Week 25—St.Patricks Day and the Letter Y


This week we had fun learning about St.Patricks Day in our Sensory and Fine Motor groups. Letter Y was the theme in our Language Group.

Sensory Group—St. Patricks Day

We read Cara’s book and learned all about symbols associated with the holiday. Our students used the voice output device to ask “what do we see on St. Patricks Day”.

Our first box was filled with a variety of green items such as silk shamrock leaves, silk leaves, easter grass, shamrock beads, manipulatives, chenille stems, mini kitchen scrubber and toys. We also included play food—some vegi’s you might use for irish stew and a couple of  rubber snakes St. Patrick missed when he was driving them out of Ireland 🙂

Lots of different textures to explore and compare (addressing science access points). Lots of interesting items to look at and talk about.



Legend has it there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and we found some! We used some gold mardi gras beads and green pom poms in our treasure box.

This box let us address science access points when contrasting properties of materials and address math access points when counting the items.






We looked for the letter P, for Patrick,  in our rainbow rice. Its just so bright and colorful!

As always, lots of fun to sift through and scoop.

Looking for the letters addresses visual and tactile discrimination skills, in addition to literacy.





We turned the light off and had more rainbow fun with our rainbow light.

Everyone had to be touched by rainbow!

Visual attending and tracking are addressed during this activity.







We turned the lights back on and made shamrocks out of our green sparkly play dough. Joy used lemon-lime Koolade and LOTS of green glitter, it looks fabulous!

Play dough activities are great for working on hand strengthening. We counted 3 leaves on each shamrock, addressing math access points.






Next, we practiced scooping with our potato flakes. Potatoes are popular in Irish cooking and play an important role in Irish history.

We also taped a surprise to the bottom of the box—a little leprechaun peeking out!

Visual discrimination and social studies access points are addressed.






Some chunky bright orange yarn made a great leprechaun bread. Soft and stringy, its so much fun to reach and grab, working on shoulder strengthening.











Green oobleck with gold glitter. So pretty and sparkly. Green to remind us of Ireland and gold to remind us of the leprechaun’s gold.

Very eye catching and fun to draw prewriting patterns in.








We finished by rinsing our hands in Bath and Body works Juniper Breeze scented water and then rubbed the scented lotion on our hands.

This lovely outdoor scent reminded us of the Irish countryside and will help us remember all the fun we had learning about the symbols of St. Patricks Day.




Fine Motor Group—St. Patricks Day

We read Cara’s book “Symbols of St. Patricks Day”. Our students did an excellent job activating the voice output device to participate in reading the book.

We started our project by using our adaptive table top scissors to cut some yellow squares.

We discussed the square shape, addressing math access points.

What a great job our students are doing, they are really visually attending to the scissors.





We glued a small black square on top of the big yellow square.

This addresses math access points and spatial concepts. In addition, pincer skills are practiced.







The yellow square was then glued to a strip of black paper.

It looks like a belt but its not 🙂

We set it aside and began our next step.



Then we practiced writing our names on a small paper plate. Our students are given a model to copy.  Our students have varying skill levels in this area. Most are working on scribbling.

Then we turned the plate over and painted it green.

Our students are getting lots of practice using classroom tools. We get very excited when they start scribbling or painting independently.



We glued a green solo cup onto the paper plate. We used just regular old elmers glue and it held pretty well.

We then wrapped the black paper strip around the cup and taped it.

This activity addresses eye hand coordination and bilateral functions.

Have you guessed what we are making yet?





Why some fabulous green

hats, of course!

Just waiting for

some leprechauns:)







On Thursday we read Cara’s book again and then started our next activity. We are going to make a leprechaun beard.


We started by asking each student to cut 3 pieces of orange yarn. We counted outloud while each student took their turn.

Everyone did a great job!







We then squeezed a bunch of glue (Jeannie colors it with food coloring to make it easier for her students to see) on a strip cut from a large paper plate. Then we practiced our pincer grasps by picking up the yarn and dropping it on the plate.


The darker orange strings are actually pipe cleaners threaded through holes to make ear hangers.




When everyone had put their 3 pieces of yarn on the plate we used a voice output device to ask our students if we were finished or needed more yarn. Those students who chose “more”, got to add additional yarn to the beard. Most of the students chose “finished”—it was time for snack 🙂

This activity addresses math access points and communication skills.





Here is Ms. Martha (the OT intern), our leprechaun model for the day!

Jeannie (classroom teacher) also took lots of pictures of her cute little leprechauns for her yearbook.









Language Group—Letter Y

We started by stringing some Yellow beads. Some of our students were able to manipulate standard beads and laces.

This activity helps bilateral coordination and fine motor skills.



Some of our students needed the activity to be modified by using pipe cleaners which are stiffer than regular laces.

We also used larger beads which are easier to grasp.






Other students strung beads on aquarium tubing which is even easier.

After stringing their beads, our students practiced one to one correspondence by counting how many Yellow beads were on their string. For our students who are non-verbal, we used a step-by-step voice output device.



Love how the voice output device matches our Yellow theme—we planned that 🙂



Next, we tasted some sour apple spray candy! We checked with nursing and they said it was ok for our students who are tube fed in this classroom (some students are completely NPO, so we always check with the nurses before any tastings).

Here is Ms. Garland taking her turn!

For our students who were hesitant to have something sprayed in their mouth, we sprayed a spot on their hands so they could lick it instead.



Everyone got a chance to communicate whether it was Yummy or Yucky!

As You can imagine, everyone had a definite opinion 🙂





Then we started on our project—making Yachts!

First our students used scissors to trim a Yellow  triangle (math access points). Some of the students in this class are able to manipulate regular scissors, others use adaptive ones.

We also modified this activity for the individual students by changing the amount of lines they had to cut. For example, this student only had to trim one side. Other students had to cut along 2 lines or even the complete shape.



Then we cut 2 holes with a hole punch. Some of our students really enjoyed the hole punch so they cut a few more 🙂

This is a great hand strengthening activity.






A straw (with the bendy part cut off) was treaded through the holes to make a mast.

Our Yacht is starting to come together!









We stuck the straw into a slice of pool noodle and tested the Yacht’s sea-worthiness— it floats!












Our students were so excited watching their Yachts float on the water. We wished we had gotten a bigger container but the smaller one gave the students an opportunity to take turns and also do some math problem solving—how many Yachts can fit into the container.







We came back to the table to play Cara’s sound game.

A Yellow Jacket—Yikes! If it stung, You might Yelp!








Then we finished by looking at some of the Y words we found today.

Did we have good time?







We are off on spring break for the next week but we’ll be back soon with more fun Group by Group!

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