We managed to squeeze in one last week of groups before summer and decided the theme Birthdays would be lots of fun for all our groups!
As usual we started by reading Cara’s latest book and marveled, once again, at how good our students have gotten at pressing the voice output device to repeat the repetitive line.
We put in the words Family and Friends (along with some play people) because that’s who come to our birthday parties! Toy cookies and a squeaky (a nice auditory component and also good for hand strengthening) cupcake reminded us of all the yummy food.
We also tucked in a voice output device with the “happy birthday” tune for our students to find. Again, lots of language opportunities along with interesting things to touch and look at in this box!
Some of the students especially liked pulling the curled ribbon to watch in straighten out—-a nice way to practice bilateral skills!
Access points are addressed comparing the straight and curly properties of the different ribbons. In addition, relative lengths can be compared, addressing more math access points.
As always, colors are noted and discussed.
We aren’t allowed to have candles at school so we used our Wikki Stix to represent them. The Wikki Stix have that waxy feel, just like candles. They can be twisted into shapes, numbers and letters—or just crumpled into a ball all the while addressing hand intrinsic functions!
Since birthdays are all about numbers, we put a few in for the students to find.
Speaking of cake, it starts with flour which we put in our next box. We also put in some laminated candles to count (addressing math access points) and a hidden surprise—-a birthday cake picture taped to the bottom.
Visual discrimination skills and fine motor skills are also addressed in this box.
…..and of course if you like messy play, this is totally the box for you—this stuff gets EVERYWHERE 🙂
Visual tracking is, of course, addressed as they move about. Eye hand coordination skills are addressed when reaching for or hitting the balloons. There is also an auditory component as the slightly deflated ones are grasped and crumpled.
Literacy skills are addressed when reading the words on the balloons.
Great to practice prewriting patterns or just to engage arm movements.
Fine Motor Group—-Birthdays
We discussed the hat’s shape (cone)—-addressing math access points.
We glued on pieces of tissue paper. Some of the students applied their glue by using brushes to reinforce tool use skills. Others dipped the paper into glue bowls (made from caps), addressing eye hand coordination and pincer grasp.
We discussed the colors of the various tissue paper squares and counted how many were put onto the cone.
Some fabulous foam glitter stickers gave us another opportunity to work on pincer grasp and bilateral coordination skills. Some of our students could peel them apart independently but most needed some help.
Time to get the party started 🙂
On Thursday we read Cara’s book again and had fun picking out different details in the pictures. Our art activity was making cupcake pictures.
First we gave the students an opportunity to make a choice regarding what color paper they wanted. When everyone was finished we counted the 8 rectangular pieces of paper, addressing math access points.
Everyone practiced “writing” their name on the bag of the paper.
In addition to addressing number identification, this also practices answering in the testing format our district uses.
We asked the students to draw vertical “down” lines using a marker.
Some really nice skills emerging with this student, we are so proud 🙂
Lots of opportunities to work on pincer grasp and eye hand coordination here!
However, for some of our students just allowing their hand to be placed to help tap down the cotton balls is a huge leap in their participation.
Needless to say, we celebrate every students efforts 🙂
Next we picked out a big mixing bowl.
And then we put in the cake mix. We discussed the concepts of in and out addressing language and access points.
In addition, graded motor control, bilateral skills, and eye hand coordination are practiced.
Due to concerns regarding possible salmonella issues, the adults handled the eggs.
Then students filled the liners with the cake batter (working on more fine motor skills) and put them in the oven for 15 minutes while the class went to music class. If they had been staying in the room we would have used a visual timer to help reinforce time concepts.
We counted out spoons and each student scooped a spoonful of icing to spread on their cupcake. A few needed to be reminded to spread the icing—not to eat it straight from the spoon—kids will be kids 🙂
YUM YUM YUM
Well, that really was our last group for the year! We will continue to do some posts about our school and classrooms this summer so be check them out. Hope everyone has a great summer and hope to see you again in the fall for more fun Group by Group!