My Community and Letter W


The Unique Curriculum theme this month was My Community, so we took a trip around Tallahasse in our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups. The Language Group looked at words starting with the Letter W.

Sensory Group—My Community

IMG_7170Our city is built on red clay hills—the same color as our playdough! We used our  big and little star shaped cookie cutters since they always use stars to represent capitols on maps.

Squeezing the playdough between fingers or pushing one of the cutters into it helps strengthen hands. In addition, picking up the cutout stars addresses graded fine motor control.

The science access point of recognizing a change in an object is addressed.

Math access points are also addressed: counting the stars, recognizing two dimensional shapes, and recognizing similarities and differences in size.




IMG_7504Tallahassee is the capitol of our state. We searched for letter T’s and a picture of the Capitol in our red, white and blue rice.

Sifting through the rice helps build tactile discrimination skills, especially important for our students who have visual impairments.

This box also addresses the social studies access point of associating a picture with a place.







IMG_7315IMG_7154Two universities make their home in Tallahassee and these boxes represent them. FAMU’s colors are orange and green while FSU’s colors are garnet and gold. Our pom poms and mardi gras beads are perfect for contrasting textures (hard and soft) and colors.

Lots of science access points can be addressed here, including recognizing objects that are identical to each other, identifying objects by one observable property, and tracking the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled—–as you can imagine, sometimes beads and pompoms go flying all over the place 🙂




IMG_7284Visiting the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science is so much fun. It is especially fun to visit the farm and see all of the animals.

We put some matching sets of farm animal pictures for our students to find in the oatmeal.  Matching animals that are the same is a science access point.

Small measuring spoons were also included in this box to give our students an opportunity to practice scooping, however many of them improvised and used the animals cards to scoop instead!

Either way, they had a great time with this box 🙂






IMG_7262IMG_7131It is also fun to visit the Challenger Learning Center to look at the stars! We made our own version of a planetarium by attaching some battery operated lights to a black umbrella. It was really easy to do using some velcro for the battery packs and twist ties to attach the lights to the spokes of the umbrella.

IMG_7470We think it turned out pretty cool and to say our students were fascinated would be an understatement!

This activity helps address the science access points of associating stars with the night sky and recognizing sources of light.




IMG_7525IMG_7346Everybody loves to go to Lake Ella to see the fountains and the ducks—perfect for our water play activity! Water play is always a favorite activity for our students and they had fun finding the little rubber ducks floating around. Picking up the bobbing ducks addresses eye hand coordination. We used Bath and Body Works Dancing Waters—for the fountains, of course :)—-scent in the water and lotion.

Both of these activities are great for working on the math access point of indicating a desire for more of an action or object.





Fine Motor Group—My Community

IMG_7396On Tuesday, we read Cara’s book and had a quick visit to the planetarium before beginning our art project.

Our planetarium was so much fun and we just loved watching our student’s reactions so much that we had to bring it out at any opportunity we got 🙂










IMG_7205IMG_7213For our art project we made a map of Florida. We started by painting our students LEFT hands with green paint and pressing them onto blue paper (its shape discussed as it was counted and passed out 🙂 ). We made sure the thumb was abducted as we pressed hands onto the paper.

This activity really helps build awareness of the hands helping to address the science access point of recognizing one or more external body parts.

For our students that are especially aversive to touch, we allowed them to use paint brushes instead and helped them make an approximation of our state’s shape.

A star sticker was added to mark the location of Tallahassee—perfect for working on a pincer grasp and addressing the social studies access point of locating symbols on a map!




IMG_7234TA DA!!!!!

We always make sure each student gets their Ta Da after they finish their project—some of our students REALLY get in to it 🙂

IMG_7258After the paint dried we did a quick outline around the handprint and we have a pretty cute rendition of our state.

This activity also addresses the social studies access point of recognizing Florida as our student’s state.







Majestic oak trees are found all over our city and there are some beautiful ones around the capitol building. On Thursday we showcased these trees for our art project.

IMG_7369Large blue rectangular pieces of paper were counted out—-guess we were really into blue paper this week :). A sketch of the capitol building (luckily our capitol building is another rectangle so VERY easy to duplicate using a ruler) cut out by the adults was already attached.

Our students crumpled and tore pieces of green tissue paper onto the tree outline.  We had some Elmer’s glue poured into containers so the students could dip the “leaves” into the glue and put them on their tree (addressing spatial relations skills).

We are addressing the science access points of recognizing the leaf of a plant and recognizing a model of a real object with this activity.





IMG_7388IMG_7376More  Ta Da’s—-some deserving of standing ovations!

Didn’t these turn out great! They look fabulous hanging on the wall outside of Jeannie’s classroom.








Language Group–The letter W

IMG_7417We started out playing Cara’s sound game.  Our Wonderful students are getting so good at finding the right picture and pointing to Where it is on the paper (addressing eye hand coordination)!

Recognizing and responding to common sounds is a science access point.




IMG_7420After our sound game We got a Wiggly Water animal.  The students are able to activate it by making a sound, either with their voice, Whistling, clapping,…..Whatever!

The Wiggling crab tickled our students, producing lots of giggles 🙂

Our little crab helped us address the science access points of tracking objects in motion and recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli, in this case touch.








IMG_7435IMG_7444Next, We passed around a Wand that lights up when you Whack it.  This was a fun item for our students that we found in the $3 bins at Target.

Some students activated it by Whacking it on the table, While other students Whacked it on their hand.  What a blast!

Applying a push to move an object is a science access point. In addition, as the lights come on, the students can observe that the appearance of an object has changed—another science access point.





IMG_7412Next, we made Wrist Watches!  The Watch bands were made from toilet paper rolls first cut open (by the adults) lengthwise and then width wise to make 3 cuffs from each roll).

Our students decorated their cuff from  a selection of foam stickers. We presented the stickers and asked them to make a choice, addressing the language access point of communicating preferences.

Pincer grasp skills and eye hand coordination are addressed as the cuffs are decorated.







IMG_7462We googled “free printable watch faces” and thought they these were pretty perfect as the finishing touch to our project.

Don’t you Wish you had one!












IMG_7464As usual, we finished by looking at some of the W words found today—-Whoa, quite a lot of them!

IMG_7225We hope you join us as we share all the fun and learning we are having here at Group by Group 🙂

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