Category Archives: Education

2018 Winter Olympics book

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We are so excited about the Winter Olympics!  We are talking all about it this week during our groups.  The book features some pictures of some of the events that you might see while watching the Olympics.  These pictures are special, however, because they feature our students participating in the events!

 

You really need to check it out to see the fun 🙂  Enjoy the Olympics and the book!

 

Here is a link to the book: Let_s Watch The Winter Olympics!

2018 Winter Olympics

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We stayed in a sports mode this week with our Winter Olympics theme. Our sensory groups explored boxes filled with wintery sports fun. The fine motor groups made olympic themed art projects and the language group hosted our own Winter Olympics!

It was a super fun week and we hope you enjoy seeing all that we did!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Paper shred at the bottom of this box was in the colors of the Korean Flag. We filled it with a variety of winter and olympic themed items including medals and a medal stand. The olympic fanfare was recorded on a voice output device and we even had a mask of the olympic mascot—-a white tiger!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

This box contained chenille stems in the colors of the olympic flag. The students loved the soft texture of the rings and loved bending them into a variety of shapes—-including circles.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

We put some gold glitter in our yellow play dough this week. The students used a circle cookie cutter to make their own olympic gold medals!

 

 

 

 

Again, the math access point recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

Colorful costumes are a feature of the ice skating competitions. The students loved wrapping themselves in the sparkly sequin fabric. They also found the three glittery discovery bottles to be very eye catching!

 

 

 

Track objects moving up and down is a science access point.

 

Did we mention how much they loved the fabric 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The winter olympics is all about snow so of course we had to have some! Insta Snow is great and really feels pretty close to the real thing! There were 2 different sized scoops—-perfect for making snowmen or snowballs 🙂

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Red and yellow food coloring was added to shaving cream to make olympic torch flames. The students had fun mixing the colors  and seeing them change to orange as the colors combined!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Bath and BodyWorks peppermint scented the water this week. That icy aroma seemed the perfect choice for a wintery unit. There were some pool noodle olympic rings to match, count, or stack!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Matching peppermint lotion was very popular with the students—-whether applied to hands, arms or behind ears 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday, the students made an ice skating themed project using this: ice skaters

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Next, they used blue markers to make skate tracks on the “ice”.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also got to make some skate tracks using our switch operated writing tool—-always fun 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Distinguish between objects in motion and at rest is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

Then the students glued their ice skater DOWN on the paper—-pat, pat, pat!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ta DA!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect scores!

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday, the students made their own gold medals using paper plates.

First, they identified the shape of plate the using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then they painted their paper plates with gold paint.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Pincer grasps were practiced as the students pulled ribbon through a hole in the plate.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our gold medalists!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We had lots of fun this week in the language group!  We had our own school Winter Olympics (although the weather made it feel more like it should’ve been the Summer Olympics). All of the elementary classes participated in the events.

We started with a parade led by our very own torch bearer and the host country carrying their flag!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other classrooms created their own flags and had a flag bearer parade with it through the hall to represent the class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were some very colorful flags!

 

 

 

 

 

Our first event was ice skating with ice skaters on switch toys! We had pairs skating, so 2 students got to activate the switches at the same time.

 

 

 

 

We used the ice skater templates from our fine motor group glued  on to pieces of cardboard then attached to the switch toys with velcro.

 

The skaters danced to music from Beauty and the Beast which was recorded on a voice output device.

The switch we used for the boy skater was wireless so we got some super cool twirls which the students (and adults) found quite exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

We had another student who was the score keeper.

He used an All-Turn-It spinner with numbers around it so whatever number it landed on was the score that was received.

There was some controversy with scoring—-not everyone agreed with the judge 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we had the curling event.  We had 2 students from different classes compete with each other.

They had to push/sweep the ball through the cones to win the game.

 

 

 

They needed a little bit of guidance, but overall they did really well.

 

 

 

 

 

From that event, we went outside for the bobsledding.  The OT’s created some really cool bobsleds out of cardboard boxes that fit over wheelchairs.  We had 2 man bobsled teams: a student and a teacher.

 

 

 

 

Our races consisted of 2 teams at a time.  The teams had to wait to hear “GO” before running to the finish.

 

This event was lots of fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like the dragon boat races we had a few weeks ago, we found out just how competitive our teachers are 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

The final event was the luge.  Our students had to follow directions to keep their bodies on the sleds in order to “luge” down the hill.

 

 

 

 

Although it was a short ride, they had so much fun!

 

 

 

Everybody got to take a turn…..

 

 

…..or two or three 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, everyone came together for the medals.  Each student received a medal for participating.

 

 

 

 

We took team photos.

 

 

 

 

Everyone agreed…….

 

 

 

 

 

…………. it was a Winter Olympics hit!

 

 

 

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

 

The Super Bowl book

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We’re celebrating the Super Bowl, albeit a week late.  The book talks about what the Super Bowl is, when it first started, and some fun facts about the event.  It also talks about the 2 teams that were playing as well as who the entertainer was for halftime.  We have a couple of students featured on the front and back dressed as a football player and a cheerleader.

Take a look and find out about the Super Bowl!

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: We Watched The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl

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Like everyone else we were very excited to watch the Super Bowl last Sunday—-and if we had planned a little better this unit would have been last week 🙂 However, it turned out to be a nice review for our students and we had a lot of fun! Our sensory boxes were related to the different teams. The fine motor groups made some group art projects and the language group made a Super Snack!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

We based this box around some basic football facts. Since the color of the ball is BROWN we used some brown beans that kind of, sort of , maybe were football shaped 🙂 The beans were fun for the students to scoop up or push hands into while looking for number 2’s that were buried beneath.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

This box was filled with beads in the colors of the Philadelphia Eagles. The beads were very eye catching and great for either sorting, wearing,………. or shaking.

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

 

 

 

 

Patriotic pasta was used for the New England Patriots box. There were some fun shapes such as bells and stars to find and scoop with the different sized measuring cups we included.

The box also sounded pretty cool when the dry pasta was shaken.

Match objects by one observable property, such as shape, is a science access point and can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Bank Stadium (where the game took place) has purple seats, we used PURPLE basket filler for the stadiums colors. We added a variety of football related items including minature balls, a plush eagle, football player figures, and some fun cheerleader shaker pompoms. We also recorded a song by half time show headliner  Justin Timberlake.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you watch the game at home or in the stadium, there are always some yummy snacks to be had! We used colorful popcorn as a base for our box, then put in a play food hamburger, hotdog, and soda bottle. To add to the fun some of the play food made noise when squeezed!

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Patriots play in the Gillette Stadium so we didn’t have to think hard to come up with our messy play this week—–shaving cream of course 🙂

The students were encouraged to make oval “football” shapes or draw straight “yard lines”.

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

 

 

 

 

 

For our water play we used Old Spice Denali body wash—-we figured that was something those football players might use to wash up after the game. It was a pretty strong scent that really wafted around the room!

Since this was Super Bowl 57, we put foam numbers 5 and 7 in the water.

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

 

 

 

 

 

We couldn’t find any Denali lotion but decided to use Bath and BodyWorks amber for men. It was another strong scent that was popular with the students. As usual, we asked them to indicate where they wanted the lotion.

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made a football poster using this: football player

First the students identified the paint color we planned to use.

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

 

 

 

 

 

The students took turns painting the “grass” on our poster board field.

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

 

 

 

 

Then they glued their players DOWN onto the field.

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

Ta DA! Are you ready for some football?!!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students turned themselves into football players. We got this idea from the Cornerstone School—–great idea guys!

First the students  identified the color they were going to use on their jersey. We had one table color an Eagles jersey and the other table colored a Patriots jersey.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then they used crayons and markers to color their jerseys. Since this was a big piece, we encouraged big strokes!

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

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

                                                                        Put me in coach!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

Since the Super Bowl is the 2nd largest food consumption day in the U.S., we HAD to make a snack fit for the game.  Here is the recipe that we used for this week: Let_s Make Buffalo Chicken Dip

We started out by putting the softened cream cheese into the bowl.  Our students had to inform that they wanted to help by raising their hand and/or by indicating “help” on their communication board.

Next, we added some chicken to the bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We put some ranch dressing in the bowl next.  Our students helped by squeezing the bottle to pour the ranch into the measuring cup and then pouring the ranch into the bowl.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we added some buffalo sauce.  We used just a little bit of mild sauce so you might find that your students can tolerate a little bit more.  We just didn’t want it to be too spicy!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stirred all of the ingredients up and popped it into the microwave for 2 minutes.  We talked about the microwave making the ingredients WARM.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once our recipe was finished, we passed out some dip with some chips.  Our students had to request that they wanted “more” chips since we only gave them 3 to start with.

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

We’re ready to watch the game—–again!

 

 

 

 

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

January 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 months of January 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

We started the month by celebrating the New Year!

There were colorful beads.

Always a hit!

 

 

 

The bright, glittery discovery bottles were fascinating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our fireworks toy was a huge hit with both light and sound!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The numbers 2-0-1-8 were found in beans, in our water play,

and in our “sands of time” box.

 

 

 

We finished with some bubble wrap fireworks….

they were a blast 🙂

 

 

 

 

Next we learned about Scotland and enjoyed Ms. Ellen’s photos from her trip!

The students made their own Scottish castles using grey Floam and some laminated props.

They also stamped the letter S in blue moon sand.

 

 

 

 

 

We learned that a lot of authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and JM Barrie came from Scotland. This box contained characters or props from their stories in addition to other Scottish symbols.

There was also a vibrating tube and jet sounds recorded on a voice output device—-you have to fly to get to Scotland!

 

 

 

 

Oats were added to oobleck to make “porridge”!

Messy hands were washed off in Loch Ness—-complete with Nessie herself 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the students were learning about their bodies in the Unique Curriculum, we decided to do a unit on the 5 senses.

 

 

 

Our tactile box had lots of textures to explore!

There was lots to explore!

 

 

 

 

Our colorful pasta was very eye catching and

a hit with the students.

 

 

 

 

The students explored their muscles with a variety of stretchy toys.

They were pretty intrigued!

 

 

 

 

Shaving cream was our choice for messy play.

A great tactile medium and a fun way to practice prewriting skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our water play contained a fun water wheel.

This was a hit!

 

 

 

 

Our last unit had us traveling to Asia to visit the country of Taiwan!

Students sorted pompoms in the colors of the Taiwanese flag.

Blue, red, and white.

 

 

 

 

The Formosan black bear is a symbol of Taiwan.

The black fur and little plush bear brought lots of giggles.

 

 

 

 

The students found the letters t-e-a in these tea leaves.

They also had fun with the different scoops.

 

 

 

 

The blue magpie is the national bird of Taiwan.

A blue cookie cutter was used to cut magpies out of blue moon sand.

 

 

 

 

 

This box was dedicated to the director of the Hulk—-Ang Lee.

Our green kinetic sand was perfect for this box!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students practiced writing letter T in the shaving cream…..

when they weren’t just having fun with it 🙂

 

 

 

See you next month for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

Ancient Myths and Legends book

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This week, we are learning all about some of the different characters that are read about in ancient myths.  Our book covers some different characters such as Apollo, Thor, and Osiris, to name just a few.  We have our students dressed as each of the different characters and they look really spectacular!  Check out the book to see all of the characters that we learned about and find out a neat fact about each of them.

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Who Are The Characters In Ancient Myths?

Ancient Myths and Legends

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This week we decided to take a look at some of the characters of ancient myths and legends around the world. The sensory groups explored boxes dedicated to different characters. The fine motor groups made some inspired headdresses and the language group made a not so mythical snack!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Our starry night umbrella was very eye catching and worthy of Nott the Norse goddess of the night! With some twinkle lights, a moon,  and silver stars this really captured the students interest.

 

 

 

The science access points recognize that there are many stars in the sky and recognize a full moon as a circle can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Zeus is associated with weather—-especially thunderstorms. In this box, we put a fan for wind, a fiber optic toy for lighting, a rainstick, and a SUPER COOL thunder tube! This is the first time we got to use the thunder tube and it really did sound like the rumbling sounds of thunder. This box was a hit!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

With glitter and sequins which made our play dough even more eye catching, the students used a butterfly shaped cookie cutter to make colorful wings like those of Egyptian goddess Isis.

 

 

 

 

The science access point recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed, is addressed here.

 

 

 

 

In addition to a couple of ancient Egyptian figures, there were some pyramids, a rake, and 2 giant carrots in our play dirt box dedicated to Osiris who supposedly taught the world about farming. The play dirt feels similar to kinetic sand and the students had lots of fun with it.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

We think Venus would be tickled with all the hearts and valentines to discover in this box. There was red and white paper shred,  heart beads, red bows, a valentine bear, and lots of other heart shaped items. Lots to explore and discover!

 

 

The math access point recognize similarities and differences in the size of objects is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

Yellow food coloring and gold glitter made our oobleck dedicated to Apollo pretty “sunny” this week.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Since Sedna was an Inuit sea goddess, we put some animals that might be seen around the arctic ocean regions. The students were able to scoop out toy animals such as a whale and walrus.

We also included a measuring cup for scooping fun.

 

The science access point recognize objects related to science by name, such as animal, can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Thor was associated with lots of different things including the oak tree so we used Bath and BodyWorks oak scent for our water this week. Since we didn’t have a matching lotion, we used their mahogany scent which we figured was close enough—-both truly heroic scents 🙂

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR SKILLS

On Tuesday we made headdresses inspired by Venus. We found the supplies on the give away table—–one man’s trash is another’s treasure 🙂

We started by identifying the color of supplies using communication symbols.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we cut pieces of bulletin board trim using switch operated scissors or paper trimmers.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students glued a large heart on to their paper strip.

 

 

 

 

 

The math access point recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Ta DA!

We are spreading the love!

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday we made headdresses inspired by those worn by the ancient greeks and romans.

First the students identified the color of the leaves using communication symbols.

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

Then they also chose how many leaves they were going to put on their headdress.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

The students twisted paper to make “grapevines”. Some of them could do this independently but most needed a little help. It was a great activity for bilateral coordination!

The science access point recognize the appearance of an object has changed is addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

The students squeezed glue on to their leaves and then glued them DOWN on their grapevines.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ta—- toga—- DA!

 

 

 

 

 

Our students are legendary!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

Since Osiris was a god who helped man learn to farm, we decided to make a smoothie made with ingredients that need to be farmed.  Here is the recipe we used: Let_s Make A Blueberry Spinach Smoothie.  Don’t let the ingredients trick you into thinking this isn’t going to be good!

We started out by putting some frozen blueberries into a blender.  Each of our students got to touch the bag.  They communicated that the bag felt COLD.  We talked about how we needed to use a measuring cup in order to measure out the blueberries.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we added some frozen bananas to the blender.  Our students had to request if they wanted to help by raising their hand or indicating “help” on their communication board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We added some baby spinach to the blender next.  This got a few funny looks, both from the students as well as the staff!

Milk and vanilla Greek yogurt were also added to the mix.

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

 

 

 

 

Finally, we added some honey.  Each of our students got to taste test the honey before we put it in the blender.  We talked about how it tastes SWEET.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our students took turns pressing the switch to activate the blender so we could blend all of the ingredients up.  We counted out how many cups we needed (thank you to grandma for showing the kiddos how many cups we needed!) and poured some for each student.

 

 

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point. Solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more is another math access point addressed here.

 

 

 

 

All the students and adults thought this smoothie was pretty delicious, despite the ingredients being so deceiving 🙂

YUM!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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