Groundhog Day


IMG_4302Well it is that time of year when prognosticating groundhogs come out of their burrows to let us know if spring is on the way—-or if we will have 6 more weeks of winter! Following that theme, our boxes were all about opposites in our sensory group. The fine motor group made some groundhog art projects and the language group played a shadow matching game.






IMG_4420On February 2 the groundhog looks for his shadow! The students used a small flashlight and puppet included in this box to make shadows. The puppet was simply made by gluing a picture (laminated to make it more durable) of a ground hog to a popsicle stick. They really had a lot of fun making shadows with both the puppet or just their fingers.

The science access points recognize sources of light and distinguish light and dark are addressed in this activity.





IMG_4352Groundhogs burrow underground—-and there was a picture of one to find under our coffee ground “dirt”! We also included a letter G and a number 2 to find as students used their fingers or smaller scoop to sift through the grounds.

The science access point match common living things with their habitats can be explored with this box.






IMG_4314IMG_4457Everything in this box is black——just like a shadow! Objects to be found among the black beans included a noisy stretchy tube, vibrating spider, hard wooden block, and soft scrap of fur. This was a great box for exploring!

IMG_4663Explore, observe, and recognize common objects in the natural world is a science access point addressed here




IMG_4336IMG_4483Our spring box was filled with bright and colorful flowers and butterflies. There were some stretchy vibrating bumble bees and a caterpillar. Perfect for working on bilateral coordination!

The science access points match animals that are the same and match plants that are the same can be addressed here.






IMG_4709IMG_4697We explored winter with 2 of our boxes. This first box was filled with things that were white—-like wintery snow. The students loved tossing the paper shred and looking for the little animals buried in it. The favorite item in this box was the lighted color changing “snow ball”.

IMG_4441The science access point explore, observe, and recognize common objects in the natural world is again addressed.




IMG_4493IMG_4640Cornstarch and shaving cream were mixed together to make snow with our messy play activity. Adding shaving cream instead of water to the cornstarch makes it sticky and somewhat moldable. Pretty cool stuff!

IMG_4502The science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is addressed here.



IMG_4347Since groundhogs enjoy eating berries we decided to use Bath and Bodyworks sun ripened raspberry for our scent this week and added the bath gel to our water. We included 2 different sized scoops and one of them had a small hole in the bottom which added a fun little twist!

The science access point recognize different containers that hold liquids is addressed.







IMG_4519The matching lotion had a strong sweet scent that our students really loved. Naturally we reminded them to beware of hungry groundhogs 🙂

The science access point recognize one or more external body parts is addressed here.







IMG_4545On Tuesday we made a cute little groundhog! We discussed that we were going to do a lot of counting to 2 in this project and asked our students to find the number using communication symbols—-they did such a great job!

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.







IMG_4592Then we started our art project by cutting 1 square into 2 triangles and 1 rectangle into 2 smaller rectangles using the adaptive scissors.

The math access point recognize common objects with 2 dimensional shapes is addressed here.







IMG_4543Then we cut 2 ovals using a punch.

The science access point apply a push to move an object and the math access point recognize a common object with a 2 dimensional shape is addressed here.

IMG_4594The students glued their pieces to a large heart and added 2 googlie eyes!








IMG_4608TA DA—-just TOO cute 🙂









On Thursday we made groundhog shadows!

IMG_4797We started by discussing the shape of our paper and its color. Then we also discussed the color of the paint we were going to use and asked our students to show us the color using communication symbols.

Identify common objects by one observable property, such as color, is a science access point.





IMG_4839IMG_4810Then we put a groundhog stencil on the paper. Here is the template: groundhog outline. We used a little tape to help hold the stencil down but of course, it is a great opportunity to work on bilateral coordination. The students painted over the stencil with white paint.

The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here.




After the stencil is removed………

IMG_4822                                                                                 Ta DA the groundhog’s shadow!




We played a little game called, “whose shadow is this?” in our language group.  Each of our students was given a sheet with 3 different animals on it.  Here is a link to the animals that we used: Groundhog day animals.  Our wonderful volunteers colored these animals so they would stand out more.

IMG_4744We used a light box so the shadows of these animals would stand out, especially for our students with visual impairments.  Plus, as we all know, in order to see a shadow you need light.  Here are the animal shadows that were used: animal shadows.





IMG_4767IMG_4750The students identified the animal that matched the shadow shown, from a field of 3.  Using 3 choices helps prepare our students for the Florida Alternate Assessment.

This also addresses the science access point match objects by an observable property, such as shape.



IMG_4775Our students communicated their answer by pointing to the animal, using eye gaze, or verbalizing the animal’s name.  For the most part, our students were able to correctly identify whose shadow it was.

If they had some difficulty, the rest of the class helped their peer by indicating their choice of animal.




IMG_4788Since we had some time left, we decided to get a flashlight and help our students make their own shadows.  So much fun!







IMG_4356IMG_4412Well that wraps up another week. We have a lot of fun activities planned for next time, lots to explore, make, and discover!

IMG_4628You won’t want to miss it so please join us again for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

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