Author Archives: jd785

About jd785

Joy (Occupational Therapist), Cara (Speech Therapist) and Joi (Teacher) work with students who have significant intellectual differences. We look for ways to provide multi-sensory learning experiences to enable our students to improve their literacy, fine motor, and communication skills.

The Royal Wedding book

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There has been SO much talk about the royal wedding recently, so we decided that it would be fun to have the royal wedding as a theme.

Our book talks about different facts about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, like who their parents are and where they are both from.  It also talks about the royal wedding. Check it out!

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Let_s Watch The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding

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Like millions of others, we were glued to the tv watching Harry and Meghan get married last week. It was so fabulous, that we decided to pick it as our theme this week. Our sensory groups explored wedding related boxes. The fine motor groups made colorful art projects using tissue paper and the language group hosted the big event—-our very own Royal Wedding!

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Since love is the reason people get married in the first place, we figured we needed to put hearts somewhere in this unit! Our students stamped hearts in red moon sand with two different sized cookie cutters.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Meghan Markle is from the USA. This all American box contained patriotic garland, flags, a bald eagle……..

 

 

 

 

 

……….and other patriotic plush toys.

 

Associate an object or symbol with a location is a social studies access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hat was a hit 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Prince Harry is from England. In his box we placed British flag garland, a zipper bag with the flag, plush toys, a small flag, and a double decker bus.

 

 

 

Again, associate an object or symbol with a location is social studies access point.

 

 

 

 

In this box filled with red rose petals we put in a variety of items associated with weddings. There was a tiara, top hat, pearls, “diamond” rings, play food, and some scraps of organza and lace. We also included the wedding march recorded on a voice output device.

 

 

Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.

The top hat was pretty popular too—–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

———-our students can totally rock a hat!

 

 

 

 

 

People often throw rice or confetti at weddings. We combined the two with our confetti colored rice! There were letter W’s to find as well as a picture of a bride and groom at the bottom of the box.

 

 

 

Recognize two objects that are the same size or shape is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

The students had fun decorating our laminated wedding cake with oobleck—-our version of royal icing 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

We used Philosophy’s wedding cake scent for our water play. We put in some floating light up flowers and a fun teapot.

 

 

 

 

 

The science access point track objects in motion can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

To finish we used Bath and Body Works vanilla sugar scented lotion—-it smells like cake. A totally yummy scent that left our students with delicious wedding memories!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made wedding bouquets! We made the base of it by hot gluing a cardboard roll to a paper plate.

We discussed the shape of our paper plate and the students identified its shape using communication symbols.

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Next, they tore pieces of tissue paper and then crumpled up the pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize a change in the appearance of an object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Then they dipped their tissue paper balls in glue and attached them to the paper plate.

We used tissue paper from “presents past” so this whole project was practically free!

 

 

 

Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look who caught the bouquet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students decorated this wedding cake: wedding cake template

First, they identified the shape found in the wedding cake.

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

Then they tore tissue paper into pieces—-they kind of had fun with this part 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize a change in the appearance of an object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

The students dipped their tissue paper balls in glue and began decorating their wedding cakes.

 

 

 

 

Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

TA DA!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to cut the cake!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We had lots of fun this week during our language group!  Since we were talking about the royal wedding, we decided to recreate it with a little mock wedding of our own.

Two of our students in the language group got to play the parts of the bride and groom.  Before the wedding, official invitations were given out to classrooms and staff.  They even included a little jar of bubbles so that they could use them during the procession.

After reading the book, the “bride”, “groom”, and wedding party got ready for the big procession. We think the “bride” and “groom” had lots of fun being the center of attention 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

The bridesmaids led the procession through the elementary building halls while the spectators watched and blew bubbles.

We played the traditional “Wedding March” recorded on a voice output device.

 

 

It was very exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone  followed the wedding party to the reception where they got to request to have some of the wedding cake, or chips (for those who aren’t really into sweets).

 

 

 

There was also some sparkling,fizzy punch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Danni made the beautiful wedding cake and Ms. Ellen loaned us the fabulous Harry and Meghan banner behind it!

Ms. Jane, our principal, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend the festivities!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The guests got to dance the day away with some Kidz Bop music that played in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A good time was had by all!

 

 

 

 

 

We even had a fun photo booth where other students could “dress up” like a bride and groom.

So cute!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The adults had to join in the fun as well, of course!

Lots of happy couples 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a royal event that we’ll remember for a long time 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well this is our last regular post for the school year. Please join us  in the fall for lots more fun and learning——Group by Group!

Don’t forget if want to follow us, make sure to look for your confirmation email. Sometimes it ends up in your SPAM folder, especially if you work in a school system!

Norway book

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Ms. Joy was lucky enough to get to take a trip to Norway last summer, so this week we learned some different facts about this awesome country!  We found out some facts like what the national flower and animal are.

We also found out about what the country looks like–which is really amazing!  Apparently there are lots of troll statues around the country.  The front features 2 of our students modeling as a couple of trolls 🙂  Check it out to learn more about Norway!

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the bookLet_s Learn About Norway

Norway

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This week we headed to the land of trolls and vikings—–Norway! Joy got to travel there last summer and shared some photos as well as a few goodies to put in the sensory boxes!

Since May 17 is Norway’s National Constitution Day, it was the perfect time for this unit. The sensory groups explored boxes related to facts about Norway. The fine motor groups made Nordic inspired crafts and the language group made a treat with fruit found in Norway.

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Red, white, and blue rice represented the colors of the Norwegian flag. There were letter N’s and a map of Norway to find in this box.

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize two objects that are identical to each other is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The base of this box was red, white, and blue paper shred. Items associated with Norway filled the box including an actual flag, a viking ship, a troll, an elk, and a voice output device with music from Edvard Grieg—-a famous Norwegian composer!

 

 

The social studies access point associate an object, picture, or symbol with a location can be addressed here.

 

The hat was pretty popular 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The national flower of Norway is the purple heather. Since we didn’t have a heather shaped cookie cutter we used a generic one for the students to use to make their own bouquets out of purple Bubber.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Trolls are another symbol of Norway. There were 3 different  laminated trolls to hide in our grey Floam mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

We used our green light box to represent the northern lights which are visible in parts of Norway! Some of the lights we used faded in and out which added to the effect—-while not as amazing as the real thing, we thought it looked pretty cool!

 

 

Recognize sources of light is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

Winter brings lots of snow to Norway—-so time for an Insta Snow box 🙂

We love this stuff!

 

 

 

 

We put in a couple of different sized scoops, so the students could build their own snowballs.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our water play had lots of fun things this week! The students made their own waterfalls using the water wheel we placed here. We also included a little fishing boat and cute little whale to swim about.

 

 

 

The science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

We learned that aspen trees grow in Norway and since we had a Bath and Body Works products called caramel aspen, we decided to use that as our scent this week. Not sure it smelled like a tree but its sweet smell was popular with the students 🙂

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made trolls using this: troll template

First, they identified the color of their troll using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They squeezed glue on to their troll.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then they spread the glue with a sponge brush.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

We touched the yarn that we were going to use for the troll’s hair—-it felt SOFT!

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then they sprinkled pieces of purple yarn on to the glue. Some of our students had fun watching the yarn as it was drifted down on to the glue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize a change in the appearance of an object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Da!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trolls!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made a Viking ship using this: viking ship

We also used this stamper we cut from a household sponge and attached to this acrylic freebie (we aren’t really sure what its original use was!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, the students identified the shape of the sail using communication symbols.

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

We also identified the color of our paint.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students stamped their sail one time and then we asked them if we needed to do it MORE.

 

 

 

 

 

Solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students applied glue to the sides of their boats and glued them to a paper towel roll.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

The sail was added by slipping the mast (we used a straw) into a precut hole in the paper towel tube and TA DA…….

 

 

 

 

 

The Vikings are coming!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We celebrated Norwegian Constitution Day during our language group this week since it fell right on the day that it’s celebrated in Norway!  We read that during this day, Norwegians eat a lot of ice cream, so we decided to make some of our own.  Here is our (very easy!) ice cream recipe: Let_s Make Strawberry Ice Cream

We started out by PUTTING French vanilla coffee creamer into the food processor.  Since there are only 2 (!) ingredients in this recipe, we only put in 1 cup of each ingredient at a time so that more of our students could help with the process.  Of course, if they wanted to help, they had to indicate HELP on their board as well as hold up their hand.

 

 

 

 

 

Then we added some frozen strawberries.  Each student got to feel the bag of strawberries first and had to locate COLD on their board.  We talked about how the strawberries were in the freezer and that was why they were so cold.

 

Recognize objects or materials as warm or cold is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Four different students got to HELP PUT the strawberries in the food processor since it called for 4 cups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

After that, we put the top on the food processor and each student HELPED press the wireless switch to turn on the food processor.  Each time a student was ALL DONE with their turn, other students would have to indicate that the food processor needed to be turned on MORE.

 

 

Indicate desire for more of an action is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

Finally, we counted out how many friends we had so that we could get the same amount of bowls out.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each student had to request the ice cream by indicating WANT and/or EAT.

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe was enjoyed by all!!  We were surprised by how easy it was…and delicious!

 

 

 

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

Don’t forget if want to follow us, make sure to look for your confirmation email. Sometimes it ends up in your SPAM folder, especially if you work in a school system!

 

Mother’s Day Book

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We are celebrating moms for Mother’s Day this week!  We are very grateful to our students’ moms so we have some of them featured in our book this week.  There are so many reasons why we love our moms and the book talks about several of those reasons.

Take a look and see why we love our moms so much!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Happy Mother_s Day, Mom

Happy Mother’s Day

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This week we wanted to celebrate mothers! Our book features photos some of our students with their moms. The sensory group explored boxes related to things moms might like on Mother’s Day. The fine motor groups made presents for the moms and the language group made a tasty treat every mom would love!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

We put the letters M O M in this box of colorful rice and beans. The bright pink color was very eye catching and definitely encouraged exploration. There was also a cute picture of some animal moms and their babies to discover as the rice was pushed aside.

 

 

The science access point recognize objects as the same can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

The students got a chance to spell MOM again, but this time in chocolate play dough using cookie cutter letters. Because we love our moms so much, there was a heart shaped one also! This play dough smelled really yummy, so we did need to watch some of our students pretty carefully  🙂

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

This box contained a variety of items associated with Mother’s Day. There were lots of flower petals, play food, and “gifts” moms might like such as a purse and jewelry. We also included a mom figure, a crinkly mylar balloon, and lots of heart shaped items.

 

 

Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

Breakfast in bed is a popular thing to do for your mom! This box of coffee grounds contained some play food along with a cup and spoon for scooping fun. The students had a lot of fun with this box.

 

 

 

 

The math access point solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

The students made jewelry with colorful pasta and chenille stems. What mom wouldn’t like jewelry for a present!

 

 

 

 

Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Our pink cloud dough (we used strawberry cake mix) was popular with our students. It was a pretty color, smelled good, and was really fun to run hands through. Two different sized heart shaped spoons added to the fun.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

The students got a chance to spell MOM again by scooping foam letters out of Sweet Pea (from Value Time bath gel) scented water.

 

 

 

 

Use senses to recognize objects is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea lotion made for a light sweet scent to finish.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made “love bug” book marks decorated with their finger prints for their moms!

First, the they chose which color ink they wanted to use.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Then they stamped colorful fingerprints all over their bookmarks.

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the students needed help with this part but they were all fascinated by the process!

 

 

 

Recognize a change in the appearance of an object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The adults used markers to draw a few details and……

 

 

 

 

 

…………TA DA!!!!

We love our moms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students decorated self portraits for their moms!

First, using communication symbols they identified the shape of their paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Then they decorated their photos using a variety of markers and crayons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize a change in the appearance of an object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

Once they finished coloring, the students chose the color of their photo mat and glued their picture DOWN on a piece of colorful construction paper.

 

 

 

Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship, such as up and down is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA——-ready for framing!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We made a sweet treat that we think any mom would like to have.  Here is the recipe that we used: Let_s Make A Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

We started by getting out some frozen strawberries. As always, we first went around and let each student touch the strawberries.

 

 

 

 

They had to indicate whether they were COLD or HOT using communication symbols or verbalizations.

Recognize objects as warm or cold is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a student request to HELP put the strawberries in the blender by indicating HELP on their communication board.

We added a frozen banana next, again talking about how it felt COLD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we poured some chocolate almond milk into a measuring cup.  A student had to request to PUT it in by indicating HELP.

Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we measured out the cocoa and the honey, we talked about how we had to use a measuring spoon because it was a LITTLE amount.  Students had to locate LITTLE on their communication boards.

 

 

 

 

They also located the BLENDER on their boards.

 

 

 

 

 

When all the ingredients were in the blender, each student took a turn pressing the wireless switch to turn on the blender.  After each student took a turn, we talked about how we needed to blend it some MORE until the ingredients were smooth.

 

Solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

Finally, we counted out how many cups we needed, poured the smoothie into each cup, and topped it with some whipped cream.

 

 

 

 

Students had to request their smoothie by indicating WANT, DRINK, or EAT on their communication boards or verbally.

YUMMY!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Also, if want to follow us, make sure to look for your confirmation email. Sometimes it ends up in your SPAM folder, especially if you work in a school system!

 

April After Party

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Welcome to the After Party! Each week after the weekly blog featuring activities in the elementary department is posted, our sensory cart is parked in the media center where it is available for check out by the rest of the school.

Here are photos teachers have sent of their students exploring the different sensory boxes during the month of April 2018.

 

 

 

In celebration of National Find a Rainbow Day we had a slew of colorful boxes!

There were a variety of fun rainbow items in this box.

 

 

 

The Slinky and pop tubes were especially popular!

 

 

 

Colorful beans had hidden letter R’s.

Very eye catching!

 

 

 

 

Our rainbow umbrella really captured the students attention.

So colorful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This rainbow light shone rainbows around the room.

Pretty fascinating!

 

 

 

 

 

Colorful noodles were strung on to chenille stems.

Pretty jewelry was made!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaving cream clouds were pushed around

a laminated rainbow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students spelled out the word “rainbow”

by scooping out foam letters.

 

 

 

We next learned about Colorado!

 

 

 

 

The students had fun with the NFL Broncos box.

There were cheerleader pompoms, a horse puppet, and a small football.

 

 

 

 

The state gem of Colorado is the aquamarine, represented by our aquamarine beans.

Red Rocks outdoor concert arena was represented with red moon sand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado gets lots of its energy from the wind.

The students enjoyed feeling the wind from our different fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This box contained a variety of Colorado symbols,

including animals and plants found there.

 

 

 

 

The Colorado River has a red tint.

We made a red oobleck river that was lots of fun!

 

 

 

 

Hands were rinsed in a water tub that contained a fun water wheel

and some different sized scoops.

 

 

 

We traveled a little further this week—–all the way to South Africa!

A vibrating tube and jet sounds recorded on a voice output device gave us the airplane experience.

This was a hit!

 

 

 

 

Our gold kinetic sand reminded us of all the gold mined in South Africa.

This stuff is so cool!

 

 

 

 

Our safari box was also pretty popular.

There were lots of things to explore and discover here.

 

 

 

 

South Africa is known as the “Rainbow Nation” and this box contained colorful chenille stems and beads

so the students could make their own rainbows!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finished the month with an original book and unit called Sharkey’s Band.

 

 

 

 

Our underwater umbrella was a big hit.

This is one of our favorites!

 

 

 

 

There were some ocean animals and instruments in one of the boxes.

There was also some fun ocean blue pom pom yarn!

 

 

 

 

The students made their own coral reefs in pink Floam.

They used fish stamps and shells to make impressions in kinetic sand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They made foamy shaving cream waves and

rinsed hands in the “ocean”.

 

 

 

Another fun month! Join us next time to see all our activities—–Group by Group!