Category Archives: Education

Beatrix Potter book

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We are learning all about Beatrix Potter, the author of children’s books like the Tale of Peter Rabbit.  Our book takes a look at some of the history of her life, such as where she grew up and how she became an author/illustrator.  We have one student featured on the back of the book holding a Peter Rabbit stuffed animal.  Read the book to find out some facts about Beatrix Potter!

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: The Magical World of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter

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This week we decided to learn about author Beatrix Potter who wrote lots of books including the tale of a very famous rabbit named Peter! Our sensory groups explored boxes related to facts about her life. The fine motor groups made art projects based on characters from her books. The language group made a vegetable garden inspired smoothie—-Peter Rabbit approved!

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Beatrix Potter was born in England so we filled this box with rice in the colors of the British flag. There were letter B’s and P’s to find and match, as well as a picture of Beatrix herself at the bottom of the box.

Recognize objects as the same is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

The students really had fun with the rice this week 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since Peter Rabbit is Beatrix Potter’s most well known character we decided to dedicate a box just to him. The students had fun stamping little Peter Rabbits in moonsand. We chose the blue moonsand because Peter Rabbit wore a blue coat in the story!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a base of paper, this box contained some plush characters like the ones that appeared in some of her books. Since all of the tales take place in England, we also put in some British flag garland. There was even a board book featuring the Tale of Benjamin Bunny!

The social studies access point associate an object with a person can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to being an author, Beatrix Potter was also a farmer. She even wrote a scientific paper about mushrooms! We brought out our box of coffee grounds “dirt” and some play food and dried beans for the students to plant.

The science access point recognize that plants grown can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beatrix raised prize winning sheep on her farm. There was some soft wooly fabric to touch, a cute plush lamb puppet, and some picture cards with the word “sheep” in this box.

Match animals that are the same is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, so the lamb puppet was totally the favorite thing in the box 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continued the sheep theme with our messy play. A little bit of a stretch here, but we thought shaving cream looked a little like fluffy sheep wool.

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

 

 

 

 

In the story, Peter Rabbit hid behind a watering can so along with a large scoop, we included one in our water play this week. This was a total hit—-the students had a blast with it!

Recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

We chose Bath and BodyWorks cucumber melon scent this week because we figured little bunnies would like to munch on those if they found them in a garden!

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made an art project based on the story of Peter Rabbit using this watering can template and a rabbit shape cut from the Ellison machine.

First we discussed the color of the paint and identified it using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students stamped some GREEN grass using our craft foam painting tool (a fringed and rolled up piece of craft foam).

We emphasized stamping UP and DOWN.

Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As each student added a watering can and a rabbit to their pictures we discussed its spatial orientation ex. beside, over, under etc.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ta DA!!!!!!!!

                                                      ——hippity hoppity!

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made an art project based on the character Jemima Puddle duck and once again used a shape cut from the Ellison machine.

First we identified the color of our ducks. The students did a great job—-everyone got it right!

Once again, the science access point identify objects by one observable property is addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

They also used communication symbols to identify the shape of Jemina’s puddle.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students used blue markers to draw water LINES on their circles.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to glue everything DOWN!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TA quack quack DA!

These are some happy ducks!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

This week, we made a snack that we think Peter Rabbit would really enjoy!  We made a fruity carrot smoothie using this recipe: Let_s Make a Fruity Carrot Smoothie

We started out by POURING 2 cups of  orange juice into a blender.  We talked about how we put in the LIQUIDS first.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we added the coconut yogurt.  It called for 4 tbsp but we ended up using the whole carton.

Recognize when items have been added to or removed from sets of objects to 4 is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

When we poured out 1 tbsp of honey, we talked about how it came out of the bottle SLOWLY.

Recognize an action as fast or slow is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We added some frozen mixed fruit, but before we measured it, each student got to feel the fruit.  We talked about how it felt COLD.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we added our chopped carrots.

Again, recognize when objects have been added or removed from a situation is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our students took turns activating the blender using a switch.

The science access point recognize that electrical systems must be turned on in order to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we counted out our cups and drank our yummy smoothie!

YUM!!!!!

 

 

 

 

We throughly enjoyed learning about Beatrix Potter this week. Join us again for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

 

National Siblings Day book

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National Siblings Day is April 10 so our theme is all about siblings!  We have some of our own students in the book, but instead of it being focused around our students, we found out some pretty neat things about some of the staff’s  siblings.  One of our staff members has a sister who is a scientist, another staff member has a sister who is a music therapist, and our very own principal has a brother who works for NASA!  Find out more about our siblings in our book and make sure to celebrate your own siblings 🙂

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book:   We Celebrate National Siblings Day!

National Siblings Day

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April 10 was National Sibling Day and we thought it would be a fun way for staff and students to participate in a unit. The sensory groups explored boxes related to siblings of some of our staff members. The fine motor groups made some fun art projects to share with their siblings. The language group performed science experiments!

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Ms. Cara has a sister who lives in South Africa. This box was filled with a variety of animals found in Africa including large, medium, and small zebras! There was also a purple lei with flowers that resembled jacaranda which are grown in South Africa.

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

 

 

 

 

Ms. Jane’s brother works for NASA so we made a space themed box for him. In the black kinetic sand were an astronaut, star, and planet to find.

The science access point recognize a space related object can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Both of Ms. Thea’s siblings graduated from the University of Florida. Our Go Gators box had orange and blue play dough along with a little gator cookie cutter!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Caressa and Ms. Elaine both have sisters who are involved in music. This box was filled with some fun music instruments as well as some colorful scarves to wave around.

The students had fun with this one!

Recognize objects that create sounds is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

Ms. Jen and her brother are from Iowa which is famous for its corn. We put 3 colorful letter I’s to find in this box of corn kernels.

The science access point match objects by an observable property, such as size, shape, and color can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Ms. Vicki and her sisters like to get facials together. We put some food coloring into our shaving cream so the students could give our cartoon Ms. Vicki a facial. This was silly, messy, and LOTS of fun!

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

 

 

 

 

Ms. Joi and her sisters are from Miami. We put some colorful flashing lights and a letter M to fish out of the warm blue water.

The science access point recognize sources of light can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Since apple blossoms are the state flower of Arkansas—where Ms. Robin’s sister lives—-we chose Bath and Body Works country apple for our scent this week!

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made door hanger presents for THEIR siblings!

First they identified the circle shape that was cut out from the top of the door hanger.

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

 

 

 

 

Then they got to choose which door hanger to decorate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next they used paint brushes to apply glue.

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

 

 

 

 

Time for glitter—-lots of it!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Da—-we love how these turned out!

Our students are going to have some very happy siblings 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made picture frames for their siblings!

First they identified the color of our paint—-sunshine yellow!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then they applied the paint to their frames and added a cute smiley sun craft foam sticker!

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

 

 

 

 

Ta DA—–so colorful!!!!

There are going to be some more happy siblings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We thought it was really neat that Mr. Noah’s sister is a scientist, so we decided to do some experiments ourselves since we haven’t done them lately.  To make it EXTRA awesome, though, we used a black light so that we could have glowing experiments!

Here are the experiments that we did: Glowing Experiments.  These experiments were found on http://www.growingajeweledrose.com website.

We started off by doing our Glowing Oil and Water experiment.  Our students got to HELP squeeze some glow in the dark paint into 3 small cups of water.  They had to STIR it all up so that it was completely MIXED.

  They were so cool looking when they were placed by the black light!

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we put vegetable oil in a pie pan so that it completely covered the bottom of the pan.  Then, our students took turns SQUEEZING the paint water into the pie pan.  We observed how the oil and water never mixed.

Really neat!

 

 

 

 

 

The next experiment, Glowing Volcano, was even more neat!  Our students helped POUR some baking soda into a plastic container.  They got to SQUEEZE some paint in and also just a bit of dish soap.

 

 

 

 

Once the vinegar was POURED into the container was when the magic started. We did this experiment with each of the colors so by the end it was a mix-up of pink, yellow, and orange.

All of the colors were so COOL! It looked like a galaxy!

 

 

 

What a great week! Join us next time for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

Cinderella Monkey’s Birthday book

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We came up with our own original book this year due to a confusion about the themes that we had gone over.  We are celebrating Cinderella Monkey’s Birthday this week!  We have several of our students in this book dressed up as all different kinds of animals–from alligators to bats to ladybugs.  They are all coming to help their friend, Cinderella Monkey, celebrate her Birthday.  Check it out to see what everyone brought their friend!

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: It_s Cinderella Monkey’s Birthday!

Cinderella Monkey’s Birthday

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What do you get when suggested themes of monkeys, Cinderella, and birthdays are accidentally combined—–Cinderella Monkey’s Birthday—–of course 🙂 Once we finished laughing we figured birthday parties and animals make a perfect combination.

It was lots of fun to put together both the book and all our activities. The sensory groups explored party themed boxes, the fine motor groups made party related art projects, and the language group had a birthday party treat!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

We filled this box with everything party including ribbons, bows, and a mylar balloon. There was some fun play food like cookies and soda. We even put in a replica of the party girl herself—-Cinderella Monkey 🙂

The science access point recognize a model of a real object can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Since birthdays are all about how old you are, we put some numbers in our colorful rainbow rice. There was also a picture of a birthday cake to find underneath the box.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

This next party box was filled with lights and music. There were a variety of light toys and the Happy Birthday song recorded on a voice output device.

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

 

 

 

 

 

In our story, Lily Ladybug wants to give the birthday girl a hug. When the students gave our ladybug pillow a hug, it vibrated—–so much fun! This was definitely the favorite item this week 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

Colorful glitter helped make “funfetti” cloud dough. There were scoops and spoons for the students to use to make birthday cakes. Colorful dowels made for perfect candles.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continued with the “funfetti” theme by adding confetti to our oobleck this week. Bright and shiny—-this stuff was irresistible!

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

 

 

 

 

 

There were a bunch of party animals in the water play this week 🙂 These fun bath toys were fun for the students to scoop out with our 2 different sized scoops.

Recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Lemonade is the perfect party drink so we chose Bath and BodyWorks pink lemonade for our water and lotion this week. It was a nice sweet scent that the students really liked.

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday our students wrapped presents—-sort of 🙂

First the students used communication symbols to identify a square. Our squares were cut from colorful wallpaper scraps.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students cut 1 piece of paper into 2 pieces to make the ribbons for our present.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students glued their paper ribbons onto their presents—-one going “up and down” and the other going “across”.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big bow for a finishing touch and….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

……….Ta Da, Happy Birthday Cinderella Monkey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made a birthday cake using this: cake template

First we identified the number 3 since that was how many candles we were going to put on the cake.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a cake without frosting! The students decorated their cakes with homemade puffy paint (shaving cream and glue mixture).

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

 

 

 

 

A little glitter never hurts 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to add the candles! We used these cool striped chenille stems that look a lot like real candles—-so cool!

The math access point solve simple problems involving joining together sets of objects to 3 can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Da!

                                                           Time to eat cake!

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We were back to cooking this week in the language group 🙂

This week we made Birthday Cake Milkshakes using this recipe: Let_s Make a Birthday Cake Milkshake

We started out by taking out the ice cream and letting everyone feel it.  We talked about how it felt COLD.  Some of our students didn’t really seem fazed by how cold it felt while others really didn’t like it.

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

 

 

 

 

Once we put the icecream in the blender, we POURed in the milk.  Our students then helped us count out FOUR tablespoons of cake batter mix which we added.

The math access point recognize the quantity of a set of objects to 3 and add 1 more can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Our students took turns turning the blender ON using a wireless switch.  Once it was nice and smooth, we added some colorful sprinkles.  Again, our students helped us count out 4 tablespoons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once that was all mixed up, we counted out how many cups we needed and then poured the milkshake into each one.  When it was time to put the whipped cream on, only a little bit was put in each cup and our students had to convey if they wanted MORE or if they were ALL DONE.

Indicate desire for more of an action or object or indicate desire for no more of an action or object are math access points.

 

 

 

 

 

YUM!  It turned out great!

Birthdays are so much fun aren’t they 🙂 Join us again for for fun and learning—–Group by Group!

March 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 March—–enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

We started the month celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss!

The “If I Ran the Zoo” box had a variety of animals in a box filled with sawdust. The sawdust had a really interesting texture that was intriguing to the students.

They also matched letters in the colorful ABC box.

 

 

 

 

 

Shaker pom poms made a great stand in for Truffula trees!

Bright, colorful—-so much fun to shake!

 

 

 

 

Using green Floam, the students made the own version of The Grinch.

Another intriguing texture!

 

 

 

 

Of course we had Oobleck!

Just cornstarch and water but always a big hit with the students!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a box of paper shred (a nod to books) there were lots of Seussical things—-

representing lots of different Dr. Seuss books.

 

 

 

 

The box also contained a very popular hat 🙂

This unit was so much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

We celebrated Youth Art Month by learning about some famous artists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mondrian used primary colors in his grid paintings.

For his box we had the students sort primary colored pompoms.

 

 

 

 

Kinetic sand made for a perfect desert landscape for our Dali box.

It even had some melting clocks!

 

 

 

 

 

Our starry, starry night play dough was so pretty—-Van Gogh would be proud we think!

There were 2 different sized star shaped cookie cutters for the students to use.

 

 

 

 

Harold Newton became famous painting pictures of Florida.

We put lots of symbols of the state in this box.

 

 

 

 

Ian Falconer illustrates the Olivia book series. We thought pink sand was perfect for this box.

The students really loved the soft feel of this sand and watching it drift through the sifter.

 

 

 

 

Alexander Calder made mobiles using different shapes.

The students were encouraged to draw shapes in shaving foam—-circles were a popular choice!

 

 

 

 

 

J. Turner was famous for painting ocean scenes—–perhaps he would have liked our little ocean scene 🙂

Plumeria was our scent this week since Georgia O’Keefe painted a picture of them. The students really liked the scent!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we learned about the country of Israel—-one of our nurses recently traveled there and brought back lots of wonderful pictures and other goodies to share with us!

To travel there she had to fly in an airplane. We simulated the flight by using a vibrating massager and airplane sounds recorded on a voice output device.

 

 

 

The massager was a real hit with the students—–

they loved it!

 

 

 

 

We learned that Isreal has one coral reef in Eilat.

We used pink Floam to represent the coral and put in a variety of fish and silk flowers to decorate it.

 

 

 

The students had a lot of fun making their coral reefs.

Very eye catching and a very interesting texture to explore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also rebuilt some ruins in the Negev desert.

The wooden camel was one of the things Nurse Jill brought back for us!

 

 

 

 

The Dead Sea is very salty so one of our boxes was filled with salt.

We added a funnel and a map of Israel at the bottom of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We colored the rice blue and white like the colors of the Israeli flag. We put in letter I’s for the students to find.

There was a picture of the flag at the bottom on the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During Sukkot children sleep in huts decorated with fairy lights.

We made our own version with a lighted umbrella.

 

 

 

 

It was a real hit with all the students!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were fish to catch in our “Mediterranean” Sea

using a sifter instead of a net.

 

 

 

 

Our final theme for March was the History of Basketball.

The students learned about the founder of the sport James Naismith who was a physician and educator from Canada.

This box had lots of interesting items representing facts about him.

 

 

 

 

Here they sorted 5 objects of 2 different colors. This represented the  2 teams of 5 players each that play a game of basketball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to sorting,

there were lots of different textures to explore!

 

 

 

 

Colorful chenille stems represented the Olympics and colorful beads represented the NBA.

Both organizations associated with basketball.

 

 

 

 

 

This bright orange play dough was very eye-catching.

Fun smash, roll, or use a cookie cutter to cut out letter “B”.

 

 

 

 

Food coloring helped make our shaving cream almost basketball orange 🙂

The students worked on drawing circles.

 

 

 

 

Hands were rinsed in peach scented waters.

2 or 3 “points” could be scooped up with a large measuring cup.

 

 

 

 

We finished with matching peach scented lotion—-peach baskets were the first hoops in the game!

That wraps up March—-we will be back next month for another After Party, Group by Group style!