It was all about the red, white and blue as we learned about Memorial Day this week. Cara wrote a wonderful book that really helped our students understand the meaning behind the holiday.
Our Sensory Group had lots of exciting boxes to discover—and we got lots of adorable pictures of our students in sunglasses 🙂
The Fine Motor Group made 2 patriotic art projects, learning about shapes in the process.
And finally, our Language Group had fun playing a game and learning some action words.
All in all, a great week!
As we said, it was all about the red, white, and blue this week. This first box was filled with soft red and white pompoms to contrast with hard blue beads. Our students loved sorting the items and its always interesting watching which items the students prefer—some love the pom poms while others always go for the bling beads 🙂
This activity addresses the science access points of recognizing common objects as the same and recognizing objects by one observable property such as color.
Our discovery bottle continued our red, white, and blue theme. A little corn syrup was added to our water to slow down the movement of the beads as the bottle was tilted back and forth. The colorful beads were very eye catching and the bottle was a hit!
This addresses the science access point of tracking objects in motion.
We also brought some auditory input with a recording of “America the Beautiful” on our voice output device (we found the music on Youtube). Our students are really drawn to music and the recording was no exception.
We love how this student is creating his own multi-sensory experience 🙂
These items address the science access point of recognizing and responding to common sounds.
We love the texture of our homemade playdough but we made it extra special this week by adding cherry koolaid to the mixture! Some of our students enjoyed the aroma while others had fun cutting out big and little stars with the cookie cutters.
For some extra fun, we used a patriotic themed placemat—thanks Ms. Kim!
This addresses the math access point of recognizing differences in sizes of objects and the science access point recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli.
We also used big and little star shaped cookie cutters with the blue moonsand. It has a different texture than the playdough—soft but much drier and more crumbly.
We found the cookie cutters were better used to make impressions on the surface—of course it was also fun to just grab handfuls and squish between fingers 🙂
Our students looked for the letters U S A and a hidden flag picture taped to the bottom of our red, white, and blue box. Not only bright and colorful, the rice has a wonderful tactile feel which is an important feature as some of our students are also visually impaired.
This box addresses both visual and tactile discrimination.
It also addresses the social studies access point of recognizing the american flag.
Our next box was a HUGE hit!
We filled it with bright blue foil paper shred (thanks again Ms. Kim!), toy soldiers, chenille stems, beads, sunglasses, star garland, flags, and other assorted red, white, and blue items.
This box addresses the social studies access points of recognizing the american flag and recognizing a symbol or event that represents America.
Red and blue glitter made our oobleck super sparkly and pretty this week! Our students had fun practicing prewriting patterns, watching it drip off fingers…..
or just enjoying the FEEL of it 🙂
The science access point of recognizing a change in an object is addressed as the oobleck changes from solid to liquid and back again as it is touched.
Just wonderful, wonderful stuff!
Our water play scent is always a favorite with our students. This week we added the scent Country Apple from Bath and Bodyworks. We also vary the temperature from cold to warm (never hot, of course) each week.
Our measuring cups help address the science access point of recognizing different containers that hold liquids.
This activity also addresses the science access points of recognizing water as a liquid and recognizing the different ways people use water……
……in our case for FUN 🙂
The matching Country Apple lotion was rubbed on hand, arms or necks and left our students smelling like yummy apple pies—-and what could be more american than that!
The science access points of recognizing external body parts and recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli are addressed here.
It also provides an opportunity to address the math access point of indicating a desire for more of an action or object.
FINE MOTOR GROUP—
On Tuesday we decorated some great big stars! We divided our markers into trays by color (red and blue) and asked the students to tell us what color was in each tray using communication symbols.
Our students are getting better and better at identifying their colors!
This addresses the science access point of recognizing objects by one observable property such as color.
It also addresses the language access point of identifying obvious differences between referent objects.
Then, of course, we used the markers to color our stars!
First we colored with blue markers—then with the red ones. There were a variety of markers to choose from. Some had rounded tops (from RoseArt) that are particularly easy for our students to hold and manipulate. We also really like the smaller Pipsqueak markers from Crayola. Some of our students are working on increasing the time they spend scribbling while others are working on making directional strokes.
They have all made such good progress this year!
This activity also addresses the math access point of recognizing objects with 2 dimensional shapes.
We finished with some gold glitter—-we never pass up the opportunity to add a little sparkle to our projects 🙂
Didn’t they turn out cute!
On Thursday we continued our patriotic theme by making flags!
We started by cutting 4 strips of red paper with our paper cutter—-counting aloud as each strip was cut.
Applying a push or pull to move an object is a science access point and associating quantities with number names is a math access point.
Then we glued the strips to a large white rectangle piece of paper.
We used our colored glue (food coloring added to white glue) to help our students position their strips in a horizontal manner—
some students, of course, had their own artistic vision 🙂
This activity addresses spatial relations and eye hand coordination. Squeezing the glue helps hand strengthening.
It also addresses the math access point of recognizing objects with 2 dimensional shapes.
Then we stamped white stars onto a small blue rectangle. We made the stamp by cutting out stars from thick craft foam and using double stick tape to adhere them to a kitchen scrubber (our always handy adaptive art tool).
Instead of ink, we used white paint—-mixed with gold glitter 🙂
Our students really enjoyed this part of the activity and had a lot of fun stamping their stars
This activity addresses eye hand coordination and the math access points of recognizing objects with 2 dimensional shapes and recognizing differences in the size of objects.
It also addresses the science access point of recognizing objects by one observable property, in this case color.
Our flags turned out super CUTE!
To get the students into the spirit of Memorial Day, we had them following some patriotic directions. We got this idea from the Carrots are Orange blog. The directions we used were: flag waving, drum beating, bell ringing, stars twinkling, eagle soaring, and legs marching.
We put the directions on an All Turn It spinner which is operated by a switch. Our students used PIXON symbols to convey the message, “it’s my turn” before they pressed the switch to see what direction they had to carry out. They really seemed to like watching it spin. After it stopped, the students used PIXON symbols to convey the message, “I do it”.
This activity addresses the language access point of associating information or wants and needs with pictures, symbols, or words.
For “flag waving”, the students waved a flag, for “drum beating” the students beat on bongo drums, for “bell ringing” they shook a bell, for “stars twinkling” we turned on battery operated christmas lights, for “eagle soaring” they outstretched their arms to mimic a bird in flight, and for “legs marching” they marched their feet.
The students totally got into the activity and loved playing with our different props!
All sorts of access points are addressed while performing the various movements including the language access point of exploring and interacting with the functions of a selected object and the science access point of recognizing external body parts!
Well that is it for the week and our last group post of the school year! We plan to be back for more fun and learning in the fall. We hope you will be joining us—Group by Group!
For now we are “too cool for school” and ready for summer 🙂