Florida Vacation


IMG_2464We’re BACK!

While its great to be back at school, we can’t help but think about all the fun times we had this summer.  We love living in Florida and just like the rest of the world, we love Florida vacations—-the perfect theme for our first post of the year.

Cara wrote another terrific book that we read in each of our groups and our students did a great job of using the voice output device to “read” the repetitive line!

So put on your sunglasses and join us for a tour of sunny Florida 🙂



Sensory Group

IMG_2371Our beautiful sandy beaches are one of the many reasons to visit Florida. We made our sand from wheat flour and oil (we found the recipe on Pinterest). Its basically cloud dough made with wheat instead of white flour.

We liked the texture it made—a little firmer than regular sand but not as firm as moon sand.  Supremely touchable stuff! Three sea shells were hidden to find and make impressions…..






IMG_2420….And also perfect for scooping!

This activity addresses the science access points of recognizing common objects in the natural world through observations and recognizing common objects as the same.

It also addresses the math access point of recognizing quantities 1 to 3 using sets of objects.









IMG_2300Situated on the east coast of Florida, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States!  How cool is THAT!

We colored our rice red and yellow, the colors of the Spanish flag, in honor of the first European settlers.

We have made some pretty colorful rice combinations in the past but this has got to be one of the most vibrant—really eye catching stuff that you can’t stop reaching out to touch 🙂

F is for Florida and we hid 3 letters in  the rice!

Visual and tactile discrimination skills are addressed in this activity.





IMG_2294IMG_2288If you love learning about the space program, Cape Canaveral is the place to visit.  You can see all sorts of rocket ships and pretend to be an astronaut!

We used our black beans to represent the night sky and put in some glow in the dark stars and crescent moons in addition to a little astronaut.

Tactile and visual discrimination skills are addressed as students discover the items hidden among the beans.

This activity also addresses the science access point of associating stars with the night sky and the math access point of recognizing common objects with two-dimensional shapes.





IMG_2355Everglades National Park is located in the southern part of our state and riding on an airboat is an exciting way to explore it!

We used our vibrating massager and battery operated fan to simulate what it would feel like to ride in one.

Our students really loved the feel of the fan and the massager.

Some of our students were able to work on thumb strengthening while turning the fan on/off.

This activity addresses the science access points of recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli and indicating awareness of air moving.







IMG_2345We have so many fun theme parks to visit and Sea World is one of our favorites—everybody loves Shamu!

Toy sharks and whales swam in our water this week and as always, our students love to splash in the water……

IMG_2361….especially with friends 🙂

This activity addresses the science access point of distinguishing between items that are wet and items that are dry, as well as the science access point of sharing objects with a partner!






IMG_2302And finally, one of the biggest tourist attractions—Disney World!

We put colorful, soft pompoms in the colors of Mickey Mouse—-red, yellow, white and black—great for sorting and counting.

Lots of math access points can be targeted here, including solving simple real-world problems involving joining or separating small quantities of objects and recognizing the next step in a simple pattern or sequence of activities.






IMG_2298We also recorded the Mickey’s club house theme song on our voice output device. This was a total favorite that had some of our students getting up to dance, what FUN!

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











IMG_2422IMG_2429When you visit sunny Florida you have to wear sunscreen! We thought Bath and Body Aruba coconut was the perfect scent for this week…

It smelled really yummy 🙂

This is a super fun way to work on the science access point of identifying  external body parts.









Fine Motor Group

IMG_2330We had two really fun art projects this week! On Tuesday after reading our book, we talked about all the animals we could see while visiting Sea World, painting blue corn syrup water.

We started by showing the bottle of blue corn syrup and then asking our students to show us “blue”.











IMG_2323The students then used their brushes to spread the mixture all over the paper.

This is a great way to practice using writing tools.












IMG_2319We then gave the students a choice between a precut dolphin or orca to put in their water. The corn syrup, being naturally sticky, means you don’t need to use glue!

Eye hand coordination is addressed when placing them onto the paper.

This activity also addresses the math access point of recognizing when an object is added to a situation.









IMG_2328Ta Da—we just love how it dries but still looks shiny and wet!

IMG_2339………….Don’t they look terrific 🙂












On Thursday our art project was all about the mouse 🙂 We started by stapling 2 smaller black plates to a large white plate.

IMG_2496We used an oval hole punch to cut out a nose. The hole punch was a little hard to push so our students needed assistance.

Then we put the nose in the middle of the white circle.

As we put together our mouse we discussed the different facial body parts.

We also discussed the similarities and differences in sizes of the paper plates which addressed math access points.









IMG_2489IMG_2526Then we used the paper cutter to cut a red square into 2 triangles to make a bow and placed it either at the top or bottom of the face……to make Mickey or Minnie!

As a final flourish we added 2 googlie eyes—-you know how much we love them!

Circular eyes, triangle bows and an oval nose—-more math access points.





IMG_2542Super cute!













Language Group

In the past, we have focused on working with the alphabet each week for the language group.  However, since things went so well at the end of the year when we changed the language group to coincide with the theme of the other two groups, we decided to keep it that way.

IMG_2443Next, we used a drawn outline of Florida (drawn by our very talented Art teacher, Judy).  We used the pictures of the different places from our book and glued them to where they would be located on the map.

Then, we went around to each student, one at a time, and had them match the given picture to where it was located on the map.  We used the PIXONs “where” to ask the question “where is it?”, “match” in order to reinforce that we were matching photographs, and “find” to have them find it on the map.  After each photo was matched correctly, we had the PIXONs “I put it here” in a row and each student had to read the sentence by pointing to each PIXON while verbalizing the word if they were able to.






IMG_2480 Some required a little more help than others, but they all took their time to look at the pictures to see if they could match the correct ones!

When we were all done matching, we asked each of the students where they would like to take a trip.

The count at the end was 1 student for Sea World and the rest of them for the Everglades to ride on an air boat:)

Let us know if you have traveled to any of these places 🙂







IMG_2466Well that is it for the first week! We have so many more fun groups planned for the rest of the year, so be sure to join us—-Group by Group 🙂

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