This week we had so much fun learning about the upcoming Chinese New Year in our Sensory and Fine Motor groups. We looked at words starting with the letter S in our Language Group.
Sensory Group—Chinese New Year
Red is the color of celebration as well as fire, which drives away bad luck. We filled the box with bright red paper shred which is like the red paper used to wrap gifts. We also put in some shiny garland that reminded us of the colorful dragon costumes.
We included assorted panda items for our favorite chinese animal. A plastic mandarin orange was included because mandarin oranges are given for luck!
Family is a very important part of the new year celebration so we included the word FAMILY in our box. A set of tongs (chop sticks) were a fun addition to the box—and a great way to practice graded fine motor control!
….or sample beans from another friends box 🙂
This box addresses the social studies access point of recognizing cultural characteristics of a population and associating a celebration with an event.
We put a large letter C in our box of loose tea leaves. China is a LARGE country so a large letter seemed appropriate! Lots of tea is grown in China and drinking tea is an important part of the culture. It has an interesting texture and aroma and our students enjoyed picking up to sprinkle over the letter C. At the bottom of the box we placed some colorful pictures of chinese lanterns and dragons—such a cool surprise to find as the tea is pushed aside.
This box addresses the social studies access points of associating a picture with an event and recognizing differences in food from other cultures.
We just loved this box of yellow and red pom poms and beads. Its was so bright and eye catching our students couldn’t resist reaching into it! Lots of characteristics to discuss—color, shape, soft, hard, shiny, dull as well as opportunities to count items!
This box addresses the science access points of recognizing common objects as the same and identifying objects by observable properties.
We also made sure to identify the pom poms as spheres—which addresses the math access point of recognizing a 3 dimensional object!
Our students ( and the adults ) also loved picking up the petals and tossing them into the air—such fun, and tracking falling objects is a science access point!
Counting the 3 sunflowers found in the box addresses math access point of recognizing quantities 1 to 3.
Beans are always a hit with our students, they especially enjoy burying their hands down into them (getting some nice proprioceptive input).
When hands are pulled back out, some beans always end up on the table BUT we think it makes for a great opportunity to practice our pincer grasps!
We got the idea for using cake mix for cloud dough from the Growing a Jeweled Rose blog. With the addition of some gold glitter, it was totally awesome sparkly, MESSY fun.
We used some star cookie cutters to represent the stars found in the Chinese flag. The imprints they made helped us practice the math access point of recognizing 2 dimensional shapes.
The matching lotion (from Bath and Body works) helped us remember all the cool things about we learned about celebrating the Chinese New Year.
but WAIT! There is one more thing…..
We have used bubble wrap for fireworks before but it never gets old—-whether rolling over it with wheelchairs, running, stomping or even crawling on it—pure fun 🙂
Fine Motor Group—Chinese New Year
On Tuesday we had fun over in the sensory room then came back to the classroom to read Cara’s book. Its the year of the Snake so we thought it would be a lot of fun to make one for our art project. We showed the students a model of a snake we had made from chenille stems and they got really excited about making their own.
We started by asking our students to pick 2 colors from a choice of 4. We showed them the number 2 and they communicated their selections by handing us or pointing to their choices from the selection board.
Sometimes its REALLY hard to choose 🙂
Holding onto the chenille stems really works those pincer grasp skills!
Recognizing 2 dimensional shapes is a math access point.
A tongue and 2 (we counted them) googlie eyes were glued onto the triangle. Some of our students are getting so good at putting the googlie eyes right on the glue—demonstrating nice spatial relations concepts as well as eye hand coordination!
We also discussed our tongues and eyes to address the science access point of recognizing one or more external body parts.
The triangle was then taped to the twisted chenille stems. We found that taping worked better (and faster) than gluing.
All the students LOVED their snakes and were so proud of their creations.
On Thursday after reading Cara’s book again, we got to work on our next art project. Joy made a dragon out of an old shoe box and some 6 inch rulers. Nostrils and eyes were made from styrofoam balls cut in half. This was really easy and made with materials on hand—a NO expense project—-we love that!
Of course tearing the paper apart is a great bilateral coordination activity but it also addresses the science access point of recognizing a change in an object.
We also tore some streamers into long pieces and attached them to the back.
Our dragon turned out so awesome that we HAD to have a parade to show it off! Jeannie brought out some musical instruments and we went around the building visiting the other classrooms. We had SO much fun and our audiences were very entertained!!!!
Happy New Year 🙂
Language Group—Letter S
We Switched things around this week because we wanted to Start by making Some cookies.
These are both excellent opportunities to work on bilateral coordination.
We Searched the box for the next Step which was to add Some powdered Sugar.
Of course we had to measure it out, So we Scooped Some Sugar into a measuring cup. Since the cup needed to be filled, our Students had to tell us if we needed more or not—-some using sign language as seen here.
Once we added the Sugar, we were ready to Scan the box for the next Step….putting in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. We presented two difference measuring spoons and asked the students to point to the one that was “big”.
All these steps address the math access points of recognizing the next step in a sequence, recognizing differences in sizes of containers, and solving problems involving quantities using language such as more, and recognizing differences in sizes—-that’s a lot of math!
This is a perfect way to address the science access point of recognizing a change in an object.
We used an electric mixer which was plugged into a PowerLink device so our Students could hit a Switch to Start the mixing.
Using the switch addresses the math access point of recognizing a common cause-effect relationship.
We added Several Sprinkles—you’ve got to have Sprinkles!
The cookies were counted, we needed to have at least Seven 🙂
Then we Set the timer and Sat down to wait—checking the time every so often to make Sure no cookies got Scorched.
While we waited on our Special Snack, we played Cara’s Sound game.
We certainly had some good times this week.
Join us next week as we continue in a celebratory mood getting ready for Mardi Gras—-
Group by Group 🙂