Colonial America

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This week we are looking at life during Colonial times. This theme compliments the Unique Curriculum unit our students are studying this month. Our sensory groups explored boxes related to different aspects of colonial life. The fine motor groups made some colonial themed art projects and the language group made porridge!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

We put a lot of different items in this box from farm animals, pictures of historic figures from the time, and even a piece of wood flooring! There was also a discovery bottle with some jacks and dice to represent old time toys. Lots to explore and discover.

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

 

 

 

 

A typical breakfast consisted of porridge, which is often made of oatmeal. We haven’t done an oatmeal box in a while so this was the perfect time to bring it out.

The soft oatmeal had a great tactile feel that the students loved as they searched for the letters U-S- A.

 

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

 

 

 

 

We found this patriotic pasta on clearance at World Market. The shapes and colors are pretty and perfect for sorting. The box also made a cool noise when shaken. To add to the fun, we put numbers 1 and 3—–for the 13 original colonies!

 

 

The science access point recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Colonial Americans drank a lot of tea, so we filled this box with tea leaves and a little cup and spoon. There was also a picture of colonial Williamsburg to find at the bottom. The tea had a pretty strong aroma that our students found intriguing and they had lots of fun exploring it.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Puppet shows were a popular form of entertainment back in the day so we thought our students would have fun with this box  of hand puppets. We chose some that represented animals that might be found on colonial farms.

 

 

Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point that can be addressed here.

They really had a blast with them

—-lots of giggles here 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For our messy play we went all patriotic—-red and blue glitter in some white oobleck. Total glittery, gooey fun!

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

For our water play we put in a water wheel, which is something that was in use during colonial times. The students were pretty fascinated with it!

 

 

 

 

Recognize one way people use water is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

We used Bath and BodyWorks peach tea scent because tea, apple and peach cider were popular things to drink in colonial america. Everyone loved the peachy scent!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made lanterns—-kind of like the ones people used long ago, except ours had battery operated tea lights from Dollar Tree!

We started by identifying the color of our tissue paper using communication symbols, including tactile symbols for our students with visual impairments.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

The students tore the tissue paper into small pieces. This was a great opportunity to practice bilateral coordination and pre-scissor skills—-and it is totally fun to do 🙂

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Then they put their pieces into a small plastic peanut butter jar.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

With the tea light turned on, we closed it up, used chenille stems to make the handle, and…….

 

 

 

TA DA!!!! We made a lantern!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made George Washington puppets using this: George Washington puppet

First we discussed the shape of the paper bag and George’s face.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students used paper cutters and scissors to cut out the  face—-counting the sides, of course!

 

 

 

Recognize the sides of a square is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

The students glued the face and precut hat onto the TOP of a blue paper bag.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

To finish they pulled apart fiberfil stuffing into TWO pieces and glued it on each side of the face.

Match an object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence and associate quantities with number names are math access points.

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

 

 

 

 

 

By George, these are some pretty cute puppets!

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We made some good old fashioned porridge this week in the language group–although we used more advanced technology to heat ours up 🙂

We used this recipe to make our porridge: Let_s Make Colonial Porridge

We started out by measuring the oats using a measuring cup.  Only a little bit at a time was poured in, so our students had to indicate that we needed MORE.  Once we got the correct measurement, we PUT it in a bowl.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, each of our students felt the milk.  They indicated that it felt COLD.  We measured out the milk and POURED it into the bowl.  Then we put it in the microwave to heat it up.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

While our students waited, they got to play with the oatmeal box from the sensory group.

They seemed to really like the texture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had to re-heat the porridge a couple of times, so the students got to pick out their toppings while waiting.  They chose by indicating a picture of what they wanted.  There choices were banana, cinnamon, Greek yogurt, and honey.

Communicate preference for  objects or actions is a language access point.

 

 

 

 

Before the porridge was put in individual bowls, our students got to touch the side of the porridge bowl.  We talked about how it felt WARM.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

We counted out how many bowls we would need.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

FINALLY, they got to eat their colonial snack.  YUM!

This was a hit!

 

 

 

 

Thanks again for joining us this week and we also have some exciting news! You may have noticed a new badge on the right side of our page. We were named one of the top 75 Occupational Therapy blogs by Feedspot—–how cool is that!

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

Day of the Dead book

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We’re celebrating Day of the Dead this week in our groups.  We learned a lot about this Mexican holiday!  We learned that it is a time to celebrate and remember those loved ones who have died.  We also read about some of the things that are put out on the altars that are created for the loved ones.  Two of our own students got into the spirit of Day of the Dead by dressing up in costumes that might be seen during the Day of the Dead.  Read our book to find out about it!

 

 

 

 

Here is the link to the book: We Celebrate Day Of The Dead

Day of the Dead

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We had fun learning about Day of the Dead this week. It is a holiday celebrated November 1st and 2nd in Mexico. Our sensory groups explored boxes related to different facts about the holiday. The fine motor groups and language group made art projects inspired by sugar skulls!

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

The students sorted pompoms in the colors of the Mexican flag—–red, green, and white.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

These eye catching beans reminded us of all the colorful decorations and costumes seen in pictures of Day of the Dead celebrations.

The students searched for letter D’s of different sizes or watched them sift through fingers.

 

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

 

 

 

 

This box had different items related to Day of the Dead. We put in some toy people and the word FAMILY since the holiday is all about ancestors. There were also some flower petals, beads, skeletons, and musical instruments—-including a maraca that named colors and numbers in Spanish when shaken!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Salt, representing the “salt of life”, is also a part of the celebration. In this box we put salt and some tools the students could use to explore it. There was also a picture of a calaveras or sugar skull to find underneath.

 

 

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move, is a science access point. Track objects in motion is another science access point that can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Lots of candles are placed on altars during the Day of the Dead. Since we can’t use real candles at school, we used our Wikki Stix and some light toys to simulate them.

The students really had a lot of fun with this box!

 

Some of the students preferred the Wikki Stix…….

but the lighted toys were also a big hit of course!

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize a source of light is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Colorful flowers are seen everywhere during Day of the Dead celebrations. Our students used a flower shaped cookie cutter with red and yellow play dough to decorate this eye catching sugar skull tray we found at the Dollar General store.

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

 

 

 

 

 

There were some fun lighted flowers to look at in our water basin this week. We also included some different sized scoops.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Bath and BodyWorks vanilla sugar was the perfect scent for us this week. This sweet scent is always popular with the students—-whether 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 decorated a sugar skull picture we found on the Coloring Castle website.

We also used some stampers we made using dish scrubbers and craft foam flowers.

 

First the students chose which color paint to start, either RED or YELLOW, using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

We applied the paint to the stampers and encouraged the students to stamp UP and DOWN, helping them as needed.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Da!!!!!

 

 

 

 

                                                         Check out our sugar skulls!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students decorated these huge felt sugar skulls we found at the Dollar Tree store. Since they were one dollar a piece it was a little bit of a splurge for us but we couldn’t resist!

First, using communication symbols, the students identified the colors of the glitter we planned to use.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students painted their skulls with glue.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to “shake, shake, shake that glitter”!

The science access point recognize an action as fast or slow, can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next they glued some silk flowers onto their skulls. After each flower was glued down we asked the students if they were “all done” or wanted “more”. Of course, we also counted how many flowers each student put on their skull.

 

 

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Ta DA!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

                                     Such colorful calaveras!

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We put our own spin on edible calaveras this week and made our version of sugar skulls.  Here’s the recipe: Lets Make Our Version Of Sugar Skulls

We started out by pouring some milk into a small cup and then made it edible paint by adding food coloring.  Our students got to STIR the food coloring around and watched as it turned our white milk different colors.

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

 

 

 

 

Once the “paint” was all mixed up, we counted out how many plates and pieces of bread we needed for all of our friends. Each student got to paint a piece of bread, requesting the colors they wanted using communication boards.

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

 

 

 

 

 

After they finished painting their bread, we started to make the face.  We had to count out 2 banana slices for the eyes.  We talked about how the eyes had to go on the TOP of the bread.  Then we counted out 2 blueberries to put on TOP of the banana slices.

 

 

 

 

Next, we added the nose.  Each student got 1 half of a strawberry.  We talked about how the strawberry goes in the MIDDLE of the bread.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we used 5 miniature marshmallows for the teeth.  Students had to indicate that they needed MORE marshmallows if they did not receive the correct amount.  We talked about how the marshmallows go on the BOTTOM of the bread.

Associate quantities with number names and identify spatial relationships, are both math access points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow!!  These turned out great and were lots of fun to make.

                     Pretty tasty too!

 

 

 

We enjoyed learning about Dia de los Muertos this week and hope you did too.

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

October 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 October 2017.

 

We started the month learning about Johnny Appleseed.

Our apple tree umbrella was a big hit!

 

 

 

The students sorted red, white, and green pompom apples.

They did a great job.

 

 

They looked for the letter A, in green rice with black bean apple seeds.

 

 

 

 

They stamped apple shapes in red moon sand and drew apples in green shaving foam.

A small watering can was a fun way to rinse the shaving foam off hands!

 

 

 

Next we learned about Charlie Brown and the rest of the characters in Peanuts.

The students explored the concepts of hard (like Schroeder’s piano) and soft (like Linus’ blanket) in this box.

They made clouds out of white Floam for Snoopy the Red Baron.

 

 

 

They wore some Joe Cool sunglasses and…

made zig zag patterns with fluffy chenille stems in the colors of Charlie Brown’s shirt.

 

 

 

 

 

The students found the letter P in our water play and had a blast finger painting in real pumpkin puree!

This was MESSY 🙂

 

 

 

 

We learned about the country of Colombia. One of our teachers is from that fabulous country and shared great photos for our book.

The students learned about the different regions of the country including the Amazon rainforest region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are lots of beautiful beaches in Colombia.

Ours had a variety of shells to discover in the sand.

 

 

 

 

 

The students really enjoyed our Insta Snow box representing the snow capped mountains.

Real emeralds are mined in Colombia. Since we didn’t have any real emeralds on hand, we let the students do some mining in our emerald green kinetic sand.

Colombia is world famous for its coffee and the students were very intrigued by both he aroma and texture of our box of coffee beans.

 

 

 

 

Shaving cream “lava” erupting from a volcano was a hit with the students.

Hands were rinsed in a mini ocean filled with fish.

 

 

 

 

Our Fall Festival was so much fun that we dedicated our next unit to all the fun of fall.

We brought out our colorful fall umbrella which is always a hit with the students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a bubble machine at our festival so we added some bubbles to our cart.

Everyone loves bubbles 🙂

 

 

 

There were letter F’s to find in our “chili” beans.

Leaves to cut out of orange play dough and….

some fun chocolate cloud dough to explore!

 

 

 

We finished the month with a Monsters in Movies unit!

The “Hotel Transylvania” umbrella was a big hit.

Very eye catching!

 

 

 

 

Also eye catching was our purple kinetic sand in our “Descendants” box.

They also discovered a variety of movie characters in this box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students had fun making their own Frankenstein monsters using green Floam and Mr. Potato head parts.

They made Scooby Doo snacks out of blue Bubber.

 

 

 

 

Shaving foam was perfect for making some ghosts like Casper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Messy hands were rinsed in a Pirates of the Caribbean lagoon!

Lots of fun!

 

 

 

Thanks for joining us———-see you next time!

Monsters in Movies book

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We have a pretty spooky book this week for our monsters in movies theme!  We’ve got monsters from Pirates of the Caribbean, from Monsters, Inc., and from Scooby Doo, plus a few more.  You’ve got to check out the book to see which other ones are featured.  We have our awesome students in this book and they are dressed as some of these scary, sometimes silly, monsters.  Check it out!

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Look At The Monsters In Movies

Monsters in Movies

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We had so much fun with this unit! Our book is awesome and the students had a great time dressing up as different characters so be sure to check it out. Our sensory groups explored boxes related to different movie monsters. The fine motor groups made some monster art projects and the language group conducted some monster experiments!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

To set the mood, we turned off the lights and brought out our Hotel Transylvania umbrella. It had orange lights, ghostly garland, and some little bats. The students loved it!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

We filled this “monster” box of black and red paper shred with figures, finger puppets, a plush Scooby Doo, and a great BIG squeaky rat! The students rocked out to The Monster Mash recorded on a voice output device. Lots of things to look at, touch, listen to, and explore!

 

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

 

 

 

 

For our Frankenstein box we used green Floam and then added Mr. Potato Head pieces and some laminated props we made. The students came up with some monstrously  cool creations!

 

Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point that can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Bubber is a great molding substance, perfect for making Scooby snacks! The students could use the bone shaped cookie cutter or just mold the Bubber into whatever shapes they liked.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

The character Mal, from The Descendants, has purple hair. We decided our purple kinetic sand would be PERFECT for this box. We included a heart shaped scoop that could be used for a mold and a little rake. Whether pushing and pulling to make it move or just watching it drip back down into the box—–this stuff is always a favorite!Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

The students used pieces cut from black craft foam to turn shaving foam into ghosts. Messy fun as usual.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Our caribbean pirate lagoon contained a shipwreck and a couple of ducky pirates. There were also 2 different size scoops for added fun.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

We thought that Bath and BodyWorks twilight woods scent would be the perfect complement to our unit this week. They really loved the scent!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday the students made some monster masks using this: monster mask

We asked the students to choose which marker they wanted to use first. We took a cue from the colors of Sully from Monsters Inc. and used the colors BLUE and PURPLE.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Some of our students used the writer we made using a switch operated vibrating toy, others decorated their masks old school—-with markers 🙂

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

 

 

 

 

 

                                                      Such cute little monsters!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday we made some paper bag mummies! We found the idea on Pinterest.

First the students identified the color of our marker using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We asked the students to use their black markers to draw ACROSS lines on the bag. Then they glued a strip of torn black paper at the TOP of the bag.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Next we squeezed 2 glue dots on the black piece of paper and asked the students to put a googlie eye on each dot.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point. Match one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is also a math access point.

 

 

 

 

Ta DA!!!

 

 

 

 

 

                                                    It’s a Mummy Monster Mash!

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

This week, instead of making yummy treats, we put together some pretty awesome monster experiments.  Here are the ones that we used with the directions: Let_s Do Monster Experiments!

Since the pumpkin was cut beforehand, we had the innards of the pumpkin in a bag.  We passed it around so our students could feel what the insides of pumpkins are like. Since it had been in the fridge it also felt COLD.

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

 

 

 

 

 

We started out by making an Erupting Pumpkin.  First, we put some baking soda in a small bowl.

Next, we added some dish soap to the bowl.

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

 

 

 

 

Our students voted between 2 different colors of food coloring.  The choice was a tie, so Grandma had to break it by voting for PINK.  We added the food coloring and some glitter.

Compare quantities to 3 using language, such as more, less, or the same, is math access point. Communicate preference for familiar objects or actions is a language access point.

 

 

 

 

 

We put the bowl in a carved out pumpkin (thank you to Cara’s son and daughter for creating the faces for the pumpkin).  We poured some vinegar in it and watched it erupt!

WAY COOL!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

For our next experiment, we made some Monster Slime.

We started by putting 1/2 cup of glue in a bowl.  Then we added 1/2 cup of water to the glue.

We put in some slimy green food coloring and, of course, some glitter!  We made sure to stir it up really well.  We talked about how it was thin and watery.

Solve simple problems involving joining small quantities of objects is a math access point

 

 

 

 

 

Then we added the liquid starch.  When we began stirring it around, it almost instantly started firming up.  We transferred it to a plate so the students could see how it changed to a solid.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

We added some googly eyes and voila!  Monster slime!

 

 

 

 

There were mixed reactions about it all around 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Last, we made an Expanding Ghost.

We put some vinegar into an empty water bottle.  Then we put some baking soda into a balloon that had a ghost face on it.

Again, the math access point recognize when an object is added to a situation, is addressed.

 

 

 

 

We secured the balloon over the top of the bottle and then turned the balloon over so that the baking soda fell into the bottle.

WOW!!  The balloon got bigger as the reaction happened in the bottle.  Our students also got to feel the bottle which was COLD from the reaction.

So much spooky fun!

 

 

 

We had a MONSTER good time this week! Join us again next time for more fun and learning——-Group by Group!

 

Fall Festival book

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Our school recently had the annual fall festival, so we decided to keep the celebration going by dedicating our theme to fall festivals.  Our book contains pictures from the festival.  There were lots of fun activities like face painting, hay rides, fun games, and yummy food.  Take a look at the fun we had!

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to the book: Let_s Go To The Fall Festival!