Category Archives: Education

Let’s Go to the Beach book

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We are all ready for the summer and have begun thinking about places we can go for vacation.  One pretty popular place is the beach!  There are lots of different things to see and do at the beach and our book covers some of these things, like playing in the water and seeing ocean animals.  It got us all wanting to go!  It looks like 2 of our students have visited the beach.

Make sure to check out their pictures in the book.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Let_s Go to the Beach

Let’s Go To The Beach

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Summer vacation is coming up soon so you know what that means—–let’s go to the beach!  The sensory groups explored boxes filled with items you might find at the beach. The fine motor groups made beach themed art projects out of paper plates and the language group made a beach inspired treat.

It was a fun filled week and a great theme to end this school year!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Play sand is a great medium to explore. Not only is it soft to the touch but so fun to watch stream down through the funnel we put in this box!

Track objects in motion is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Down near the water the sand denser and perfect for building sandcastles—–like our moon sand! In this box a plastic crab, toy sea turtle and 2 shells could be found. There was also a fun play dough toy. It could be used to make sand castles or rolled along to make footprints in the sand—-very cool!

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

 

 

 

 

 

While we don’t have any black sand beaches here, we think they would be pretty cool to explore! Our black sand beach was actually kinetic sand—-always popular with both students and staff! Everyone loves the way kinetic sand feels but since it molds well, we put a cute starfish mold in this box.

The science access point apply a push to move an object can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Playing along the seashore means feeling a cool breeze and water spray. There were a variety of hand operated fans to mimic ocean breezes. We had some with whirling lights and others that did not have blades at all—-very cool!

The students found them fascinating.

The really fun part of this box was our misting water bottle! After we sprayed the water into the air, there were LOTS of giggles from the students as the water droplets fell down on them 🙂

Recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, with a beach unit we HAD to include our ocean umbrella! Both dolphin and whale sounds were recorded on a voice output device. As usual, this umbrella was a hit—-it really is one of our favorites 🙂

The science access point match living things with their habitats can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Since this is our last post of the year—–and our students are so VERY cute,

                                                here are a few more photos 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

For our messy play this week we asked the students to make wavy ocean wave lines in our “sea foam” shaving cream. A really fun way to work on pre-writing skills!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Our water play featured a fun little fish and some different sized scoops. Water is always fun for our students and a great way to rinse off messy hands 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sunscreen is a MUST for a day at the beach! Bath and BodyWorks aruba coconut bath gel in our water and its matching scented lotion left our students smelling like they had spent a day at the beach!

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday our students made paper plate sea shells. To make the plates look like shells we just freehanded a little curve along each side of a small paper plate—-pretty easy.

To start out we asked the students to identify the color of our paint using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students painted their sea shells PINK!

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

 

 

 

 

 

We added some glitter to give the shell a little sparkle!

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

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

Fabulous sea shells!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made crabs using paper plates. Paper plates were folded in half and stapled prior to the group. We also pre-made the crab pincers.

Using communication symbols, the students identified the color of the paint they were going to use to paint their crabs.

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

 

 

 

 

They also identified a semi-circle—–the shape of our crabs!

Recognize a half of an object as part of the whole object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

The students added 2 crab pincers (made with chenille stems and construction paper) by putting the chenille stem through holes punched in the plates. They did a really great job with this!

The math access point associate quantities with number names can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Then the students painted their crabs with bright YELLOW paint!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 glue dots were added for 2 googlie eyes! We pre-glued the googlie eyes on to paper circles to make for easier handling.

Match an object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!!!

Such cute little yellow crabs!

 

 

 

 

They are super cute BUT…….

better watch out for those crab claws 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We did things a little bit differently today.  Instead of making something to eat, we made ourselves a nice cool drink!  We made a copycat recipe of Sonic’s Ocean Water drink.  Here’s the recipe we used: Let_s Make Sonic Ocean Water

We started out by measuring some sugar.  We talked about how we use measuring spoons rather than measuring cups.  We added some water and then microwaved the ingredients for 30 seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

While the ingredients were in the microwave, we talked about how things get HOT when they are heated up.  Once the sugar and water was finished, we stirred it up and let it sit for a bit to cool down. When it was safe, the students got to feel the warm bowl.

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

 

 

 

 

 

We counted out 4 drops of food coloring and then added some coconut extract.  We stirred it all up and watched as the color CHANGED.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We POURED 2 cans of sprite into a pitcher.

Then we poured the other ingredients in and stirred it all up and……

VOILA! We created our own Ocean drink!

The math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed here. The science access point recognize a change in an object is also addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

Our students got to request if they wanted any goldfish crackers to go with their drink.  They were only given a small amount and had to ask for MORE if they wanted more.

Both the drink and the crackers were hits 🙂

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

I think we’re all ready to visit the beach!

 

 

 

 

Well thank you for joining us! We hope you enjoy your summer as much as we plan to! Hope to see you in the fall for more fun and learning Group by Group!

Sweet Treats book

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We are talking about all different kinds of sweet treats this week.  We found out some pretty neat facts about chocolate, sweethearts candy, and jelly beans, among others.  Try not to get too hungry while reading the book!  There are some pretty “sweet” pictures of 2 of our students in the book too 🙂  Check it out!

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: There Are Lots of Sweet Treats

Sweet Treats

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Ms. Erika, one of our interns, loves candy and came up with this theme for us—–she did a pretty great job! Our sensory groups explored colorful, candy themed boxes. The fine motor groups made sweet art projects and the language group made a Sweet Treat of course!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Don’t you love how our dyed beans turned out—–so colorful and eye catching! They looked just like real jelly beans. We were a little concerned that our students would try to eat them but fortunately it did not turn out to be a problem 🙂 We put in 3 letter C’s for the students to find.

The math access point recognize two objects that are the same size or color can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Some candies are SOFT and others are HARD. In this box we put in a variety of items that were either hard or soft for our students to compare and contrast. There were lots of fun things for the students to explore and they really had a blast!

Match objects with similar observable properties, such as size, shape, color, or texture is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

Watermelon Kool-aid made our play dough a PERFECT bubble gum pink—-it really looked like the real thing! The students used an oval shaped cookie cutter to cut out pieces of “gum”.

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

 

 

 

 

 

There were tons of colorful foam “circus” peanuts for the students to scoop and pour in this next eye catching box!

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

 

 

 

 

There were 2 different sized heart shaped cookie cutters in this box. The students used them to cut out Bubber “candy” hearts.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Cocoa powder was added to the oobleck this week to make “chocolate” syrup! It smelled REALL good and the students were quite fascinated with it.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Kim got us some packages of Mr. Bubble Magic Bath Crackles for our water play this week. These things were AWESOME—-like pop rocks on steroids. We could hear them crackling from across the room! Hard to photograph of course, but take our word for it—–this was cool 🙂

Recognize and respond to common sounds is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

Vanilla sugar scent from Bath and BodyWorks was the perfect scent for this week. Our students left the group smelling just like sweet treats themselves 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday our students made some “chocolate” donuts!

First they identified a circle using communication symbols.

Recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes, such as circle is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then they painted their “donuts” with glitter glue.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Time to add sprinkles!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Da!!!!!!

                                                  These are SWEET!

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made a bowl of candy using this: candy bowl template

First they identified the shape of our paper—–a rectangle!

Recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes, such as circle is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Next they identified the shape of the candy—-a circle!

Again, the math access point Recognize objects with two-dimensional shapes, is addressed here.

 

 

 

Then they started stamping LOTS of colorful circles in their candy dishes. We used dollar store stamps with craft foam circles stuck to the bottom of the caps. They worked pretty well.

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

 

 

 

 

Ta DA!!!!

Time for some sweet treats!

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

This week, we made some treats with one of nature’s candies: blueberries!  Here is the recipe that we used: Let_s Make Blueberry Delights

We started out by making vanilla pudding.  Each of our students felt the bottle of milk and indicated on their communication board that it was COLD.

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

 

 

 

 

We PUT 2 cups of milk into a bowl and then added the white chocolate pudding mix.  Before each item was poured into the bowl, the student helping had to indicate– either verbally, with sign, or with their communication board– that they wanted to help.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Each student got to help MIX the ingredients using a switch.  Throughout, they had to indicate that the pudding had to be mixed MORE until it was all done.

Activate a device that uses electricity is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we added some blueberry pie filling to the pudding and STIRRED it around.  Then we counted out fillo shells for each student and added 1 spoonful to each shell.

The science access point recognize changes in observable properties of materials can be addressed here. The math access point associate quantities with number names is also addressed.

 

 

 

 

Last, each student had to indicate whether or not they WANTed whipped cream or if they just wanted to get started eating their sweet treat 🙂

 

                                                                   YUM!

 

 

 

 

We had a pretty SWEET time this week 🙂 Join us again for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

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—–enjoy!

 

 

 

 

We started the month with an original story about a character called Cinderella Monkey. The story was about her birthday celebration.

This box was filled with a variety of items associated with birthday parties.

 

 

 

 

We made some “funfetti” cloud dough which the students used to form birthday cake shapes.

There was also some funfetti rainbow rice….

….and funfetti oobleck!

 

 

 

 

Hands were rinsed in lemonade scented water and we used the same scent for our lotion.

                                                             Yummy!

 

 

 

 

Our next unit celebrated National Siblings Day. Staff members submitted photos of their siblings and we dedicated boxes to them—-everyone had fun guessing which box went with which sibling 🙂

We made some UF Gator play dough for Ms. Thea’s siblings.

                                                                      Go Gators!

 

 

 

 

There was Iowa corn for Ms. Jen’s brother and a South Africa box for Ms. Cara’s sister!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students searched for space related items in our black kinetic sand.

Ms. Jane’s brother works for NASA!

 

 

 

 

 

Both Ms. Elaine and Ms. Caressa have sisters who are involved with music.

The students had a blast with the music themed box!

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Vicki and her sisters like to get facials together…..so we colored our shaving cream green and let the student give the cartoon drawing a facial.

                                         They had a lot of fun with this one 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Hands were rinsed in blue Miami water complete with the flashing lights of the big city.

                                             Ms. Joi and her sisters are from Miami!

 

 

 

 

 

Author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter was the subject of our next unit. This complimented the Unique Curriculum unit in which the students discussed how people earn money.

 

 

 

 

 

We made a little garden perfect for Peter Rabbit using coffee grounds as dirt.

There were a variety of vegetables to plant and pick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students stamped rabbits in moon sand.

We chose blue sand since that was the color of Peter Rabbit’s jacket.

 

 

 

 

Beatrix Potter was from England.

In this box we put a variety of British themed items, including a fun flag banner.

 

 

 

 

The students searched for the letters B and P in the colors of the British flag.

There was also a picture of Beatrix Potter to find underneath.

 

 

 

 

Beatrix Potter also raised sheep.

The students had lots of fun with our sheep puppet 🙂

 

 

 

 

Our shaving cream became “fluffy” clouds this week.

Lots of fun as usual!

 

 

 

 

Fun to push together, spread apart……

or draw lines in!

 

 

See you next month!

Japan book

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In honor of Asian Pacific month, we are learning all about Japan.  We found out lots of neat facts about Japan.  We found out that Japan has nearly 4000 islands, that they produce hundreds of different tea, and that they are the number 1 car manufacturer in the world!

There are lots of other fun facts in the book so check it out!

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Let_s Learn About Japan

Japan

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Konnichiwa! Since May is Asian Pacific Heritage month, we decided to learn about the fascinating country of Japan this week. The sensory groups explored boxes related to facts about Japan. The fine motor groups made Japanese inspired art projects and the language group made a tasty Japanese inspired treat.

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

The students sorted pompom’s in the colors of the Japanese flag—-red and white. We added some “training” chopsticks (tongs) to the box. Most of the students needed a little help using the tongs but some of them were able to manipulate them independently.

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

 

 

 

 

As a nod to the millions of lights in Tokyo, the capitol of Japan, we had a light box and some lighted toys for the students to explore. The students had so much fun with all the different light sources!

Recognize a source of light is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

The light box was really popular….

especially with the lights turned off!

 

 

 

 

 

This box contained a variety of objects that are related to Japanese culture including a “lucky” black cat, video game characters, toy cars, and cherry blossoms. We used red and white paper shred because those are the colors of the Japanese flag. Sesame Street characters were also included as a nod to Japanese-American actor Alan Muraoka who owns Hooper’s Store on the show.

The science access point recognize a model of a real object, is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

There are lots of different types of tea grown in Japan. The students searched for letter J’s in this box of tea leaves. We put in a little rake to give it a little “zen” feel. There was also a Japanese flag to find at the bottom of the box. The tea leaves had an interesting aroma and texture that our students found intriguing.

Track the movements of objects that are pushed or pulled is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

The character Hello Kitty originated in Japan and is now popular around the world! She loves the color pink so we had to use our pink rice for her box 🙂 In addition to some Hello Kitty toys and a picture at the bottom of the box, we put in 2 different sized scoops. This one was lots of fun!

The math access point recognize differences in size of objects can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Mount Fuji is a dormant volcano that can be seen from Tokyo and is a symbol of Japan. The students had a blast adding shaving cream snow to a laminated drawing of the mountain!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ramen noodles are very popular in Japanese restaurants, so for our water play we used our plastic “ramen” noodles. They gave a really interesting textural feel to the water this week. For added fun, there were 2 little koi fish swimming around that squirted water when squeezed!

Recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

For both our water play and lotion we used Bath and BodyWorks cherry blossom scent. The students really liked the aroma! As usual, we used our Pixon board to help them communicate WHERE they wanted the lotion placed.

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made cherry blossom pictures!

They started by identifying the color PINK using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Next they used a brown marker to make tree branches.

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

 

 

 

 

 

One of our students used our switch operated “writer” .

He is getting really good at using his switch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then they used a soda bottle to stamp their cherry blossoms.

We directed them to stamp UP and DOWN with their bottles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Da

We are ready for the cherry blossom festival!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made a koi pond using this: koi template

First we identified the color ORANGE using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next the students began painting their koi. We showed them a picture of real koi and pointed out that some of them had patches of color instead of being solid colored.

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

 

 

 

 

 

The students took turns adding their koi to the pond!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ta DA! We made some colorful koi!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

It was a bit of a challenge coming up with something that we could cook that doesn’t require heating things up, but after some research, we found that in Japan they eat cheesecake for dessert.  Since cherry blossoms are in abundance during the spring, we decided to make mini cherry cheesecakes.  Here is the recipe we used: Let_s Make a Mini-Cherry Cheesecake.

We started out by measuring 2 cups of milk.  Before we measured it out, each student felt the milk.  We talked about how it felt COLD.

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

 

 

 

 

 

We PUT the milk in the bowl and added the cheesecake pudding mix.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, each of our students got a TURN to press the switch to activate the mixer.

Activate a device that uses electricity is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Once the pudding was set, we counted out how many mini-graham cracker pie crusts we needed.  Each student got to PUT 3 spoonfuls of pudding into their pie crust.

Then, they each counted out 3 cherries to go on top.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Once the pies were done, each student used their communication symbols to request a spoon by indicating WANT.

Then it was time to EAT.

YUM!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed learning about Japan this week and hope you did also.

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