Wonderful Winter Holidays


IMG_0436Winter holidays around the world is our theme this week. It compliments our student’s Unique Curriculum unit this month. Each of the boxes in the sensory group represented a different holiday. The fine motor group made art projects related to different holidays. The language group made a yummy treat to eat. One of the most fun aspects of this week was our Bo tree umbrella—-beautifully put together by our fabulous students Charlsie and Skylar.




IMG_0230Our Hanukkah box was filled with blue and white rice which are the traditional colors associated with the holiday. We included the letters H and C for the different spellings: Hanukkah and Chanukah! As we often do, there was a picture to find at the bottom of the box, this time a picture of a menorah.

The science access point apply a push to move an object is addressed as students move the rice around to find the hidden objects.





IMG_0226IMG_9967In the Bahamas they celebrate Junkanoo by dressing in costumes and marching in parades—-how fun is that! We put some fun animal masks and feather boas in this box full of FUN! We also recorded some Junkanoo parade music (from youtube) on a voice output device.

Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point addressed as the various props are tried on.




IMG_0030In China they celebrate the winter solstice with a festival called Dongzhi. When families gather together they make and eat Tangyuan dough balls which are made from rice flour. Our students used a melon baller or their hands to make cloud dough balls.

The science access point apply a push to move an object is addressed here.






IMG_0190IMG_0266Plastic pine and holly branches formed the base of our Christmas box.  We topped this with all sorts of Christmas items including Santas, nutcrackers, reindeer, trees, and garland. It was a delight for the senses—-things for touching, looking, and listening.  Some of the favorite items included jingle bells and squeaky toys.

IMG_0024Recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is the science access point addressed in a super fun way here.


IMG_0015St. Lucia day is celebrated in Sweden by children wearing white robes and girls don wreathes with candles on their heads. We mixed red and yellow food coloring into shaving cream to make orange “flames”. The students loved watching the colors mix together and change.

Recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed is the science access point addressed here.







IMG_0193Hands were rinsed in Bath and Bodyworks winter candy apple scented water. Since winter holidays involve lots of sweet treats, we thought this was the perfect scent for this week! We put in a big measuring cup and a small measuring spoon.

The math accèss point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids (capacity) is addressed.






IMG_0071The students really liked the aroma of the matching lotion—–YUMMY! They loved having it rubbed on their hands and arms.

Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is the science access point addressed here.







IMG_0009IMG_0053We finished the group by turning off the lights and bringing out our Bo tree umbrella. When celebrating Bohdi day on December 8, many Buddhists decorate trees with colorful lights and beads. Everyone LOVED the umbrella—-so bright and colorful!

What a lovely way to address the science access point recognize sources of light.





IMG_0145On Tuesday we made Bo trees for our art project. After reading Cara’s book we brought out the Bo tree umbrella to give the students a feel for what it might feel like to stand under a Bo tree. They loved it——of course!







IMG_0082IMG_0117Confetti flakes were mixed with watered down glue then painted on a tree top shape.

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is the science access point addressed.






IMG_0129Then the tree top was glued to the TOP of a LITTLE brown rectangle that had been glued to a BIG white rectangle!

Recognize length of real objects, such as big, little, long, long, or short is a math access point addressed here.

We put 3 dots of glue and the students added 3 sparkly pompoms to the tree as a finishing touch.

The math access point match objects to marked spaces to show one-to-one correspondence for quantities 1-3.



IMG_0096Ta Da—-we are ready for Bodhi Day!









On Thursday we made some festive Christmas candy canes!

IMG_0457IMG_0455We started by asking the students to show us the color RED using communication symbols—-they did such an awesome job!

The science access point identify objects by one observable property, such as color—-totally nailed today 🙂






IMG_0495Then the students used paper cutters to cut 1 red rectangle into 4 pieces.

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move and recognize a change in an object are science access points addressed in this activity.







IMG_0476The 4 pieces were then glued onto a precut poster board candy cane shape. Although some of them could do it independently, most of our students needed a little help turning the pieces to put the glue side “down”. Either way, they all had definite ideas on where their pieces needed to go.






IMG_0472IMG_0490Ta Da!

IMG_0503                                                             Our artists were pretty proud of their work 🙂



IMG_0304IMG_0324We decorated some pre-made Christmas tree shaped sugar cookies today in the language group and they were delicious!   Once we showed them the tree and went over the shape of them (very similar to a triangle), we talked about what color a tree is.  Each student was given the chance to identify the color of a tree from a field of 2 colors: pink and green—-and most of them were correct 🙂

Identify objects by one observable property such as color or shape is the science access point addressed here.
IMG_0358Next, our students watched as we turned white frosting into green frosting using 3 drops of food coloring.  And of course, we counted out the drops!  Then we passed out the plates, again counting as we went.

The math access point associate quantities with number names and the science access point recognize a change in an object are both addressed in this activity.





IMG_0374IMG_0383Then came the fun part!  Decorating the tree!  After the cookies were frosted, students were then able to pick what they wanted to go on their trees.  We made a choice board which showed their choices: M&Ms, marshmallows, and colorful sprinkles.

Our students made their choices by pointing to the picture, using eye gaze, or using yes/no.





IMG_0396Finally, our students were able to eat their creation!  We had lots of green faces and lots of smiles.

A Christmas tree cookie success!






IMG_0443What wonderful winter holidays we learned about this week! Join us again next week for more fun and learning——Group by Group!



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