Famous African Americans at my School


We celebrated Black History month by spotlighting some very special members of our staff. Our students loved reading Cara’s book about some of the special people in their lives. In our sensory group each of the boxes were filled with items representing a staff member. Our fine motor and language groups honored staff members in their classes with special treats. Here is what we did:


IMG_2757Ms. Regina is one of our newest owls and when she is not helping keep our school clean, taking care of her children, OR studying she likes to go on nature walks.

We filled her box with leaves, flowers, vines, and spanish moss—–things you always see on a walk in Florida. We put in some wildlife you might see including ducks, butterflies, birds, frogs, lizards. Bird sounds were also recorded on a voice output device to add to that outdoors feeling. It was a very attractive box which definitely invited exploration!

The science access point distinguishing between a plant and an animal is addressed here, helping our students learn about the organization and development of living organisms.

Recognize and respond to common sounds is the science access point related to the understanding of forms of energy.




IMG_2582Coach Brown helps our owls gain new athletic skills. In this blue and yellow rice (our school colors) we put in 3 different sport ball erasers. Since the erasers were a little small we encased them in some photo pockets sealed with packing tape. That kept them visible and able to be handled but avoided any safety issues. It worked really well and our students enjoyed discovering them in the rice—-and of course, burying them back in it 🙂

2 of the balls were round and 1 was oval shaped. Recognizing a common object with a 2 dimensional shape is a math access point.






IMG_2540IMG_2745Ms. Frankie loves the Denver Broncos! Her box had 3 pompom shakers in the Bronco colors of blue, orange, and white. We also put in a “bronco” that neighed when it’s button was pushed.

Our students love the shakers. Not only do they love shaking and waving them around but they also love the rustling sound they make.

Identifying objects by one observable property, such as color is the science access point related to learning properties of matter. Applying a push to move an object is related to learning about forces and changes in motion.



IMG_2719Ms. Jackie loves the colors hot pink and black. We filled her box with colorful hard beads and soft pompoms in different sizes. A great way to explore the properties of matter and the access point match objects by one observable property such as size or color. Working on the concepts “same” and “different” addresses the math access point recognizing similarities and differences in sizes of common objects. This relates to the understanding of geometry and measurement.

Of course, it’s also a great way to work on the science access point identify of external body parts—–as in, let’s put the beads over our heads 🙂





IMG_2591IMG_2637Ms. Metra likes to ride motorcycles with her husband. We put in 2 different motorcycles (one a toy and the other a puzzle piece) on our black bean highway.

The toy was a lot of fun because it was one of the kind that could be pulled back and released to drive along the table. Our students also enjoyed both submerging the motorcycles and their hands/arms in the beans—-they really do have a wonderful tactile feel.

Forces and changes in motion are explored as the science access point apply a push to move an object is addressed.




IMG_2600Grandma Daisy loves to eat sherbet ice cream! We made sherbet play dough by mixing lime gelatin and cornstarch then putting it in the refrigerator. Find the recipe here: http://blogmemom.com. It really looked like the real thing especially when it was scooped. Since it had been refrigerated it was a little hard and some force needed to be applied!

We discussed whether the sherbet was “warm” or “cold” which is a science access point related to properties of matter.






IMG_2589Ms. Shakelia’s favorite color is blue! We mixed blue food coloring with our oobleck this week AND added some blue glitter—–we thought she would appreciate that 🙂 The glitter also adds a nice visual element as it get swirled around with the oobleck as it moves.

As the oobleck goes from a solid to a liquid and back again our students explore changes in matter: addressing the science access point recognize that the appearance of a material has changed.






IMG_2533IMG_2780Ms. Sonya loves when things AND her students are sparkly clean 🙂 so to clean up after our messy play we used Crystal Waters scent that we found at the local pharmacy. Ms. Sonya also loves to cook so we thought an apple shaped sponge would be a fun addition and give the students an opportunity to work on hand strengthening by squeezing water out of the sponge.

Recognizing the water as a liquid is a science access point related to learning properties of matter.

The matching lotion had a light pleasant aroma which our students liked. Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli (in this case olfactory) is a science access point related to the understanding of the organization and development of living organisms.




IMG_2670IMG_2666On Tuesday we made a handprint peace dove. We started by showing the students the different colors of paper we had available and then asking them which color paper they would like to use for today’s project. They used communication symbols to make their choices.

The students either used eye gaze or pointed to the symbol to indicate their preference.





IMG_2675As we passed out the paper, we discussed its shape (rectangle) and how many sides it had. This addresses the math access point recognize common objects with 2 dimensional shapes.

Then we painted one of their hands with white paint. None of these students are particularly tactile defensive so this was not a problem. In the past we have had students with tactile issues and we adapted the activity by letting them paint a staff members hand instead.







IMG_2685Then we pressed our hands down onto the paper. Some of the students were able to do this part independently but most of them needed a little assistance.

The students were pretty excited to see their hand print appear on the paper! Recognizing a change in an object is a science access point related to the understanding of changes in matter.







IMG_2690IMG_2693Adults added a beak, legs and eye with a permanent marker and our dove was ready to carry its olive branch!









On Thursday we painted a picture frame for Ms. Celeste! She can use it to frame the beautiful picture she took for out book this week. We decided to paint it with her favorite colors of brown and rust!

IMG_2866We started by showing the students the brown paint bottle. We presented the communication symbols and asked them “which one says brown”. Almost all the students answered correctly!

Identifying objects by one observable property such as color—–yep, we’ve got that one!






IMG_2896 Then we got out the paint brushes and started painting. They all manipulated their painting tools well! The students did a great job but the hole in the middle of the frame was a little confusing for them and so they needed a little redirection at times.

As the frame is painted, the students track the movement of the brush as it is pushed or pulled——this is a science access point related to the understanding of forces and changes in motion.






IMG_2899The we shook on some rust colored glitter for a little additional sparkle 🙂









As the glitter was applied, it changed the appearance of the frame. Recognizing a change in an object is a science access point related to the understanding of changes in matter.

IMG_2919                          It turned out really fabulous and Ms. Celeste loved her picture frame!




Since Grandma Daisy works in the room where we do our language group, we based our activity on her favorite food: SHERBET ICE CREAM!  In her honor, we decided to make sherbet sundaes.

IMG_2814IMG_2820The focus for the group today was requesting and informing.  The students were provided with visuals of the numbers 1-5.  They had to tell us how many scoops they wanted in their bowl.  As Cara scooped the sherbet out, we all counted.

Counting from 1 to 5 using objects of pictures is a math access point related to geometry and measurement.







IMG_2824Because we were making sundaes, of COURSE we needed some toppings.  First we discussed the different toppings and discovered that one of them made NOISE!

Our students with visual impairments were very good at recognizing that the items were nearby—–a science access point related to the understanding of earth in space and time.







IMG_2837Cara made a board that showed the pictures of each topping that was provided:  magic shell sauce, whipped cream, and sprinkles.  The student whose turn it was would point to the picture of the topping they wanted, verbalizing what it was if they were able to.  Cara then put just a little bit of the topping in the bowl.

The PIXON pictures “more” and “all done” were located on the page as well.  Our students were able to convey if they wanted more of the topping or if they were all done with it.  For the most part, they wanted MORE!

In addition to language/communication aspects of indicating “more” and “all done”, these concepts are also math access points related to representation of quantities.



Everyone seemed to really enjoy their sundae!

IMG_2831                                                                                                             YUM!!!

Another great week—-thanks to all the staff members who allowed us to put their photograph in our book! And a great big thank you for all they do to make our school such a great place to be.

IMG_2804Join us again next time for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

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