St.Patrick’s Day and Letter Y


We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups and looked at words that start with letter Y in our Language Group.

Sensory Group—St. Patrick’s Day

IMG_8572 After reading Cara’s book about St. Patrick’s Day, we got our celebration going with the sound of a rousing irish jig recorded on a voice output device.

Our little leprechauns are usually very responsive to music and this was no exception—- who can resist an irish jig after all!  This upbeat music was very appealing to them and they got so excited when it was their turn to press the switch.

This activity gave the students lots of opportunities to gain practice with cause and effect skills. In addition, using technology resources to support learning and responding to rhythm in familiar songs are language access points.

As you can see, we couldn’t resist added a FEW select props to add to the fun 🙂





IMG_8073St. Patrick’s Day is all about the color green! We put in some easter grass, beads, leprechaun hats, curling ribbon, shamrock garland, silk shamrocks, kitchen scrubbers, green manipulatives and toys—-so many things to discover! Reaching for and grasping the different items helps build fine motor skills. In addition, since all the objects are the same color, visual discrimination skills are addressed.

IMG_8201With boxes like this, it is always fun to see what items are particularly appealing to the individual students. The shiny curling ribbons and strands of silk shamrocks were enticing to some of them. While others had fun with the little hats and silly glasses we put in the box

Exploring, observing, and recognizing common objects is a science access point. Recognizing objects by one observable property, such as color, is also a science access point.





IMG_8513Our next box contained our rainbow rice—-rainbows are a symbol associated with St.Patrick’s Day and our rice is just so colorful and pretty!

We put in a large letter I (for Ireland)  and taped a picture of a shamrock to the bottom of the box. Two different sized measuring spoons were also placed in it. While some of our students like to sift through and pick up handfuls of rice—and yes occasionally toss it 🙂 —others prefer to use the spoons. We have found that many of our students especially seem to like covering and uncovering the objects we have put in our boxes.

In addition to object permanence, letter recognition, tactile and visual discrimination, this box addresses the math access point of solving simple problems involving putting together and taking apart small quantities of objects. It also addresses the math access point of recognizing differences in sizes of containers.




IMG_8037Our leprechaun box was totally fun—great for comparing colors and textures! First we put in some soft orange yarn just like a leprechaun beard. Then we added his pot of gold (aka shiny mardi gras beads).

Beads are always a favorite with our students. They love looking at them, shaking them—-wearing them 🙂

Others got quite creative with the yarn—making not just beards but wigs also. Our students are sure creative! IMG_8197

This box addresses the science access points of identifying objects by one observable property.

Super cute and lots of fun!







IMG_8507When you think of Irish food you can’t help but think of POTATOES!

In our case we used dried potatoes and we included 3 little snakes hidden among the flakes. St. Patrick was supposed to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland but apparently these little guys got overlooked 🙂

Potato flakes are soft and slightly crunchy. They have a very cool feel that is different and pretty irresistible! We also included a large measuring spoon which is helpful for practicing scooping skills but most of our students preferred to use their hands.

The math access points of associating quantities up to 3 with number names and solving simple problems involving joining or separating sets of objects up to 3 are addressed with this box.





IMG_8022IMG_8044To liven up our shaving cream and make it into “St. Patrick’s Day shaving cream”, we put green and gold glitter sparkles in it. Shaving cream is always such fun and our students love putting their hands into it and “scribbling” around. Some students had fun practicing their prewriting patterns of straight lines or circles.

Recognizing and responding to different types of sensory stimuli is a science access point. This activity also helps address tactile desensitization.





IMG_8173One of the reasons there is so much green in Ireland is all the RAIN! So when we found this Rain Kissed Leaves scent from Bath and Body Works we knew it was the perfect scent to tickle our olfactory sense and help us remember our St. Patrick’s Day fun.

We rinsed all the shaving cream off of our hands in Rainkissed Leaves (from Bath and Body Works) scented water. Our water started off pretty clear with some bubbles but soon turned white and soapy as hands were rinsed…..just a perfect opportunity to address the science access point of recognizing a change in an object—how cool is that!

IMG_8566After our hands were rinsed our students had the opportunity to explore the scent some more with the lotion.

Using their body movements or nonverbal expressions our students communicated their desires and preferences—its not hard to guess what he is communicating 🙂

This activity also addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli.





Fine Motor Group—St. Patrick’s Day

IMG_8112We had too much fun painting with corn syrup last week —-so we HAD to do it again 🙂

We started by asking our students to show us the picture card with the color green.  Our students are getting so good at choosing the correct color.  We are so proud of them!

Communicating information about objects using non-verbal expressions, gestures, symbols or words and responding to referent pictures used in routines are language access points.

Identifying an object by one observable property (in this case color) is a science access point.




IMG_8122Then we painted our precut shamrocks with delightfully gooey corn syrup tinted with green food coloring.

We are so proud of the progress our students are making—learning to handle writing utensils and developing eye hand coordination.

Isn’t this student doing such a great job!









IMG_8131Then we glued the shamrocks  onto a rectangular piece of paper, but not before adding some gold glitter—since we can never pass up the opportunity to add a little sparkle to our projects 🙂

Each student got to pick the color paper that they wanted which addressed the language access point of using nonverbal expression to communicate preferences.

This activity also addresses the math access point of recognizing 2 dimensional shapes.

Our shamrocks are so shiny and sparkly we love the way they turned out.

Of course, we couldn’t end the group without saying a big…….

…………..TA DA!!!!!





IMG_8234On Thursday we read Cara’s awesome book again. The students really enjoyed the bright colorful pictures and were excited when it was their turn to activate the voice output device.

Responding to a familiar person reading a book aloud, attending to print materials by touching, looking, or listening, and responding to a technology device are all language access points addressed EVERY week when we read our books!

Our art project was so much fun—making a leprechaun beard! We used our picture symbols again but this time asked our students to pick the color orange—then got to work!






IMG_8267IMG_8276First we painted some precut paper plate rim pieces (these were left over from a previous project, sometimes Joy’s hoarding pays off ha ha) with a mixture of orange paint and glue. On an added note, we also taped a popsicle stick to the back of the plate to make it easier for the students to hold.

Then we cut some pieces of orange yarn and sprinkled the pieces on top—addressing both fine motor and spatial relations skills.

The science access point of recognizing a change in an object is also addressed as the different items are added.




IMG_8504IMG_8315Top of the Mornin’ to you from some little leprechauns—–pretty darn cute!!!!IMG_8349








Language Group—the Letter Y

IMG_8462We started out by listening to Cara’s sound game.  Towards the end of the alphabet, it gets harder to find different words and sounds—but we made it happen 🙂

As our students played the game, we told them “it is Your turn”.

Recognizing and responding to commons sounds is the science access point addressed here. In addition, the language access points of communicating recognition of familiar persons or objects  and responding to familiar print media are also addressed.









IMG_8454After the sound game, we got out a bumpy Yellow ball.  Some of our students requested the ball using their static communication boards—communicating their wants is a language access point!

We had so much fun tossing or rolling the ball back and forth Yelling ” Yay” each time it was caught. A totally fun way to work on eye hand coordination as well as turn taking skills—-is it my turn or Yours?





IMG_8486Next we made some Yo Yo’s!  We started with small circular paper plates (discussing the shape addresses the math access point of recognizing 2 dimensional shapes) and also counting them out aloud—we NEVER pass up a chance to practice counting 🙂

After coloring them with markers we taped a piece of Yarn to the back.

Ta Da!  Here is a homemade Yo-yo!……….  Yeah!!

Our students were really tickled with them and had a lot of fun moving them around—-addressing the science access point  of tracking objects moving up and down as well as the science access point of recognizing an action as fast or slow.






IMG_8487We finished by looking at some of the Y words we found!




IMG_8185Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of us here. Next week we’re off for spring break but we will be back soon for more fun and learning…..Group by Group 🙂

2 responses »

  1. Proud of Drew! It’s so nice to be able to see his progress when we can’t be at school to see it first hand.

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