Week 24—Money and the Letter X


This week our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups learned about money. We picked the theme to relate to the schools Unique Curriculum theme of economics. The Letter X was the theme for our Language Group.

Sensory Group—Money

We read Cara’s book “There are Many Different Kinds of Jobs”.  We chose careers that children often say they want to be when they grow up and related each of our boxes to the different jobs.

Our first box was related to money. It had green paper shred because our money is made of paper and dyed green. We also put in some paper money and coin replicas. Our coins were larger than real life to avoid any choking hazards. We put in beads with dollar signs (we found these at Target in their St. Patricks Day section!) and some  gift/credit cards. We also put in a money clip, car key (you often drive to work), and a piece of leather (purses and wallets are often made of leather).

Our students had a lot of fun with this box—some of them really enjoyed collecting the money. Which, of course, gave us an opportunity to work on math access points!




The next box had a construction  theme—what fun to drive a dump truck! We used assorted beans for our gravel and put in a couple of toy trucks and the letter C. We  also hid a little surprise at the bottom—a picture of a dump truck was taped to the bottom of the box!

In addition to practicing scooping skills, uncovering the truck addresses visual and tactile discrimination skills.




How about becoming President! We filled our next box with the patriotic colors of red, white and blue.

Soft pompoms and hard beads allow us to contrast properties of materials which is a science access point. Sorting and counting the different colored pompoms relates to math access points.

We also included a letter P for President to address literacy skills.





Pink and white rice, a crown—yes, its a princess sensory box!

Nancy made this bracelet we by wrapping strips of tulle around a rubber band. This was a huge hit with some of the students. Very visually interesting to watch the tulle move as a hand was waved.

Concepts of same and different are addressed—the 2 crowns are the “same” and the spoon is “different”.

We also included the letter P to address literacy.





Another exciting job would be a circus performer which is the theme of our next box. We filled it with some colorful packing peanuts, puzzle pieces depicting different circus performers, and the letter C.

The packing peanuts can be sorted by color and allow opportunities to practice pincer grasp skills.






We talked about being a firefighter while finger painting in shaving cream. It looks just like the foam used to douse fires!

We practiced prewriting patterns and letters by finger painting in the foam.

Encouraging students to interact with the foam helps address tactile sensitivity issues.





When finished finger painting, hands were rinsed in water. Our students always enjoy the opportunity to play in water. Its fun but can also be very calming and relaxing for our students.





We also included some theme related items to encourage visual tracking. A glittery baton—just like a circus performer—was a great tool to practice forearm rotation movements. Watching the movements of the glitter as it moved in the water water from one end of the tube to the other related to science access points.





One of our I-spy bottles (made from some plastic juice bottles with lids tape shut) contained some toy coins (along with rice and beans for contrast).

Fun to roll and watch the coins sift through the rice.





The other bottle contained some brightly colored princess jewels.

Both of these bottles could be rotated to encourage visual tracking or shaken for auditory input.

Coin and color identification skills can be addressed using these bottles.





We finished by using some rose scented lotion—

to remind us our  future looks “rosy” 🙂

It had a very distinct aroma that all our students reacted to.

Rubbing the lotion on our hands promotes bilateral coordination. For those students who tend to put their hands in their mouths, we rub lotion on their upper arms or the back of their necks.





Fine Motor Group—Money

We read “There are Many Different Kinds of Jobs”  which our students loved. They recognized the different professions and all seemed to have a favorite.

After reading the book we made some piggy banks. We started by using an electronic cutting machine. Our students were SO excited and could hardly wait for their turn to press the button– their eyes were glued on the machine 🙂

Listening skills, following directions, turn taking  and finger individuation skills are addressed while operating the machine. Watching the mat board move as the machine cuts encourages visual tracking.





We counted out the 7 pink circles that we cut, then we counted 8 students.

Hmm, I think we need 1 more circle!

Working on math access points 🙂





We cut out some smaller circles and some triangles—getting lots more turns to press that button and make the machine go!

Counting the circles, and comparing their sizes addresses math access points. We also worked on shape identification and the concept of same and different  with the circles and triangles.





Now to assemble our little piggy! We  glued 2 triangles to the big circle to make ears. Then we glued the small circle on top of the big circle.

We used our food coloring enhanced glue to give the students additional visual cues for placement.

Picking up those small pieces really works on precision grasping skills! Squeezing the glue helps strengthen grasp.

Comparing all the sizes and shapes, in addition to counting different items addresses math access points.





We glued the piggy on a piggy bank.

The bank was made by  wrapping paper around some different  containers, such as mixed nuts or icing, and cutting a slit in the top.

Here is a cute little piggy bank—just waiting to be filled on Thursday!





On Thursday, we read Cara’s book again.   It was fun seeing which jobs the students became excited about —construction worker and princess were some of the top choices 🙂

Lets start filling up the piggy bank! We printed some dollar bills (we found these on the Activity Village website).

Our students used the paper cutters to cut along lines that we highlighted—“follow the yellow brick road”!

This activity addresses eye hand coordination and visual tracking.





Time to color the money, green of course!

We used a variety of markers. We like these Crayola pipsqueaks that are perfect for little hands.

We really like how this student is demonstrating some nice bilateral coordination skills—stabilizing her money with her right hand while coloring with the left! She has not always been able to do this, so we were pretty excited.






We also like these Crayola tripod markers that are easy for little hands to grasp. Talk about Universal Design!

This is a fun way to practice using writing tools and coloring in a designated area.






Some of our students knew exactly what to do with the money. After all,  its never too early to start saving 🙂

This student folded her money up to fit in the designated space, performing some algebraic functions——related to math access points!






We did save some of the dollars to buy snacks—a great opportunity to reinforce what money can be used for.

This student just handed his dollar to Jeannie and is signing “more”. He knows the value of a dollar 🙂

Those little hands are just so cute!






Language Group—Letter X

We did something a little different (Ms Garland came up with this awesome idea) in our language group this week, a scavenger hunt—X marks the spot!

First we eXmined our map, looking for treasure all around the school.

Using maps addresses social studies access points, sequencing and following directions.

This is going to be eXciting!!!





At our first stop we found 2 stretchy tubes.

Pulling the tubes apart—using maXimum effort—works on upper extremity strengthening and bilateral coordination.

They also have a very satisfying sound as they are pulled apart.





We used our stretchy tubes to make an eXtreme X!

Crossing the tubes to make the X and laying it on top of the tape addresses visual spatial skills.






We found this boX at the neXt spot.

Looks like we are in for some bubble fun!









Instead of blowing the bubbles, you have to squeeze!

How eXtraordinary!

Dipping the wand into the bubble mix addresses eye hand coordination. Squeezing the blower works on grip strength. Visual tracking skills are also addressed while following the bubbles.

Discussing the effect of wind of the bubbles addresses science access points.





We followed the map to this spot were we had to imitate an X.

This student did an eXcellent job, don’t you think!







We finally reached the treasure—cookies iced with an X—eXactly what we were looking for!

Needless to say, we all wanted to eXamine them pretty closely 🙂






Time to make our








Here are some of the X words we found today— we may have lost a post-it or two on our trek today 🙂





Please join us again next time for lots more fun and learning Group by Group.

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