Our theme for our Sensory and Fine Motor groups was Florida and our theme for our Language group was Letter W.
The Unique Curriculum topic this month explored home, family and where you live, so we we chose our home state as our theme this week. We hope you enjoy exploring our wonderful state with us 🙂
We started our session by looking at a map of Florida. We pointed out where we live and where we might like to visit.
Then we read Cara’s book. Our students took turns activating the voice output device to comment on things we might see in Florida. We were quite excited when one of our students started kicking his feet (he activates the switch with his foot) as soon as we told him it was his turn.
Looking at maps and identifying places on maps is a social studies access point. Reaching for the map, since we held it vertically, helps strengthen shoulder stability.
Our box of sunshine contained soft, round, yellow pom poms and some hard, rayed yellow shapes (from a set of manipulatives).
These bright and cheery items let us compare properties of materials: a science access point.
The next box contained some dried moss, just like the spanish moss that hangs from oak trees in Florida. It had a dry crinkly texture which was very different from the soft black bear “fur”. Again, exploring contrasting properties of materials is a science access point.
We put in a plastic orange and orange slice. This let us compare part to whole concepts which is a math access point.
There were lots of other cool Florida symbols that our students enjoyed pulling out which gave us lots of opportunities to explore language and literacy skills!
They are known for the bead work on their clothing. We put our colorful beads in some sealed bottles.
We also put in a few shells to encourage visual discrimination as the bottles are turned.
Of course they are also lots of fun to shake, adding an auditory component!
Our alligator puppet had a zipper mouth which gave our students the opportunity to practice some activities of daily living skills. Feeling the open zipper was a safe way to touch a gators sharp teeth 🙂
We found a toy that reminded us of an alligators bumpy, rough skin. Also included was in the box, was a gator puzzle piece and a little rubber one. Comparing the sizes of the large gator puppet and a small rubber alligator targets a math access point.
Black beans look like the dark night sky and are so nice to scoop or pick up with fingers to practice pincer grasp skills. Lots of tactile input is given when burying/digging out the astronaut and moon.
We also put in a small star shaped cookie cutter, can you find it?
Discussing the star shape and the sphere shaped moon addresses math access points.
Lots of giggles and smiles erupted as hair was blown or the wind touched their hands. Our students loved this so much, we ended up bringing the “wind” into the Fine Motor and Language groups also!
Exploring the effects of wind/weather is a science access point and the tactile effects increase body awareness.
We looked for the letter F and made seashell impressions in the sand.
The tactile aspect of finger painting helps reinforce motor memory patterns and is a great way to encourage hand and arm movements.
Using the fishing pole to catch the fish promotes shoulder stability and eye hand coordination. The opening in the fish tails also makes them easy to grasp with hands.
Counting the fish as they are caught addresses math access points.
We had some other fish that were squirters! Fun to squeeze, working on grasp skills. Also fun to have the water squirt on your hand! We were really excited to see this student actively moving her fingers and smiling during this activity.
After drying our hands, we rubbed on some orange scented lotion. A wonderful citrus scent to help us remember all the things we learned about our state today!
Thank you Ms. Metra for donating that yummy scent!
Fine Motor Group—Florida
Talking about the different things they point out allows for lots of language and literacy opportunities.
We started by counting out rectangular pieces of white paper, working on math access points, of course!
Then we made a “down” stroke using a foam brush and brown paint.
We helped our students with the initiation point but they did a really nice job of completing the stroke. we were so proud!
We told you we were making a “palm” tree 🙂
Some of our students could do this step independently but most of them needed some assistance.
you think of Florida 🙂
On Thursday we read Cara’s book again. Once again our students did a great job helping us read the repeating line. We didn’t talk about them in our book but Manatees are some of the wonderful animals that are native to Florida and we wanted to do a project that included them.
Then we tore pieces of blue and green tissue paper. Tearing the paper helps promote bilateral coordination and fine motor skills.
We are making an underwater habitat for a manatee!
Grasping the paper encourages pincer grasp skills and eye hand coordination.
This student needed a lot of help with his pincer grasp skills last year, but look at him now! Joy (the OT) is very pleased.
Jeannie’s hallway looks so cute with the palm trees and manatees hanging on the wall!
Language Group—Letter W
This activity is great for encouraging bilateral coordination and palmer arching.
And its really fun!
The students had so much fun Watching the hair dryer blow the paper Wads down the table. It was also fun to Watch our post-its Wave.
Most of the students could hardly Wait for their turn with the hair dryer 🙂
This activity addresses shoulder stability and eye hand coordination.
Discussing the effects of Wind addresses science access points.
Following the strokes promotes Motor Memory for letter formation and Working on a vertical surface promotes shoulder stability.
We also made it big enough to sneak in a crossing midline component.
For our project, some of our students cut strips of White paper using our paper cutters.
These are going to be some Walrus tusks!
As usual, we had a variety of scissors, both adaptive and regular on hand to suit our students needs.
We used our hole punches to cut 2 large White circles and 2 small black circles using our hole punches. We love these because they make it easy for our students to cut circles and they help with hand strengthening.
Comparing the relative sizes and counting the circles addresses math access points.
Assembling this addresses following directions, fine motor skills and visual spatial concepts.
Isn’t he just so super cute 🙂
Watch out for that Wasp!
It was just an awesome week, we had a blast! We hope you join us again for more fun Group by Group.