IMG_4853IMG_0504Arggg there was lots of piratey fun to be had this week as our students turned into scurvy pirates to celebrate Jose Gaspar’s invasion of Tampa Bay!

Our sensory boxes related to various aspects of the festival. Our fine motor groups made pirate themed art projects and the language group led a parade through the elementary building for our own Gasparilla festival!





IMG_5099IMG_5050Jose Gaspar came from Spain and our nod to him was rice was made with the colors of the Spanish flag. There was a treasure map at the bottom and pirate booty to find hidden in the colorful grains.

IMG_4841Counting found doubloons addresses the math access point associate quantities with number names.




IMG_5037IMG_4848There were lots of little pirates to discover in this box of black beans. A great activity for visual discrimination—-the red pirates were pretty easy to find but the black colored pirate figures really blended in with the black beans! We also put in a little pirate finger puppet just for fun.


IMG_5047Identify objects by one observable property, such a color, is a science access point.





IMG_5091IMG_4900Pirate ships  fly the Jolly Roger flag which has a skull and cross bones decoration. Our students used  a bone shaped cookie cutter to make “crossbones” in our cool black kinetic sand—-very piratey!

Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.






IMG_4695IMG_4652Of course pirates are always looking for TREASURE—-so we had to include some!

There were 3 different bottles filled with gold and jewels——-very sparkly and VERY eye catching!

IMG_5148The science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is addressed here.




IMG_4687IMG_5063The Gasparilla festival always has a parade complete with floats and people throwing beads—–just like the shiny beads in our box. Beads are always a hit with our students and a box this colorful is pretty irresistible!

IMG_5138Since the senses of touch, hearing, and vision are used to explore the beads, recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is the science access point addressed here.




IMG_4646IMG_4691Pop rocks gave a snap, crackle and pop to our “sea foam”——kind of like firecrackers in the distance as the pirate ships approach Tampa Bay. We encouraged the students to practice writing shapes such as letters or circles in addition to making “waves” as they pushed the foam around.

IMG_4894Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.




IMG_4846IMG_4854Hands were rinsed in our miniature Tampa Bay, complete with a shipwreck and 2 different size scoops. We discovered that as the pop rocks got washed off hands they continued to make noise——–bonus! 🙂

Recognize similarities and differences in size of common objects is a math access point.






IMG_4723IMG_4720Tampa is located in the state of Florida. Since oranges are a symbol of the state, that fruity scented lotion (from Bath and BodyWorks) was the perfect scent this week! As usual, after we asked the students to let us know if they liked the scent, we then asked them to show us where they wanted it applied.

IMG_5171Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point.







On Tuesday we made some pirate ships! The templates for the pirate flag used in this art project and the bandana used on Wednesday can be found here: pirate template

IMG_4732IMG_4728First we discussed the shape of our paper plate and asked the students to use communication symbols to show us a “circle”. Then we showed them how we were using a half circle to make our ship.

Recognize objects with 2 dimensional shapes is a math access point. Recognize a half of an object as part of the whole object is also a math access point.





IMG_4733IMG_4736Next the students painted their ships using brown paint and foam brushes.

IMG_4760Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.





IMG_4763IMG_4743After the students finished painted we taped a mast (made from a straw) with a little Jolly Roger flag to the back of the boat and……..

IMG_4770                                                      TA Da—–avast ye’ mateys!





On Wednesday we made some fun pirate masks!

IMG_4933IMG_4940The students started by using communication symbols to indicate  which color they wanted to paint their “bandana”. We gave them a choice of blue, orange, and green but most of the students chose blue—-maybe it reminded them of the high seas 🙂

IMG_4948The science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is addressed here.





IMG_4965IMG_4990While their paint dried, the students applied glue to the BOTTOM of their paper plate and used black paper shred to make a “beard”. The paper got everywhere but the students really had fun with this step.

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


The students glued their bandanas to the TOP of their paper plate and……

IMG_5023                                                                TA Daarrrgggg!






IMG_5178IMG_5183 (1)We had a grrrrreat time during our language group this week!  To keep in stride with Gasparilla, we decided to have a pirate parade and follow that up with a pirate festival of our own 🙂

IMG_5181                                      Of course our students HAD to dress the part!




IMG_5177IMG_5196Once everyone was dressed, we added pirate flags to our wheelchairs.

Then proceeded down the hallway to the sounds of  “A Pirates Life for Me” recorded on a voice output device.  We made sure the volume was LOUD!






IMG_5213IMG_5222Since beads are one of the highlights of parades we made sure to have plenty to share with our friends!

IMG_5205We invited all of the other elementary classrooms to be the audience, so our students got to parade around the building while their peers cheered them on.  A lot of the parade-goers were also dressed in pirate attire!





IMG_5259IMG_5243On our second go-round of the elementary building, we had the rest of the classrooms join the parade.

IMG_5238We all ended up at the pirate festival for some socialization, games, and music videos—–PIRATE ones naturally!




IMG_5256IMG_5250Grog and provisions—–otherwise known as punch and ice cream—–were available of course! The students had to request the ice-cream using verbalizations, gestures, picture symbols, or signs.

Needless to say, this was a hit 🙂






IMG_5261IMG_5283Our volunteer Ali made us a fabulous photo cutout that turned out to be a lot of fun—–say “treasure”!

IMG_5282                                            It was a jolly time, matey!  Arrrrrrg!!!




IMG_4662IMG_5079What more can we say, this week was a BLAST 🙂 Join us again next time for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

2 responses »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s