Chinese New Year and Letter S


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

IMG_5743Our first box was filled with all sorts of things associated with the 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!







IMG_5832Family 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.






IMG_5757We 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.






IMG_5943We 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!









IMG_5771Flowers are associated with the holiday and represent wishes for a happy new year! Especially popular are sunflowers but other flowers are given as well. This was another great box for sorting.

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.










IMG_5796It is the Year of the Snake—so we hid 3 little snakes in this box!  The seeds (pinto beans) represent big families—-just like our classrooms 🙂

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!











IMG_5976As we said, red is the big color for Chinese New Year celebrations. Our cloud dough (Pillsbury red velvet cake mix) was a gorgeous color and so eye catching!

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.









IMG_5989We rinsed our hands in White Tea and Ginger scented water BUT sometimes….. rather than splashing, its fun to just play with the bubbles and practice our prewriting patterns on the table!

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 🙂

IMG_5759IMG_5763IMG_5996This also addresses the science access point of applying a push to move an object, how cool





Fine Motor Group—Chinese New Year

IMG_5682On 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 🙂





IMG_5693We helped the students twist the chenille stems around each other to make the snake’s body.

Holding onto the chenille stems really works those pincer grasp skills!













IMG_5706Then we cut out triangles using our adaptive scissors—our snake needs a head after all!  Some of our students cut the entire triangle out while others cut just 2 sides.

Recognizing 2 dimensional shapes is a math access point.












IMG_5707A 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.










IMG_5718Ta Da!!!!

All the students LOVED their snakes and were so proud of their creations.

IMG_5710Are our students cute or what!!!!












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!IMG_5862









IMG_5866We pulled out some different colored tissue paper from presents past and began tearing and crumpling it into small pieces—-our students really enjoyed this part 🙂

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.









IMG_5870Then the pieces were dipped into glue and attached to the shoe box…..more eye hand coordination going on here!

We also tore some streamers into long pieces and attached them to the back.










IMG_5901We couldn’t forget the finishing touches of googlie eyes and a purple ribbon tongue.







IMG_5886Our 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.

IMG_5931First we Snipped the bag using Some Scissors and Sifted the contents into a bowl.

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.








IMG_5910Of 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.

IMG_5912Once 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!




IMG_59162 eggs (which were counted out by our Smart Students) were added into the bowl along with Six tablespoons of melted butter.  Time to Stir the mix!

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.







IMG_5930Once it was all mixed up, we used a Spoon to Scoop the dough onto a greased cookie Sheet.

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.

IMG_5928And Scanned the table for Some of the S words we had found—-So many today!IMG_5922








IMG_5932That lovely Smell told us they were done so we Served Special Sugar cookies to all our friends who Savored every bite—-Splendid and Sweet!

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 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s