Sensory Group—Visiting Washington DC
We recorded the sounds of a jet taking off and marine band playing “Hail to the Chief” on our voice output device to add an auditory component while reading our book. Other props included a dog house (from a line in the book). We used scratch and sniff cards with scents of oil and gas which might be associated with travels in a plane or car. We added the scent of cherry blossoms for our water play and lotion.
We had a collection of lighted toys to remind us of the varieties of flashing lights seen in a city. These were especially attractive to some of our students with a visual impairment and great for visual tracking.
We finger painted the letter W in white shaving cream. The shaving cream (or any of our sensory box items) can be placed in a ziplock bags if oral exploration is an issue.
Our box of cherry blossoms was made by pulling the petals off dollar store silk flowers. Hidden among the blossoms were small people figures (there are lots of people in Washington) and inset puzzle pieces of cars, houses and airplanes. In addition to searching for the hidden treasures, our students loved picking up handfuls of the petals and watching them drift down (another great visual tracking activity). We got some lovely smiles as the soft petals drifted down over them.
Fine Motor Group—-Visiting Washington DC
We read “Let’s Visit the President” from the Unique curriculum and our students especially enjoyed the “jet” sounds made by the voice output device. Then we proceeded to make a map of the United States, identifying Washington DC and our state capitol.
We counted out sheets of yellow construction paper and discussed its shape (rectangle) targeting math access points. We then painted (go fairly goopy on the paint) our students RIGHT hands with the paint color of their choice. Its important to paint the right hand. If you don’t, you quickly realize your mistake (as a couple of us did) when you proceed to the next step! We also found it helpful to assist our students with thumb abduction.
Before proceeding to the next step, turn the paper into a horizontal orientation with the thumb portion pointing downward.
We used our purple glue (made by adding food coloring to regular white glue) to help our students locate the approximate geographical locations of Tallahassee and Washington DC. Working on pincer grasps to pick up the paper, our students placed them on the glue. We continued to work on pincer grasp by counting and peeling off star stickers (one to one correspondence–a math access point).
The final product——TA DA!
On Thursday we read our book again and talked about who lives in the White House.
Next we counted out 2 white card stock rectangles (working on math access points). Then we glued a picture to each rectangle. We used glue that we colored with food coloring. The colored glue helps our students see where they have placed the glue and to identify where to place their paper. Squeezing the glue also helps build hand strength.
We then glued the rectangles back to back onto a paint stick.
And the answer to the question is……….
Our students really loved lifting their signs overhead and getting lots of Ta-Da’s for their efforts. Just so much fun!
Alphabet Group—letter F
Next we went Fishing. We asked the students to Find Four or Five Fish. This activity works on shoulder stability, eye hand coordination, and graded motor control. It also addresses math access points and color identification.
For our students with motor differences we used a fishing set that had a soft, easily grasped rod with a velcro tip. By swiping their rod across the pile of fish, our students were easily able to catch their share.
For our Final activity our students Found Four pink dots and drew vertical lines From each dot. We like using markers because of their vivid colors, low friction which makes it easier to make marks, and the larger diameter allows for an easier grasp. This activity addresses math access points and handwriting skills.
Next, our students stamped Four Fragrant Flowers. Joy made the stamp by cutting a flower shape out of some leftover foam and used double stick tape to attach it to a dish scrubber purchased at the dollar store. The rounded handle of the dish scrubber makes it very easy to grasp. Our students had to remember to place their flowers at the top of the “stem” (working on spatial concepts) and to stamp just one flower on each stem, counting to 4 again.
For our students with significant motor difficulties, Joy attached a marker (using velcro) to a battery operated toy they could access via a pressure switch placed by their temples. As the toy moved around, our students were able to scribble along with their classmates.
This was a huge hit, and needless to say, everyone got a turn (or more than one) to join in the fun as seen in the picture here 🙂
Join us next week as we make learning fun Group by Group.