Our Senses and Letter R


This week we explored our senses in our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups. This ties in with the Unique Curriculum theme. Letter R words were explored in our Language Group.

Sensory Group—Our Senses

Well every week is all about the senses with our sensory group so this Unique Curriculum theme is right up our alley 🙂 We had a lot of fun planning this group, bringing out some of our favorite things. Our emphasis was on opposites, giving our students sensory stimuli to compare and contrast.

IMG_5395We  started out with focusing on the sense of TOUCH. We brought out our always favorite beads and some tree garland. The garland is quite soft, making it a nice contrast to the hard beads.  The shininess of the garland and the beads caught the attention of some of the students, too.

They all interacted with the materials differently, some draped the beads around their necks while others grabbed handfuls of either beads or garland and shook them—-either way, much fun was had.

This activity addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to different types of stimuli.






IMG_5405-001We explored our sense of PROPRIOCEPTION while feeling the vibration of our cuddly ladybug pillow. Proprioception is the sense we get from our muscles and joints which helps build body awareness.  Some of the students activated the ladybug with their hands while others tried to activate it with their heads 🙂

This ladybug is just adorable and was a HUGE hit with all the students—they LOVED it!

By pushing (or attempting to push) the pillow, our students are indicating their desire for more of an action which is a math access point.






IMG_5281-001We put lights in our next box—focusing on VISION. They could be turned on and off either by an adult or the student themselves.

As always, the lights are very appealing to our students and manipulating the little buttons is great for building fine motor skills.

Recognizing a change in a object, in this case the lights turning on/off, is a science access point.

Recognizing sources of light is also a science access point.







IMG_5301-001Our shaker bottles gave the students a chance to explore SOUNDS. One bottle had beads and was quite loud when shaken. The other bottle filled with split peas had a much softer sound.

Super fun to shake and needless to say…..

the LOUD bottle was usually the favorite 🙂

This activity addresses the science access point of using senses to recognize objects.

We explored our sense of TOUCH again with our cornmeal and oobleck,  but this time we explored the concepts of wet and dry. Distinguishing between items that are wet and items that are dry is a science access point.




IMG_5397-001The cornmeal had a very dry, powdery feel and is one of our favorite substances to explore. We love including it in our groups. We have learned however, NOT to wear dark clothing when doing so 🙂

The letter ‘S’ for ‘senses’ was included and we also added some spoons to practice scooping.

We used 2 different sizes of measuring spoons so our students could address the math access point of recognizing differences in sizes of containers.









IMG_5273-001Oobleck provides such a wonderful sensory experience for our students AND adults 🙂

As it drips over hands it helps build body awareness and for our students who are emergent writers, it gives them a super fun medium in which to practice prewriting designs such as lines and circles.

We have said it before, and will say it again—–we love, love, love this stuff!











IMG_5650Now thoroughly messy, hands were rinsed in water that had a strong herbal scent (we used Old Spice Denali) and then used a light floral plumeria scented lotion to rub on our hands. What a delightful way to explore SMELL.

Placing different sizes measuring cups in the water again allows students to address the math access point of recognizing differences in sizes of containers.











IMG_5417IMG_5312Our VESTIBULAR sense is stimulated when we move around and what could be a more fun way to do that than with a dance party!!!

We recorded some music on a voice output device and students took turns acting as DJ.

IMG_5667No better way to address the science access point of recognizing and responding to common sounds than by getting our groove on 🙂




Fine Motor Group—Our Senses

We began as usual by reading Cara’s book and using the voice output device for the repetitive line. We have been prompting our students to pass the device to the person next to them as we go around the circle. This addresses the science access point of sharing objects with a partner.

IMG_5324For our art project we started by passing out 7 paper plates and then painted them with watered down glue.

Identifying the plates as circles addresses the math access point of recognizing two dimensional shape.

Using the brushes to paint with the glue gives our students practice with writing tools.








IMG_5353We had 6 different spices (cumin, rosemary, crushed red pepper, basil, oregano, and tarragon).

We passed each spice around one at a time and the students really responded to the different scents.












IMG_5334Shaking the spices onto the plates helps address graded motor control and eye hand coordination.

A simple but very enjoyable activity, our students really loved their projects but…..












IMG_5346watch out for some of the spices that can tickle your nose 🙂

On Thursday we had fun in the sensory room stimulating our VESTIBULAR sense by running around and jumping on the different equipment. When we came back to the classroom we read Cara’s book again and helped our students identify the body parts associated with each sense.

Recognizing one or more external body parts is a science access point.









IMG_5445We passed out precut hands (made from extra heavy card stock)—counting them out, of course!

Different textures (approximately 1 inch squares) were placed in cups. Small pom poms for soft, small pieces of balsa wood for hard, hook velcro for rough, craft foam for smooth, and shelf liner for bumpy.

The students were asked to pick “just one” piece and put in on a finger. Putting the pieces in the right spot (were the glue was placed) addresses eye hand coordination and spatial relations.

Matching one object to a designated space and associating quantities with number names are math access points.

Identifying objects by one observable property is a science access point.







IMG_5448This was such a great activity our students really enjoyed it AND look at all the access points that were addressed!

Are these little hands super cute or what 🙂












Language Group—Letter R

IMG_5475First we asked the students if they were Ready to start with the Cara’s sound game. There are a lot of different sounds starting with R so it was a lot of fun.

Our kids are getting so good at this game!  Sometimes they do better than the adults 🙂

Recognizing and responding to common sounds is a science access point. Attending to familiar literary forms (in this case the sound game board) is a language access point.






IMG_5495We made a Ribbon wand by tying some scraps to a small dowel.  The students  had to Reach for the Ribbons with their Right hand and shake them in the air.

We all cheered “Rah Rah Rah” while the Ribbons were being shaken (the students really loved that bit:) ).

Applying a push or pull to move an object is a science access point.










IMG_5503After Replacing the Ribbons back where they belong, Joy got out a spray bottle and made it Rain (a nice little mist) on the students.  Most of the students Reached towards the Rain drops with big smiles on their faces.

We definitely saw lots of facial expressions and body gestures to indicate wishes for more of this activity—a math access point.

You may notice in this picture, our student is quite the multi-tasker—-listening to his Radio while Reaching for the Rain.








IMG_5529-001We finished by making a Rhino! First we brought out a little plush one to show the students what a rhino looks like.

This picture is a perfect example of a students responding to new vocabulary that is introduced and taught directly—how awesome is that!








IMG_5515Everyone got a chance to pick out a color for the background and we scribbled away. Communicating preferences is a language access point.

Then each student cut out at least one of the shapes (either a circle, Rectangle, or triangle) using a variety of cutting implements such as adapted scissors or paper cutters in addition to regular scissors—-whatever works best for their ability level.

Identifying two dimensional shapes is a math access point.






IMG_5527Assembling the Rhino addresses spatial relations skills and eye hand coordination. For our students who have more physical challenges or who are visually impaired, their part of the project is to make sure everything is  patted down to help the glue stick—our art projects are always adhered WELL 🙂

Take a look at the Really cute Rhino Rocking across a Rainbow!










IMG_5528Here are some of the R words we found this week, there were so many more than last weeks letter Q!






IMG_5608This was one of our best weeks ever, everyone had such a good time. Join us again next week for more fun and learning….

Group by Group!

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