of the American Revolution.

img_8746img_8726The students had fun making buildings just like President and architect Thomas Jefferson. They used blue Floam to make their buildings.

They searched for the numbers 1776 in red, white, and blue rice.






img_9681img_9042They found letter A’s in tea like Abigail Adams might have like.






img_8918                                 Lots of fun to sift through and a nice aroma too!






img_9649img_9676Another american revolutionary was silversmith Paul Revere.

There were also 2 different sized horses to find.










img_8730img_0501Wikki Stix were used to make glasses—

—-0916161115a–Ben Franklin invented bifocals!






img_9032img_8994The students used shaving cream to re-style Georgia Washington’s hair—-or give him a beard🙂

img_8975Then they went fishing, enjoying Patrick Henry’s favorite hobby.






Our video game unit was a BIG hit!

img_9720img_0160The students sorted green Luigi and red Mario pompoms.

img_0218They did a really great job!











img_9774img_0674Video games have lights and sounds. We recorded some video game sounds on a voice output device and then put a bunch of light producing toys in this box.

img_0509These were  a real hit.








img_0726img_0162The students stamped Minecraft squares into red moonsand.

img_9731The sand is soft but can be molded easily.









img_0221Big chenille stems were joined to form rings, like those in the game Sonic the Hedgehog!

img_0513img_0511Some of our high school boys and fun just making creations with their rings—-they got pretty creative🙂





img_0217img_0510Our box with things you might find in the game Legend of Zelda was another big hit.






img_0179img_0198There was lots to discover and explore!











img_0672img_0690From craft foam we cut out some Pac Man figures and put them in our oobleck




img_9796                                                                       —-so much fun!





Next we looked at Extracurricular Activities—-the things kids do after school!

img_1123img_1806This box contained pompom shakers—-for all the cheerleading

img_4163                                                              ……..and wig fans🙂





img_1144img_1812Shaker pompoms are so much fun!

img_0806What’s not to love🙂







img_1813img_1802Sports are always popular. The students made different sized balls out of white Floam.

img_1176The students also “fished” in our little pond.








img_1115img_1804For the music fans, we included our always popular finger drums, a tambourine, and a maraca.

img_1153                                                      This was a popular box!





img_1116img_0791Some students go to an After School program. This was represented with rice in our school colors and alphabet letters to find.








img_1132img_1110The students practiced making circles and ovals like race tracks, in shaving foam.

img_0780This does get a little messy but is sure to produce a few giggles.




img_1797img_0794Our dance box had scarves, head dresses, feather boas, and a voice output device with ballet music.

img_4164This box also brought out the sillies in more than a few students🙂




img_1189We finished with some yummy vanilla scented lotion, which reminded us of Girl Scout cookies!










We ended September with a unit that looked at Opposites. The book featured lots of our students demonstrating opposites and was a real hit!

img_0516img_0517Students compared sizes, shapes, and other physical features of a variety of materials.




img_0520img_2741In and Out was the theme for our purple beans and rice box.

img_1844                                                    A very inviting box to explore.






img_2677img_2338They pushed Hard cookie cutters into Soft play dough.

img_1826Of course, some of the students branched out a little with their own creations.






img_2239img_2368Rough and Smooth were explored with this box.

img_1827                                                                 Lots of textures!



img_2676img_1850The plastic spaghetti strands were especially intriguing!










img_2717img_1830The box of balls—-all different sizes—–was a hit!







img_2243img_2339The large fluffy balls were also a textural contrast to the Koosh balls.










img_1842img_2704Watching the beads and glitter drift Up and Down in the discovery bottles was pretty mesmerizing.

img_2350                                                      These are so cool!


img_2685Watching both at the same time—-even better!











img_2248img_2260Oobleck is the ultimate opposite because it behaves like a Solid and a Liquid!

img_1848After rinsing hands, the students experimented to see which objects Sank and which Floated in the water.





img_2334img_1853The Light box was another big hit with this unit!

img_1854The colorful lights made it especially eye catching!




img_2689img_2354Well that is it for another month. The students really had lots of fun AND got some learning in too! See you next month!