The History of Basketball book

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March Madness is here!!  Lots of people get hyped up around this time of year due to all of the basketball games being played, so we decided to do a some research and find out a little more about the game of basketball.  The book talks about WHO invented basketball, what the first pro game was, and how March Madness originated in the first place.  We learned so many interesting things about the game of basketball!  We do have one student featured in our book on our “THE END” page, so make sure to check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: The History of Basketball

The History of Basketball

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With March Madness going on we thought it would be fun to learn a little bit about the history of the sport. The sensory group explored boxes related to different facts about the sport. The fine motor groups made basketball themed art projects and the language group played an adapted version of the game.

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

James Naismith invented the game of basketball. This box was dedicated to him and had lots of Canadian symbols since that is where he was born. We included a toy stethoscope because not only was he a PE teacher but he was also a physician—-how cool is that!

Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point that can be addressed with this activity.

 

 

 

 

Using Koolaid we made our play dough a nice bright basketball orange. The students could make balls, stamp letter B’s, or just squish and squeeze the play dough. They throughly had a good time.

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

 

 

 

 

Basketball is played with 2 teams consisting of 5 players each.We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to reinforce some math facts with this box! There were 5 blue and 5 red items for the students to explore and sort——-or shake 🙂

The math access point solve simple problems involving joining or separating small quantities of objects can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

There were more opportunities for sorting with this box filled with beads in the colors of the NBA—-red, white, and blue! Of course, it was mostly an opportunity to wear or shake the beads!

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

 

 

 

 

In 1936 basketball became an Olympic sport. Using giant fluffy chenille stems the students had fun making circles, joining them together, and taking them apart. The chenille stems also provided another opportunity to discuss colors.

Recognize when an object is added to or taken away from a situation is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

The students were encouraged to draw circles/balls in this orange tinted shaving cream.

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

 

 

 

 

We put some foam numbers in our water play this week. The students got to “score” by scooping up either 2 or 3 points!

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

Since the original hoops were actually peach baskets, peach was the obvious scent to use this week for our water play and lotion! Our students are getting pretty good at using the Pixon board to tell us where they want the lotion.

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made their own basketball playbooks!

We started with a rectangular piece of paper with a basketball court sketch and some X’s and O’s drawn on it by Ms. Zenia the fabulous OT intern!

Then the fun began! The students got to operate a switch activated drawing tool to illustrate their play calling. There were certainly some interesting strategies planned 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

TA Da—-game on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made paper plate basketballs!

We started by identifying the shape of our plates and color of our paint using communication symbols.

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point. Identify objects by one observable property, such as color, is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

Then the students stamped their plates with a dish scrubber. We emphasized stamping UP and DOWN.

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

 

 

 

 

TA DA—-time to play!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We had our own tournament today in honor of March Madness.  We used an All-Turn-It spinner that had 2’s and 3’s all around it to signify the points that basketball players make during a game.

Both adults and students got to be in the tournament.  We started out by picking 2 names out of a bag.  These 2 people would play against each other.

We had communication boards in front of each student so that they could convey “my turn”.  The 2 “players” took turns and had 3 times each to press the switch and see what points they got.

 

 

 

 

We used a white board to write down the points that each player made.  Once they each went 3 times, we added up the scores and talked about who had MORE points.

Once we figured out who the winner was, the next 2 players competed and so on until we finally had an overall winner.

 

 

 

 

This group was so great today because it gave the adults a great chance to model the use of the communication boards while they were playing the game.  Everyone got so excited, too, when we had to go into overtime if the players tied.

                                               Finally, we had a winner!

 

 

 

Of course, we can’t NOT have a little snack in this group so we summed it all up with some basketball shaped Vanilla Wafers 🙂

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

Israel book

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We are taking a trip and learning all about Israel this week.  We were lucky to get some authentic pictures of Israel taken by one of our nurses, Jill, who just recently visited the country.  Our book tells about some of the things you can see in Israel, such as the Dead Sea and the Negev Desert.  You can also find out what kind of produce is grown and distributed out of Israel.  Check out the book and see some of the great photos from Jill!

 

 

 

 

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

Israel

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Shalom! Our very own Nurse Jill recently went to Israel for a vacation so we decided to learn a little more about the country! The sensory group boxes were related to facts about Israel. The fine motor groups made art projects based on symbols of the country and the language group made a tasty Israeli snack.

We enjoyed learning lots of interesting things about Israel this week and hope you do too!

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

To get to Israel you have to fly on an airplane. We brought out our vibrating massager and recorded some airplane sounds (found on Youtube) on a voice output device to simulate the experience for our students. The students really liked the vibrating massager—–it is usually a hit 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

The colors of the Israeli flag are blue and white. Our blue and white rice contained letter I’s to find as well as a picture of the flag at the bottom of the box.

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Negev desert covers more than half of Israel! In our miniature version we included some wooden blocks to let the students recreate their own ancient ruins. Nurse Jill also brought back some little camels that we also included.

The math access point recognize when an object is added to or taken away from a situation can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

The Dead Sea is well known tourist destination and the waters are VERY salty!  The students loved scooping up the salt and watching it stream out of the bottom of the funnel. There was also a map of Israel to find at the bottom of the box.

Track objects in motion is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

As opposed to the Dead Sea, the Eilat coral reef is teaming with life! The students got to make their own coral reef using pink Floam.  The Floam texture is always pretty intriguing to the students and all they also liked all the colorful accessories such as little sea creatures and sea anemones we included.

Match common living things with their habitats is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

During Sukkot, a jewish holiday, children sleep in cabins decorated with fairy lights. We created a similar effect with a lighted umbrella which was definitely a hit with the students! This was a pretty simple umbrella to construct but it really had a lovely effect 🙂

Recognize sources of light is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

Israel is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. Our miniature version contained 2 small and 1 big fish to scoop up.

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

 

 

 

 

Israel grows a lot of citrus fruit so we chose a yummy orange scent this week. The students really liked having it rubbed on 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 a Canaan dog which is the national dog of Israel. We used this: canaan dog template

First we discussed the color of our paint and the students used communication symbols to identify the color BROWN.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students began painting! We precut the dog templates out of orange poster board. A popsicle stick was taped to the back, this support made the dogs easier to hold.

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

 

 

 

 

We squeezed out a dot of glue and asked the students to add a little googlie eye.  Then we helped them add a chenille stem to make a curly tail—–a feature of the Canaan dog. This was a great opportunity to practice pincer grasp skills!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Woof Woof Da!

Such cute puppies 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made an Israeli flag.

First we identified the color of the stripes on the flag.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students used a paper cutter to cut 1 piece of paper into 2 pieces! We encouraged the students to use both hands when using the paper cutter—–practicing bilateral coordination.

Associate quantities with number names is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next they glued their papers strips near the TOP and BOTTOM of a white piece of paper. They glued a star of David to the MIDDLE of their paper.

The math access point recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Ta DA!

                                                                             Let’s visit Israel!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We were SO excited to have Nurse Jill come and help us with our language group today.  We asked her what kinds of food she ate in Israel and she said that hummus was on the menu pretty much every day.  So that’s what she helped us make today! Here is the recipe:Let_s Make Hummus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started out by putting the liquids into the blender.  First we put olive oil in the blender and followed that up with the lemon juice.  You know how much we LOVE taste testing lemon juice and today was no exception.  We got a wide variety of reactions as usual 🙂

We talked about how the lemon juice was SOUR.

 

 

 

 

We poured some tahini into the blender next.  Then we added the chickpeas and garlic.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since it is so pungent, we passed the garlic around for everyone to smell.

Again, we found that students either really liked it or really didn’t!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, we added some salt.  Our students had to HELP put the blender on using a switch.  We observed the ingredients MIXING together until they were smooth.

                                                                                     This was fun!!

 

 

 

 

 

Jill brought some matza so that our students could use it to dip in the hummus.  YUM!

THANK YOU so much to Jill for coming in and cooking with us and also telling us all about her wonderful trip!

 

 

 

 

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

Youth Art Month book

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The theme for this week is Youth Art Month, which is observed during the month of March.  Our book takes a look at several different artists like Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, and Salvador Dali (just to name a few).  Each page shows a picture of the artist along with one of their pieces of art.  It’s so neat to see all of the different types of art!  The front page features one of our students visiting a muesum while the back page features one of our students painting.  Read the book to find out about these amazing artists!

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: We Celebrate Youth Art Month

Youth Art Month

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March is Youth Art Month and to celebrate we learned about some famous artists. Each of the sensory group boxes represented a different artist. The fine motor group drew inspiration from some of the styles of famous artists to make their art projects and the language group made food art! This week was lots of fun and our theme also compliments the Unique Curriculum unit our students are working on.

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Salvador Dali has a very famous painting with some melting clocks in a desert landscape. We replicated it using kinetic sand and some craft foam clocks (drawn by Ms. Erika) so there were 3 “melting” clocks to find. It was a fun box and the students were pretty intrigued with the clocks!

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

The students cut different sized stars out of our Vincent Van Gogh starry night play dough! With the added blue and gold silver glitter, it sparkled quite nicely.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Harold Newton was one of the Highway Men famous for their Florida landscape paintings. This Florida box was fun to put together and filled with symbols of our state such as flamingoes, dolphins, pine trees, flowers, and oranges. Lots of things to explore!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia is a character in illustrator Ian Falconer’s book series.  Since Olivia is a pig, we went all pink with this box. We pulled out our pink sand and included a cute little toy pig. This play sand is really fine and perfect for sifting—-our students LOVED watching it fall from the sifter back into the box!

Track a falling object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Piet Mondrian used primary colors for his grid paintings. We put blue, red, and yellow pompoms to sort into matching plates in this box. Some of the students could do this independently while others needed help.

Either way, this was a very bright, eye catching box!

Match objects by one observable properties, such as color, is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Shaving cream was perfect for drawing geometric shapes—–like those used by Alexander Calder in his mobiles.

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

 

 

 

 

Hands were rinsed in a seascape worthy of JMW Turner. There was a little sailing ship and octopus to find in the water. There were also 2 scoops, one of which had a hole in the bottom for some fun experimentation as well as scooping practice.

The science access point recognize differences in objects can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers are the theme of some of Georgia O’Keefe’s famous paintings. She made one called Plumeria so we used that as our scent this week. We used Bath and Bodyworks plumeria and it was a light floral scent that the students really liked.

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made “drip” paintings like Jackson Pollock.

First we discussed the shape of our paper and identified it using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students used more communication symbols to pick colors to use.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We used these kids eye droppers that we found at Walmart.  They were fairly inexpensive and a nice size. Most of the students needed a little help with this part of the activity. They were all fascinated with the process!

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

 

 

 

 

Ta Da!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                    So colorful!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made art projects inspired by Gustav Klimt.

We discussed the shape of our paper and identified it using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students used a variety of cutting tools—-paper cutters, adaptive scissors, and regular scissors—-to cut strips of colorful paper.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Next we mixed all the pieces together and shared them among the students to turn OVER and glue DOWN on to their paper.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Klimt liked to add gold leaf to his paintings. We didn’t have any gold leaf but we did have gold paint and that worked pretty well!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Da!

                                                                                Just fabulous!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

Since you know that we like to incorporate food into our language groups, it was a great excuse to use food to make art!

Each of our students got a piece of white bread which served as their blank canvas.  We started out talking about the primary colors: RED, BLUE, and YELLOW.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

We poured some sweetened condensed milk into 5 small cups.  We put RED food coloring into one cup, BLUE food coloring into another cup, and YELLOW food coloring into a third cup (we put 10 drops of each coloring into each cup).  Then the students got to stir the colors using brand new paint brushes!

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

 

 

 

 

 

We the talked about mixing the primary colors to make new colors. First we showed our students RED and BLUE and asked them to PREDICT what color it would make.  We did the same with BLUE and YELLOW.

Then the students mixed up the colors again—–they thought it was really neat to see the colors changing!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Next, each of our students used communication symbols to indicate what color they wanted to paint with.

The colors ended up being so vibrant on the bread—-they really popped!

We found that we have some pretty good artists in our group!

 

 

 

 

Finally, after their edible art was complete, they got to eat their masterpieces.

YUM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will be gone next week for spring break but will back in a couple of weeks with more fun and learning——-Group by Group!

February After Party

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img_9113img_9685Welcome 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 February—–enjoy!

 

 

 

 

img_9288One of our paraprofessionals is from Minnesota, so we started the month learning about that state.

 

 

 

img_9110img_0506After learning that the monarch butterfly is the state insect,

img_9716the students sorted RED butterflies and GREEN caterpillars.

 

 

 

 

img_9114img_9328Judy Garland hails from the state of Minnesota.

 

 

 

 

img_9207Her rainbow rice box contained letter M’s and a map of the state.

 

 

 

 

img_9231img_9298Another Minnesota native was the musician Prince.

 

 

 

 

img_9631For his box, the students stamped the state’s initials in purple Bubber.

 

 

 

 

img_9154img_9203Our next box contained a variety of symbols of the state.

img_0513                                                                    Including Babe the Blue Ox!

 

 

 

 

img_0502img_9647The Minnesota NFL team is called the vikings and their colors are purple and gold.

img_9256Great to twist and wrap around each other.

 

 

 

 

img_9147img_9197The students had a little fun with the chenille stems in the team colors.

img_9139                                                                                   Kids will be kids 🙂

 

 

 

 

img_9602img_9107It gets pretty snowy in Minnesota in the winter.

img_9186                                                           So we may snow with shaving cream!

 

 

 

 

img_9221img_9188Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes.

Fishing is popular there!

 

 

 

 

img_9277For our scent this week we used Bath and Bodyworks dancing waters. The students really liked the soft scent!

 

 

 

 

img_1849img_0896Our next unit celebrated the Grammys! This unit also had a fun book with students dressed as famous singers—–check it out!

 

 

 

 

img_1823img_0854Since the Grammys are all about music, we put a variety of musical instruments in this box.

 

 

 

 

img_0996The finger drums are always a favorite with the students!

 

 

 

 

img_0859img_1020Taylor Swift’s “Red” box (red velvet cake mix) had 2 heart shaped scoops because she writes lots of songs about love.

 

 

 

 

 

img_0529                                                                       Our students loved the box 🙂

 

 

 

img_1867img_1852Fun to sift and scoop—-and it had a pretty nice aroma also!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_1832img_0527Ziggy Marley comes from Jamaica, so we made some rice in the colors of the flag.

img_1812                                    This bright and colorful box was VERY eye catching!

 

 

 

 

img_1844img_1870Eric Church is a country singer so we thought a farm themed box would be appropriate for him.

img_0935There were a number of different farm animals to find in this box filled with birdseed.

 

 

 

 

img_1027img_0847Katy Perry had a hit song titled “Roar” so we made a jungle box for her!

img_0977It was a fun box with lots of jungle animals to find and listen to.

 

 

 

img_1819img_0534Bruno Mars is from Hawaii so his was a beach themed box!

img_1838                                 There were shells to find and flowers to stamp into the sand.

 

 

 

 

 

One of our teachers got to visit Machu Picchu in Peru so we decided that would be perfect for our next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the Andes mountains are found in Peru! Our students made their own mountains out of Floam,

 

 

 

 

and added 4 llamas (laminated pictures) to climb them.

 

 

 

 

 

Potatoes were first grown in Peru!

The students enjoyed the crunchy feel of the potato flakes as they uncovered a map of Peru at the bottom of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copper is one of Peru’s leading exports.

The students stamped the letter “P” into our copper colored kinetic sand—–or just enjoyed the way it felt on their hands!

 

 

 

 

The students looked for 2 jaguars hidden in some tropical flowers.

They also had fun with the flower petals!

 

 

 

 

 

The colors of the Peruvian flag are red and white. We put a variety of red and white items in this box for the students to sort and explore.

The vibrating crab was a HUGE hit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the Amazon rainforest is located in Peru.

We also recorded some rainforest sounds on a voice output device.Our rainforest umbrella was a hit!

 

 

 

 

We traveled again for our next unit, but this time a little closer to home—–Louisiana!

We had lots of Mardi Gras beads.

                                                                     Always a big hit!

 

 

 

 

 

We had discovery bottles in the state colors——

white, blue, and gold!

There was also a box filled with Louisiana state symbols.

One of the state songs was recorded on a voice output device.

 

 

 

 

The students stamped letter L’s into our sunshine yellow play dough.

Included was a rolling pin with sun”rays” to make impressions in it.

 

 

 

 

Shaving cream was sprinkled with blue and gold glitter.

As usual, lots of fun!

 

 

 

 

We had colorful Mardi Gras rice—-

                                                                    with letter L’s to find in it.

 

 

 

 

 

The students scooped up plastic crawfish out of water.

We finished with some beignet (actually vanilla sugar) scented lotion—-yummy!

 

It’s been lots of fun—–see you next month, Group by Group!