IMG_8631IMG_8724We went west and learned about the awesome state of Nevada this week! We chose this topic to compliment the Unique Curriculum unit our students are studying this month. Our sensory group boxes represented different facts about Nevada. The fine motor groups used paint brushes to complete their art projects and the language group cooked with a solar oven.






IMG_8663IMG_8987Hay production is one of the key industries of Nevada so we used some hay (well actually raffia but we thought it looked pretty similar) as the base for this box. A puzzle piece cow, Las Vegas magnet, gold and silver beads also represented key industries. There were animals that are symbols of the state (mountain blue bird, tortoise, big horn sheep) or are found there (burro). We even included a camel because camel races are held in Virginia City every year——how fun is that!

IMG_8319Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point. Totally rocking the sunglasses from the box is a COOL point 🙂





IMG_8665IMG_8907Turquoise is the official semiprecious gem of Nevada and our box of colored beans looked pretty close to the real thing!  The students had lots of fun sifting through the beans and we put in some letter N’s for them to find—–great for tactile and visual discrimination.

The math access point recognize two objects that are identical to each other can be addressed here.






IMG_8997IMG_8295The Hoover Dam provides hydroelectric power for millions of people! Our students experimented with water power in our little Lake Mead (the reservoir formed by the dam). They even got to wear a hard hat——like the ones invented for the men who worked on constructing the dam! Our students had lots of fun with this, as you can tell with these super cute pictures 🙂

IMG_8289Recognize one way people use water is a science access point.






IMG_8953IMG_9005Nevada is our driest state which means the sun shines A LOT!  We filled this box with some bright yellow Floam——perfect for squishing and molding it into little round suns!




IMG_8989Recognize three dimensional objects, such as balls (spheres) is a math access point.







IMG_9012IMG_8978With an average rainfall of about 7 inches, Nevada is mostly desert, not a lot of trees grow there! We used some kinetic sand for this box and put in some animals such as snakes and lizards you might find in the desert.

The science access point match animals that are the same can be addressed here.








IMG_8657IMG_8898With all those lights, Las Vegas is one of the brightest cities in the world! There were some fun light producing toys for our students to explore in this box. The students had a blast with them!

IMG_8983Recognize sources of light is a science access point.






IMG_8701IMG_8659The students had fun finding silver glitter in the shaving foam—–not exactly silver “mining” but still lots of fun 🙂

IMG_8933Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.





IMG_8369IMG_9015The scent we used for our water play and lotion was called pink lemonade fizz (from Bath and Body Works). Since the average temperature is usually pretty hot, we thought sitting by the pool drinking a pink lemonade would be the perfect ending to a day exploring Nevada.

Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.






On Tuesday our students made a miniature Hoover Dam art project!

IMG_8459IMG_8468They started by using a paper cutter to cut out a strips of paper printed with the words “Hoover Dam”.

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

Then they glued their strips onto a paper plate cut into a half circle.






IMG_8477Next we discussed the shape of the paper we were going to use to complete our project and asked the students to identify its color using communication symbols.

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

The math access point recognize a common object with a two-dimensional shape is also addressed.






IMG_8487IMG_8496The students painted their paper using corn syrup tinted with blue food coloring. We have used this technique before and it is really super cool because once dry, it has the shiny wet look of real water!

IMG_8489The science access point recognize a change in an object is a science access point.





IMG_8481IMG_8509Ta DA…….

It’s the Hoover Dam!!!!!










On Wednesday our students decorated colorful sun visors we picked up at the dollar store. They were 3 for a dollar and you know we couldn’t pass up a bargain like that 🙂 It was a quick easy project and the students had a blast!

IMG_8772IMG_8789 (1)Since a lot of gold and silver mining takes place in Nevada, we thought it would be fun to paint the visors with those colors.

IMG_8755Recognize a change in an object is the science access point addressed here.





IMG_8770IMG_8783TA DA—–we are ready to visit Nevada!!!!!











We made our own solar oven to demonstrate how the sun’s energy can be used to heat up food.  We made the oven, following directions found online, using a pizza box, tin foil, cling wrap, and black construction paper.  We put it out in the sun about an hour and a half before our group (thank GOODNESS it was a sunny day!).

IMG_9033We cut 2 slices of bread into 4 pieces each and put some butter on them.  Our students observed what the butter looked like (a solid) before we put the bread with butter in the oven.

Recognize parts of whole objects is a math access point.








IMG_9082IMG_9084Then, we broke up graham crackers into small pieces and placed 1 chocolate chip on each piece and placed them in the oven as well.  We put both the buttered bread and the chocolate chip graham crackers in so that we could COMPARE which melts faster.

Observe and recognize a predicable cause-effect relationship related to a science topic is a science access point.





IMG_9056Since it takes some time to melt, we got out our plush sun and each of our students got to play with it.

Recognize that the Sun is a source of heat is a science access point.









IMG_9121We found that butter melts faster than chocolate!  It was so fun (and delicious) cooking food in the sun——YUM!










IMG_8328IMG_8628Hope you enjoyed learning about Nevada as much as we did! Join us again next time for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

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