IMG_8350This month the Unique Curriculum unit looks at some different holidays celebrated in the winter. Hanukkah is one of the holidays that our students are learning about so we chose it for our theme this week and  Cara wrote another great book that all the groups enjoyed! The social studies access point addressed in this unit is recognizing that people from diverse backgrounds make contributions.





IMG_8256IMG_8506Our first box was filled with blue and silver basket filler, curling ribbon, garland, and chenille strands. In it we placed some dreidels, pictures of Hanukkah related items, and stars. We included some gold bead gelt and some play food donuts! Lots of wonderful textures and shapes to explore!

Some of our students had fun trying to make the dreidels spin, while others loved shaking the colorful textured strands.




IMG_8535They all had fun listening and dancing to the dreidel song that played when the voice output device we had included in the box was pressed!

This box addresses the language access point responding to new vocabulary that is introduced and taught directly.

It also addresses the social studies access point associating a celebration with an event, such as a holiday.

And finally, it also addresses the science access point recognizing and responding to common sounds.






IMG_8228We put 2 different size stars and a dreidel cookie cutter in our blue moon sand. This moon sand has a great texture, it’s easy to push the cookie cutters into but still firm enough to hold the shape.

This box addresses the science access point recognizing that pushing and pulling an object makes it move.

It also addresses the math access points of recognizing differences in size of objects and associating quantities with number names.






IMG_8261IMG_8496Since Hanukkah takes place in the winter, we had to include our blue cuddly pom pom yarn in our next box! So much fun to drape or shake…..

some of our students really had a blast with it 🙂

It  addresses the science access points identifying common objects by one observable property, in this case the color blue and tracking objects in motion!





IMG_8487IMG_8428Our waxy Wikki Stix feel just like candles, which are lit for 8 nights during Hanukkah. Our students had fun twisting and bending them into different shapes.

We also included a discovery bottle filled with cooking oil and gold glitter, like little flames dancing around.

This bottle turned out so fabulous with all the gold glitter swirling around—- seriously COOL!

The science access points addressed are applying a push to move an object and recognize the change in the motion of an object.




IMG_8243Potato latkes are often served during Hanukkah celebrations. We just love the interesting soft, crunchy texture that is kind of irresistible. We hid the letter H and the number 8 in the potato flakes for our students to find.

Explore, observe, and recognize common objects in the natural world is a science access point addressed in this activity.








IMG_8398Donuts are another treat eaten during Hanukkah—- so we used shaving cream which is KIND  OF  like the cream inside of a real donut 🙂

The science access point recognizing that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is addressed as our students push and smush the cream around.








IMG_8524We rinsed our hands in some vanilla sugar scented water and used different size spoons to practice scooping….of course, taking some time out to do a little splashing around also 🙂

Using the different size scoops in the water addresses the math access point recognizing differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids.







IMG_8446Then we used the vanilla sugar scented lotion to leave the group smelling like yummy donuts! The science access point recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli is addressed with the lotion.










IMG_8301IMG_8288On Tuesday we learned about dreidels and made one for our art project! We started by using our paper cutters and switch adapted electric scissors to cut out the 4 symbols used on a dreidel. We found the symbols online and enlarged them on our copier.

We counted the symbols as they were cut, addressing the math access point associating quantities with number names.





IMG_8314Then we glued 1 symbol on each side of our blue cube. Thanks again to our wonderful volunteer Sarah who covered and assembled these boxes. We also want to thank Noah who cut the dowels for us—-couldn’t have done it without them!

We discussed the shape of the boxes and the paper color.

Recognizing common 3 dimensional objects, such as cubes, is a math access point addressed here. A science access point addressed is recognizing objects by one observable property such as color.







IMG_8337IMG_8355Ta Da—check out these GIANT dreidels—— AWESOME?!!!!!










On Thursday, we continued with a dreidel theme, decorating a dreidel shape cut from cereal boxes (thanks to our volunteer Mackenzie!)

IMG_8650IMG_8651We started by discussing the paint colors we were going to use and used our communication symbols to see if our students could identify the color blue.

IMG_8652Identifying common objects by one observable property, such as color……

                                                                                           NAILED!!!!! 🙂




IMG_8707IMG_8686Next we used a textured roller to paint our dreidel. Using the roller is a fun way to work on bilateral coordination!

It also addresses the science access point of applying a push to move an object.








IMG_8657Then we continued to decorate the dreidel using some sponge stamps dipped in blue paint.

Painting the dreidel addresses the science access point recognizing a change in an object.








IMG_8679We finished by adding some glitter—-for a little bit of sparkle 🙂










IMG_8727IMG_8665TA DA!

Another fabulous dreidel….

AND some fabulous smiles!










IMG_8614As with all the groups, we started off by reading Cara’s book.  Our students are getting so good at attending to the book and activating the voice output when it’s their turn! Responding to a technology resource is a language access point.

For our activity, we decided to play dreidel with our students.  Of course, they had to start with some chocolate gelt so we counted out 3 pieces for each student.  Then we asked students to put one piece of gelt into the pot to start the game.





IMG_8609IMG_8623Since it can be pretty hard to get the dreidel spinning, we adapted it for our students by printing out pictures of each side of the dreidel and taping 2 of each onto an All Turn It spinner.

The students took turns pressing the switch to activate the spinner.  It was exciting for them to see what they got!  The sides and meanings are: Shin-put one more token in the pot, Nun-do nothing, Gimmel-take all the tokens from the pot, and Hay-take half of the tokens in the pot.  This was a great game for following directions and turn taking!





IMG_8583It was so much fun and the gelt was very yummy!

It also addresses the language access point of attending to pictures or informational materials. It also addresses the science access points recognizing when objects have been added to or taken away from a situation.

The students had several chances to use their counting skills as well—-addressing the math access point associating quantities with number names.





IMG_8633After the game, we decided to put on some music—– since this class has so many talented dancers 🙂










IMG_8532Join us again next week and we will continue learning about winter celebrations, Group by Group!

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