The Ocean


IMG_0040Warmer weather has us thinking of the beach so we chose the ocean as our theme this week. The sensory group explored fun boxes and a fabulous ocean themed umbrella habitat. The fine motor group made sea life art projects and the language group sorted items that belong in the ocean and those that don’t.






IMG_0238IMG_0074We were SO pleased with the way this ocean habitat turned out—-pretty darn cool if we do say so ourselves 🙂  The students loved reaching out to touch the sharks, jelly fish, ribbon seaweed, and pearls that were hanging down from it. The humpback whale sounds recorded on the voice output device added to the total experience.

Recognize that different kinds of living things are found in different habitats is a science access point addressed here.




IMG_0163The students had a great time exploring and sculpting their own coral reefs with orange Floam this week. The bright orange color was really eye catching!

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









IMG_0184There was 1 BIG shell and 2 SMALL ones to find in our sand box this week—-addressing the math access points recognize similarities and differences in size of common objects and recognize two objects that are the same size or color.

In addition, there was a fun underwater scene to find as the sand was pushed around in the box. This also addressed the science point apply a push to move an object.







IMG_0142IMG_0166Blue is the color associated with the ocean and we thought our blue pom pom yarn was a fun way to discuss that element. With it’s soft tactile feel it was great for draping but when shaken it had a great visual element—-just lots of fun!

Track objects in motion is a science access point that can be addressed.






IMG_0068IMG_0409We love discovery bottles and this week we had 3 to explore! One was filled with blue water and a little toy submarine, another was filled with tiny beads and sequin jelly fish, the last one had fish and shell beads that swirled in glittery water. Our students thought that they were really mesmerizing!

IMG_0200                       Track objects in motion is the science access point addressed here.




IMG_0376IMG_0180Blue basket filler made a fabulous “ocean” base for this box filled with so many cool and interesting things for the students to find. There were boats, some sharks to swim around a shipwreck, shell and pearl beads, and a fishing net! The cute little orca puppet that squeaked when the mouth was squeezed together was one of the favorite items, producing lots of giggles 🙂

IMG_0099                              Recognize a model of a real object is addressed in this activity.




IMG_0022IMG_0410Shaving cream made perfect sea foam! As usual, the students had a blast with messy play—-so much fun to watch the different shapes and lines formed as it is smooched around the tray.

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





IMG_0076Hands were rinsed in water scented with Bath and Bodyworks “ocean” bath gel—–that actually smells nothing like the ocean but it did have the perfect name 🙂 We included a little pufferfish squirting toy and a realistic dolphin to swim about in our mini ocean habitat.

Recognize water as a liquid is a science access point that can be addressed in this activity.






IMG_0121We finished with the matching lotion—-a lovely aroma to remember all the things we learned about the ocean today!

The science access point recognize 1 or more external body parts is addressed here.









On Tuesday we made a cute and colorful seahorse cut from craft foam using this template: seahorse

IMG_0259Since our seahorse was yellow, we started by asking our students to identify the color yellow using communication symbols.

This addresses the science access point identify classroom objects by one observable property such as color.








IMG_0278IMG_0326Then we used a bubble wrapped kitchen scrubber dipped in orange paint to stamp on the seahorse. We emphasized stamping UP and DOWN.




IMG_0304The science access point recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship, such as up and down is addressed here.





IMG_0337IMG_0360With the addition of glitter and a cute googlie eye thes adorable  seahorses are ready to explore their underwater habitat——-ta DA!










On Thursday we used this colorful lunch bags we found at Target for our art project.

IMG_0502First we identified the color blue using communication symbols—-our students were 100% correct today!

The science access point identify classroom objects by one observable property such as color is addressed.







IMG_0507Then we started by stuffing paper shred into the bag—-our students had an absolute blast with this part of the activity 🙂

In addition to bilateral coordination, the math access point solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more.







IMG_0510Bilateral coordination was again addressed as we wrapped tape around the bag to close it and make a “tail”. The students did need some help with this part of the project.

A fluffy white chenille stem was taped on to make a water spout.








IMG_0532IMG_0581TA DA—–our little blue whales are ready to hit the waves!












Our group went right along with the book today as we discussed which were OCEAN animals and which were NOT.  To add to the fun we placed a little “ocean” on the table, making sure it wasn’t  too close to curious hands 🙂

IMG_0459IMG_0447One-by-one, we presented 2 different animals to our students: one ocean animal and one land animal.  We asked our students to indicate which animal was the ocean animal.  They made their choice by touching the animal, looking at the animal, or verbalizing which animal lived in the ocean.

IMG_0457This addresses the science access point match common living things with their habitats.




IMG_0452Once the ocean animal was established, our students got to put them in the water—–they loved this part 🙂








IMG_0477After we were done finding all of the ocean animals, our students got a chance to experience our ocean umbrella habitat——what a hit!

This was such a great week, animal units are always so much fun for our students!

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


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