Tag Archives: beach

Let’s Go to the Beach book


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


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!






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.







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.







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 🙂







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!

Summer Vacation in Florida


 IMG_0004The school year is ending and we are all thinking about summer vacation again! Now our first post this year was about Florida vacations but there is SO much to do here that it’s totally worthy of a second post.  Hope you enjoy seeing all the fun things we did and maybe get inspired to visit our sunshine filled state on your summer vacation 🙂






IMG_9944We have miles of sand and surf in Florida so almost everyone goes to the beach at least once during summer vacation—-it’s like a law or something 🙂

Our little “beach” box was filled with moon sand. Moon sand is a little dense just like the sand on the shore—-perfect for molding into sandcastles or stamping impressions. We included some fun stampers with handles making them easy for our students to grip. With just a little push cute impressions of a little mermaid or a fish appeared.

The science access points recognize a change in an object and apply a push to move an object are addressed as concepts of changes in matter and force are explored.





IMG_9941For animal lovers the Jacksonville Zoo is a great place to visit. We put lots of animals in our zoo box including our favorite sound producing ones. A plush monkey had a curtain ring hot glued to his back making him especially easy for our students to pick up.

We also included the word “ZOO” and a little zoo keeper. Of course, the animals need something to eat so assorted play food could be found—-everyone got a kick out of the “steak”. It was part of a set of coasters found in Target’s dollar section.

As the buttons are pushed on the animals, the science access point apply a push to move an object is again addressed. Another science access point distinguish between a plant and an animal is also addressed.


 IMG_9749Sometimes it is nice to get out of the hot sun and hang out in a nice cool movie theater. We are excited to see the fun summer movies that are coming out. Of course, you would HAVE to have some popcorn! This box was filled with popcorn kernels which are so fun to push hands down into. Our students hunted for the letter S (for “summer”) —–there were 3 of them to find.

In addition to letter recognition, the math access point recognize when 1 or 2 items have been added to or removed from sets of objects to 3 can be addressed.





IMG_9925We went with Mickey Mouse colors for our Disney World box. There were soft red, yellow, black, and white pompoms—-3 of each color. For contrast we included some shiny beads which our students always enjoy. To add yet another math component there were 0 yellow beads, 1 strand of white beads, 2 strands of black beads, 3 strands of red beads to count!

Probably the favorite item was the little Minnie Mouse box—-it had a tiny mirror inside so our students could admire their reflections. They really are a super cute bunch of kids 🙂

The science access point identify objects by one observable property, such as color is also addressed.




IMG_9787Another fun theme park is Lego Land. We filled this box with what else—-LEGOS!  The students had a great time putting them together and pulling them apart, perfect for promoting bilateral coordination and hand strengthening!

In addition to discussing the colors of the blocks, they can be ordered by measurable attributes—-addressing the math access point recognize differences in size of objects.






IMG_9742IMG_9757Some people go camping on their summer vacation. We have lots of great places to park an RV or put up a tent and then roast some marshmallows.

Our shaving cream and cornstarch mixture has a texture just like marshmallows. A fabulous fun texture to smoosh around or practice writing letters.

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




IMG_9958Here in Tallahassee, Cascades Park is a great place to visit during our hot Florida summers. There are ducks to feed in the ponds and fun water fountains to splash around in.  Students had fun rinsing the shaving foam off their hands and playing with the ducks in our little “pond”.

The math access point associate quantities 1 and 2 with number names and the science access point recognize water as a liquid can both be addressed in this activity.





IMG_9999Wherever we go on summer vacation in Florida, sunscreen and sunglasses are a MUST! Bath and Bodyworks aruba coconut scented lotion reminded us of sunscreen and a perfect scent for this theme. It left our students smelling like they were ready for a day at the beach!









IMG_9795IMG_9876Of course our students always rock a pair of sunglasses——we do have the COOLEST kids after all 🙂 Recognize external body parts is the science access point addressed in this activity.








IMG_9834We did a 2 part art project this week. On Tuesday we painted with corn syrup. First we discussed the color blue and asked the students to show us blue with the communication symbols. Match objects by one observable property, such as color is the science access point addressed with this activity.

Then we mixed the blue food coloring into the corn syrup—-our students had a blast stirring them together and watching as the color appeared. The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed.

We poured the mixture onto a rectangular piece of paper and let our students spread it around with a wide foam brush. Recognize that pushing or pulling an object makes it move is the science access point addressed here.

IMG_9855Then they put a cute picture of themselves onto the water. The students had posed in their bathing suits while laying on their nap mats—–they look just like they are on water floats, totally adorable!








IMG_0105IMG_0155On Thursday we finished our project. We tore some yellow paper and glued it to the bottom of the picture to make a sandy shore. Tearing the paper is another great activity for promoting bilateral coordination. One of our students who has physical impairment used switch operated scissors to cut his paper—–he really enjoyed making them stop and start!





IMG_0145The students then painted on some “surf” using a glue and shaving foam mixture and added either a starfish or some shells. Recognize a change in an object is again addressed here.







IMG_0125                                  Surfs up—-time for summer vacation in Florida!



IMG_0009 In order to go on vacation, you need to pack appropriately for it.  To reiterate what types of things we need to pack to go on a summer vacation, we brought out a plush sun.  We asked our students if the sun was HOT or COLD.  Our little smarties either verbalized that it was HOT or they gestured fanning themselves with their hands.

The science access points distinguish between hot and cold objects and recognize sources of heat are both addressed.





IMG_0023To start packing, we got out our suitcase. We practiced zipping and unzipping the suitcase to open it—-addressing the science access point recognize the change in motion of an object.







We had a bag full of different things that could potentially be packed when going on vacation; however, some of the things in the bag were not appropriate for a hot summer vacation.  Some of the things presented to our students were sunscreen, sunglasses, winter hat, short sleeved shirt, winter jacket, baseball cap, bathing suit, swim towel, long pants, long sleeved shirt, and shorts.

IMG_0050IMG_0030We went around to each of our students and asked, “would we want to bring this on our HOT summer vacation?”  They had to tell us YES or NO by pointing to a picture symbol, verbalizing, using a head nod/shake, or by eye gaze.  For the most part, our students knew what went with HOT weather and what did not.

Recognize clothing worn by humans in different weather is a science access point related to interdependence.

IMG_0067After each item, we asked our students to put it IN the suitcase.  Although the clothing items weren’t folded nicely, they made it IN!

The math access point recognize when an object has been added to or taken away from a situation is addressed in this fun part of the activity.






IMG_0043IMG_0073Time to grab our hats and put on our sunglasses——it is summer vacation in Florida!







Well this is our last theme based post for the school year! We have had a such great time and have been thrilled with all the growth we have seen with our students. We have a few “extra” posts that we have planned for the summer and are already planning some great themes for the next school year. IMG_0179We hope you all have a wonderful fun filled break and we will see you in September for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

Florida Vacation


IMG_2464We’re BACK!

While its great to be back at school, we can’t help but think about all the fun times we had this summer.  We love living in Florida and just like the rest of the world, we love Florida vacations—-the perfect theme for our first post of the year.

Cara wrote another terrific book that we read in each of our groups and our students did a great job of using the voice output device to “read” the repetitive line!

So put on your sunglasses and join us for a tour of sunny Florida 🙂



Sensory Group

IMG_2371Our beautiful sandy beaches are one of the many reasons to visit Florida. We made our sand from wheat flour and oil (we found the recipe on Pinterest). Its basically cloud dough made with wheat instead of white flour.

We liked the texture it made—a little firmer than regular sand but not as firm as moon sand.  Supremely touchable stuff! Three sea shells were hidden to find and make impressions…..






IMG_2420….And also perfect for scooping!

This activity addresses the science access points of recognizing common objects in the natural world through observations and recognizing common objects as the same.

It also addresses the math access point of recognizing quantities 1 to 3 using sets of objects.









IMG_2300Situated on the east coast of Florida, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States!  How cool is THAT!

We colored our rice red and yellow, the colors of the Spanish flag, in honor of the first European settlers.

We have made some pretty colorful rice combinations in the past but this has got to be one of the most vibrant—really eye catching stuff that you can’t stop reaching out to touch 🙂

F is for Florida and we hid 3 letters in  the rice!

Visual and tactile discrimination skills are addressed in this activity.





IMG_2294IMG_2288If you love learning about the space program, Cape Canaveral is the place to visit.  You can see all sorts of rocket ships and pretend to be an astronaut!

We used our black beans to represent the night sky and put in some glow in the dark stars and crescent moons in addition to a little astronaut.

Tactile and visual discrimination skills are addressed as students discover the items hidden among the beans.

This activity also addresses the science access point of associating stars with the night sky and the math access point of recognizing common objects with two-dimensional shapes.





IMG_2355Everglades National Park is located in the southern part of our state and riding on an airboat is an exciting way to explore it!

We used our vibrating massager and battery operated fan to simulate what it would feel like to ride in one.

Our students really loved the feel of the fan and the massager.

Some of our students were able to work on thumb strengthening while turning the fan on/off.

This activity addresses the science access points of recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli and indicating awareness of air moving.







IMG_2345We have so many fun theme parks to visit and Sea World is one of our favorites—everybody loves Shamu!

Toy sharks and whales swam in our water this week and as always, our students love to splash in the water……

IMG_2361….especially with friends 🙂

This activity addresses the science access point of distinguishing between items that are wet and items that are dry, as well as the science access point of sharing objects with a partner!






IMG_2302And finally, one of the biggest tourist attractions—Disney World!

We put colorful, soft pompoms in the colors of Mickey Mouse—-red, yellow, white and black—great for sorting and counting.

Lots of math access points can be targeted here, including solving simple real-world problems involving joining or separating small quantities of objects and recognizing the next step in a simple pattern or sequence of activities.






IMG_2298We also recorded the Mickey’s club house theme song on our voice output device. This was a total favorite that had some of our students getting up to dance, what FUN!

Recognizing and responding to common sounds is a science access point 🙂











IMG_2422IMG_2429When you visit sunny Florida you have to wear sunscreen! We thought Bath and Body Aruba coconut was the perfect scent for this week…

It smelled really yummy 🙂

This is a super fun way to work on the science access point of identifying  external body parts.









Fine Motor Group

IMG_2330We had two really fun art projects this week! On Tuesday after reading our book, we talked about all the animals we could see while visiting Sea World, painting blue corn syrup water.

We started by showing the bottle of blue corn syrup and then asking our students to show us “blue”.











IMG_2323The students then used their brushes to spread the mixture all over the paper.

This is a great way to practice using writing tools.












IMG_2319We then gave the students a choice between a precut dolphin or orca to put in their water. The corn syrup, being naturally sticky, means you don’t need to use glue!

Eye hand coordination is addressed when placing them onto the paper.

This activity also addresses the math access point of recognizing when an object is added to a situation.









IMG_2328Ta Da—we just love how it dries but still looks shiny and wet!

IMG_2339………….Don’t they look terrific 🙂












On Thursday our art project was all about the mouse 🙂 We started by stapling 2 smaller black plates to a large white plate.

IMG_2496We used an oval hole punch to cut out a nose. The hole punch was a little hard to push so our students needed assistance.

Then we put the nose in the middle of the white circle.

As we put together our mouse we discussed the different facial body parts.

We also discussed the similarities and differences in sizes of the paper plates which addressed math access points.









IMG_2489IMG_2526Then we used the paper cutter to cut a red square into 2 triangles to make a bow and placed it either at the top or bottom of the face……to make Mickey or Minnie!

As a final flourish we added 2 googlie eyes—-you know how much we love them!

Circular eyes, triangle bows and an oval nose—-more math access points.





IMG_2542Super cute!













Language Group

In the past, we have focused on working with the alphabet each week for the language group.  However, since things went so well at the end of the year when we changed the language group to coincide with the theme of the other two groups, we decided to keep it that way.

IMG_2443Next, we used a drawn outline of Florida (drawn by our very talented Art teacher, Judy).  We used the pictures of the different places from our book and glued them to where they would be located on the map.

Then, we went around to each student, one at a time, and had them match the given picture to where it was located on the map.  We used the PIXONs “where” to ask the question “where is it?”, “match” in order to reinforce that we were matching photographs, and “find” to have them find it on the map.  After each photo was matched correctly, we had the PIXONs “I put it here” in a row and each student had to read the sentence by pointing to each PIXON while verbalizing the word if they were able to.






IMG_2480 Some required a little more help than others, but they all took their time to look at the pictures to see if they could match the correct ones!

When we were all done matching, we asked each of the students where they would like to take a trip.

The count at the end was 1 student for Sea World and the rest of them for the Everglades to ride on an air boat:)

Let us know if you have traveled to any of these places 🙂







IMG_2466Well that is it for the first week! We have so many more fun groups planned for the rest of the year, so be sure to join us—-Group by Group 🙂

Week 23—Florida and Letter W


Our theme for our Sensory and Fine Motor groups was Florida and our theme for our Language group was Letter W.

Sensory Group—Florida

The Unique Curriculum topic this month explored home, family and where you live, so we we chose our home state as our theme this week. We hope you enjoy exploring our wonderful state with us 🙂

We started our session by looking at a map of Florida. We pointed out where we live and where we might like to visit.

Then we read Cara’s book. Our students took turns activating the voice output device to comment on things we might see in Florida. We were quite excited when one of our students started kicking his feet (he activates the switch with his foot) as soon as we told him it was his turn.

Looking at maps and identifying places on maps is a social studies access point. Reaching for the map, since we held it vertically, helps strengthen shoulder stability.





Florida is the Sunshine State!

Our box of sunshine contained  soft, round, yellow pom poms and some hard, rayed yellow shapes (from a set of manipulatives).

These bright and cheery items let us compare properties of  materials: a science access point.






The next box contained some dried moss, just like the spanish moss that hangs from oak trees in Florida. It had a dry crinkly texture which was very different from the soft black bear “fur”. Again, exploring contrasting properties of materials is a science access point.

We put in a plastic orange and orange slice. This let us compare part to whole concepts which is a math access point.

There were lots of other cool Florida symbols that our students enjoyed pulling out which gave us lots of opportunities to explore language and literacy skills!




Seminole Indians are native to Florida.

They are known for the  bead work on their clothing. We put our colorful beads in some sealed bottles.

We also put in a few shells to encourage  visual discrimination as the bottles are turned.

Of course they are also lots of fun to shake, adding an auditory component!





In our next box we learned about alligators—we have lots of them in Florida!

Our alligator puppet had a zipper mouth which gave our students the opportunity to practice some activities of daily living skills.  Feeling the open zipper  was a safe way to touch a gators sharp teeth 🙂

We found a toy that  reminded us of an alligators  bumpy, rough skin.  Also included was in the box, was a gator puzzle piece and a little rubber one. Comparing the sizes of the large gator puppet and a small rubber alligator targets a math access point.




Cape Canaveral, where men were first  launched into space!

Black beans look like the dark night sky and are so nice to scoop or pick up with fingers to practice pincer grasp skills. Lots of tactile input is given when burying/digging out the astronaut and moon.

We also put in a small star shaped cookie cutter, can you find it?

Discussing the star shape and the sphere shaped moon addresses math access points.




Yikes, we are also known for hurricanes! Put a hair dryer on a high, cool setting and you have WIND.

Lots of giggles and smiles erupted as hair was blown or the wind touched their hands. Our students loved this so much, we ended up bringing the “wind” into the Fine Motor and Language groups also!

Exploring the effects of wind/weather is a science access point and the tactile effects increase body awareness.




Ok, we finally got to the beach! We have miles of it here to walk along barefoot (we found this plastic foot on a halloween clearance rack). The foot was a HUGE hit—no pun intended 🙂

We looked for the letter F and made seashell impressions in the sand.






Other students enjoyed trying to catch the sand as it as it was spilled from the shell—-so much fun in one little box!










Next we practiced our prewriting strokes in “key lime pie”, our state pie. Its actually vanilla pudding but its a similar color to REAL  key lime pie—and a lot cheaper 🙂

The tactile aspect of finger painting helps reinforce motor memory patterns and is a great way to encourage hand and arm movements.





We rinsed our hands in orange scented water and took a little time out for some fishing, sometimes with a little help from our friends 🙂

Using the fishing pole to catch the fish promotes shoulder stability and eye hand coordination. The opening in the fish tails also makes them easy to grasp with hands.

Counting the fish as they are caught  addresses math access points.



We had some other fish that were squirters! Fun to squeeze, working on grasp skills. Also fun to have the water squirt on your hand! We were really excited to see this student actively moving her fingers and smiling during this activity.

After drying our hands, we rubbed on some orange scented lotion. A wonderful citrus scent to help us remember all the things we learned about our state today!

Thank you Ms. Metra for donating that yummy scent!







Fine Motor Group—Florida

On Tuesday, we read Cara’s book about Florida. The students got excited as they recognized some of the familiar places and things pictured.

Talking about the different things they point out allows for lots of language and literacy opportunities.





Then we proceeded to make a palm tree—one of the most recognizable symbols of Florida!

We started by counting out rectangular pieces of white paper, working on math access points, of course!

Then we made a “down” stroke using a foam brush and brown paint.

We helped our students with the initiation point but they did a really nice job of completing the stroke. we were so proud!



Then we painted one of their hands with green paint and counted as we pressed it at the top of the brown line 2 times.

We told you we were making a “palm” tree 🙂

Some of our students could do this step independently but most of them needed some assistance.





WOW, doesn’t this make

you think of Florida 🙂









On Thursday we read Cara’s book again. Once again our students did a great job helping us read the repeating line. We didn’t talk about them in our book but Manatees are some of the wonderful animals that are native to Florida and we wanted to do a project that included them.

To get started on our activity, we counted out rectangular pieces of blue paper (addressing math access points).

Then we tore pieces of blue and green tissue paper. Tearing the paper helps promote bilateral coordination and fine motor skills.

We are making an underwater habitat for a manatee!





Our students dipped the tissue into glue and glued it onto the paper. Crumpling the paper was encouraged!

Grasping the paper encourages pincer grasp skills and eye hand coordination.

This student needed a lot of help with his pincer grasp skills last year, but look at him now! Joy (the OT) is very pleased.




Then we painted our manatee. Joy drew the outline on some white craft foam. Its texture really resembles that of a manatee, just perfect for our project!





We added a googlie eye, OF COURSE, and glued our manatee into its habitat.


Jeannie’s hallway looks so cute with the palm trees and manatees hanging on the wall!




Language Group—Letter W

We started by Wadding up some scrap paper.

This activity is great for encouraging bilateral coordination and palmer arching.

And its really fun!






Then We took out the hair dryer again and made some Wind!

The students had so much fun Watching the hair dryer blow the paper Wads down the  table. It was also fun to Watch our post-its Wave.

Most of the students could hardly Wait for their turn with the hair dryer 🙂

This activity addresses shoulder stability and eye hand coordination.

Discussing the effects of Wind addresses science access points.






Next We Wiped out a W on the dry erase board.

Following the strokes promotes Motor Memory for letter formation and Working on a vertical surface promotes shoulder stability.

We also made it big enough to sneak in a crossing midline component.





Now We are going to make a Walrus!

For our project, some of our students cut strips of White  paper using our paper cutters.

These are going to be some Walrus tusks!







Other students practiced cutting on curved lines (this is going to be the muzzle). They needed a little help but really did a nice job.

As usual, we had a variety of scissors, both adaptive and regular on hand to suit our students needs.







We used our hole punches to cut 2 large White circles and 2 small black circles using our hole punches. We love these because they make it easy for our students to cut circles and they help with hand strengthening.

Comparing the relative sizes and counting the circles addresses math access points.





We glued all the pieces onto a brown paper lunch bag.

Assembling this addresses following directions, fine motor skills and visual spatial concepts.






Wow! A Wonderful Walrus!

Isn’t he just so super cute 🙂











What fun to play Cara’s latest sound game. Lots of cool W sounds to listen for this Week.

Watch out for that Wasp!








Whew—what a lot of W words we found today. There were so many and scattered all around the table—-here are just a few of them!






It was just an awesome week, we had a blast! We hope you join us again for more fun Group by Group.

week 1—Beach, School Tools, and the Letter A


This week our themes were The Beach for our sensory group, Cool School Tools for our fine motor group and the letter A for our alphabet group.

The Beach

Cara made a super book (she will upload it later in the week) with a repetitive line. We recorded the sounds of waves and seagulls on one sequencer and the repetitive line “at the beach” on the other.  Our students were able to add the auditory component by pressing the switch after the page was read. In addition, we passed around the “mer” smell from the Follow your Nose game.

UnknownWe sprayed water up into the air so it would gently land on the students—-like the ocean spray.

We used coconut  scented lotion as our “sunscreen”. We also had goggles and sunglasses for the students to wear.






imagesA hairdryer placed on “cool” setting made a wonderful ocean breeze!










UnknownAfter we finished the story we started our water and fluid play activities.

We made salty sea water.








imagesWe used large shells and playdoh stampers in the moonsand.











imagesStudents practiced their pincer grasps finding small shells in the play sand.









Cool School Tools

In our Fine Motor Group we talked about Cool School Tools. Cara made another wonderful book (uploaded next week) with a repetitive line. After we finished the book we got to work on our activity. Joy adapted an idea she saw in Family Fun Magazine to make a giant pencil.

imagesFirst the students cut a small paper plate in half using an adaptive scissors.

Then they picked a marker and colored one half of their halves. We like markers because they have less “drag” than crayons and have vivid colors. They also have nice fat handles which make them easier to grasp.







The adults then folded the plate into a cone shape and taped it closed. We  pointed out that it was a CONE shape, which is a math access point.

imagesPrecut yellow and pink rectangles were passed to the students. We talked about the shapes, the colors and counted each one as it was passed out.

Students practice writing their names then turn the paper over. The pink rectangle is glued to the bottom of the yellow rectangle. Squeezing glue is great for hand strengthening!

Next we passed a precut blue strip that was then glued on top of the pink rectangle.







imagesWe turned our rectangles over and glued them around paper towel rolls.










imagesSmoosh  the cone into one end.










The finished product! Some of our students started pretend writing with their pencils—–very cute.










The Letter A

In our last group, our students practice their fine motor skills, literacy and communication skills reinforcing the “letter of the week”.

UnknownWe used tongs to Add Ants to A bowl. Counting the bowls as we passed them to each student.

Joy has a variety of tongs for the students to choose from.  Working with tongs is a great pre-scissor activity.

We keep some post-its and a marker handy to write down any A words. We stick them on the table so the students can see them, point to the words etc.  If we use one of the words again, we pull the post-it off and hold it up.

imagesNext we buttoned Apples on the Apple tree.











imagesWe then passed out worksheets from Autumn Activities: Apples Apples Everywhere by Peggy Hundley Spitz, OTR and purchased from Therapro.

Students were given a choice of red, yellow or green tissue paper. When taking the Alternate Assessment our students have to pick from 3 choices.

The tissue paper was then torn into smaller pieces and glued onto their apples.

Tearing paper is a great pre-scissor/bilateral coordination activity.



Well that’s it for our first week. We hope you find some useful information and come back next week for more activities Group by Group!