Our themes this week were Fall for the sensory group and fine motor groups and the Letter D for the alphabet group.
We read Cara’s book “Its Beginning to Feel Like Fall” using our voice output device.
While reading the book, we took turns shaking a leaf garland to listen to the “rustling leaves”. We also used a hairdryer to simulate the cool fall breezes.
We looked for soft squirrels, hard pumpkins and strands of soft yarn in the fall colors of brown, yellow and orange. It was fun to watch our students pick out their favorites. Some of our students on the autism spectrum were particularly drawn to the colorful yarn strands.
We used the hair dryer to blow the leaves away to reveal the word FALL that was taped to the tray. Blowing the leaves (great for visual tracking) was a huge hit and our students loved gathering them all back up (working on grasp patterns and eye hand coordination). Yes, it was a little chaotic but lots of fun!
Joy made brown playdough using coffee and whole wheat flour. We used cookie cutters to make fall leaves.
We finished up with water play using Spiced Apple body wash and then Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin lotion from Bath & Body Works. Lovely scents reminding us of the fall season.
Fine Motor Group—Fall
We started by reading Cara’s book, shaking the leaves, the cool breeze from the hair dryer and stroking the soft squirrel.
We talked about the shape of our paper and number of leaves (drawn by Joy) which are both math access points. We added food coloring to our glue to help our students differentiate the designated areas on which to glue their tissue paper. We found this to be very helpful.
Our student with a visual impairment glued silk leaves onto his paper.
On Thursday we continued our Fall theme.
The students then painted a squirrel (drawn and precut from poster board, by Joy) with brown paint. We like these brushes made with larger handles that are easier to grasp.
We then squeezed some glue onto the tails and the students practiced their thumb/finger grasp patterns by picking up the yarn and dropping it onto the glue. A googlie eye was the finishing touch! We talked about the color brown and that the paint and the yarn were the “same” color.
After the paint and glue dried, Jeannie practiced number skills with the students by counting the number of squirrels they had made.
The Alphabet Group—Letter D
We joined the ends to make a Donut.
Next, our students Decided how many bones to feed the Dog. We like giving our students choices of 3 as they have to choose between 3 answers when taking the alternate assessment. This activity also works on number identification and as we count the bones out: one to one correspondence.
Then we used tongs to pick up the bones and feed the Dog. This toy was purchased from the Lakeshore company catalog. Tong activities are great for building pre-scissor skills and eye hand coordination.
For our students whose motor difficulties preclude tong use, we adapted (hot glueing a plastic shower curtain ring) a toy Dog. Loop velcro was glued to his mouth and hook velcro to some of the bones. Linda Burkhart (if you ever get a chance to hear her speak—don’t miss it!!!) originally came up with the idea.
Delightfully Decorated Dotty Duck!
We played Cara’s sound matching game. She used Boardmaker pictures to make the board and computer generated sound bites.
Our students really enjoy the post-its. We try to pick up the post-it or point to it each time we repeat a word and the students really enjoy watching the array of words build up during the session. We also try to give them opportunities to identify some of the words.
Wow, another week gone by! Please join us next week for more fun Group by Group!