Tag Archives: bird feeder

Let’s Take a Hike


img_8967img_8975We chose this theme in recognition of National Let’s Take a Hike Day which falls on November 17. Our sensory groups explored boxes filled with scents, sounds, and textures associated with a walk in the woods. Joy’s intern, Nicole, came up with the ideas for the boxes this week—-she did a great job! The fine motor groups made bird themed art projects. The language group went on a mini hike—-and then ate a snack 🙂







img_8525img_8265We put some of the things you might need while taking a hike. There were binoculars, a compass, a map, sunglasses, and even a fun safari hat. Our students had a lot of fun with this box 🙂



img_8237Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.





img_9540img_9010In this leaf filled box, we put in some animals that you might see while taking a hike such as snakes, lizards, and birds. As a fun bonus, the two plush birds chirped with authentic bird calls when squeezed! These were a REAL hit 🙂

img_8913The science access point recognize objects related to science by name, such as animal and plant can be addressed with this activity.





img_9028img_9278We wanted this box to represent some of the animals you might get lucky enough to see while out on a hike.  A plush deer and otter, as well as some fake fur made for a really soft, touchable box!


img_9420Use senses to recognize objects is a science access point.





img_8884img_9378We put some spaghetti “pine needles” and corn flake “dried leaves” in the box.  The students were pretty intrigued as their hands made rustling sounds as they dug around for letter H’s—-very cool!



img_8435Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.





img_9439img_8887There were a variety of herbs mixed in with our play dough to give it a woodsy kind of aroma and look. Squirrel and turkey cookie cutters were included—–you might see those animals on a trail.



img_9041The science access point apply a push to move an object is addressed here.






img_8881img_8397If you hike in the winter, you might hike in the snow! Good old shaving cream made for perfect snowy fun for us 🙂 We encouraged the students to make trails through the snow with their fingers.



img_8963Track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is a science access point.






img_8227img_8417Hands were rinsed in a little pond, complete with it’s own waterfall! We also included a spray mister to add to that authentic feel—-leading to lots of giggles.






img_8955img_9042Did we mention there were lots of giggles 🙂

img_8284Recognize different containers that hold water is a science access point that can be addressed here.






img_9577img_9064We all know it is a good idea to put on some sunscreen when spending time outdoors. Since a lot of sunscreen products have a coconut scent, we used Bath and BodyWorks coconut scented lotion for our sunscreen scent. It was a pretty yummy scent that was a hit with our students.

img_8531Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.







On Tuesday, the students made bird feeders (thanks so much for the supplies Jeannie).

img_8616img_8617We started by asking the students to identify a picture of a bird.

Distinguish between a plant and an animal, is a science access point.









img_8696img_8637Next we helped the students spread some peanut butter on a pine cone using a plastic knife. We used a sturdy, non-serrated knife for safety.

Recognize common objects in different environments is a science access point that can be addressed in this activity.






img_8743Then we helped them spoon some bird seed onto the peanut butter as we rolled the pine cone around in a shallow bowl.

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









img_8716TA DA—-there are going to be some really happy birds at our school!










On Wednesday, the students painted some little wooden bird houses.

img_9088img_9095We started by asking the students to identify the colors GREEN and ORANGE, using communication symbols. They did a really good job with this!

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






img_9103img_9121Then the students started painting their bird houses. They really had fun with this and we enjoyed seeing their differing artistic expressions 🙂

img_9109The science access point, recognize a change in an object is addressed here.






img_9119img_9151TA DA—–

img_9128—–these houses are move in ready!







We literally took a hike in the language group today.  Maybe it wasn’t an outside hike on a trail, but it was a hike nonetheless!  We went all through the elementary building.

img_9650img_9624The students were told that they had to LOOK around on our hike to find different things to put in our hiking book.  We found pictures of birds, snow, and hiking trails.



img_9663If a student found a picture, they had to glue it into our book.  The repetitive line “I see ___” was practiced once the picture was glued.





img_9715img_9720We found all of the different things that were in the book for the week!





img_9713We read the book to each of our students, encouraging them to point to the symbols while they were being said.





img_9685img_9698Once we found everything, we went back to the classroom and sat around our “campfire” to have a little snack.

img_9702Our students got to eat our version of s’mores: graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, and chocolate syrup.  YUM!

We are taking a break next week for the Thanksgiving holiday but then we will be back for more fun and learning——-Group by Group!

Bird Habitats


IMG_7037Birds are building nests all around our school and that inspired us to do a unit on bird habitats this week. The science access point match common living things with their habitats was a learning goal throughout all our groups. Our sensory group explored a variety of boxes—–including a green jello swamp habitat! Our fine motor group made some bird puppets and a bird feeder, and the students in our language group went bird watching. Read along and see all the fun we had.




IMG_7267Each of the habitats this week included a number that indicated how many birds were hidden in that particular habitat. We used cookie cutters, fridge magnets, and textured numbers—-what ever we had 🙂 It added a nice cool math element to each box.

We started with a fabulous rainforest umbrella habitat. We have done these before and as usual, we were really thrilled with the way it turned out.  Among the leaves, vines, and butterflies there was a number 4 to let our students now how many birds to find. Our very cute and cuddly giant blue parrot (thanks Ms. Kim) was pretty easy to find but our other little parrots were hidden in the leaves. We also recorded some rainforest sounds from Sound Bible and that really added to the tropical feel.

Recognize and respond to common sounds is a science access point addressed in this activity. Distinguish between a plant and an animal is another science access point addressed.


IMG_7327From the rainforest to the desert for our next habitat! There were 4 roadrunners to find in this box. 3 of them were small laminated pictures—-fairly easy to find but we were a little tricky with the 4th one 🙂 It was a large roadrunner picture taped to the bottom of the box! There were also a few other animals such as a snake and lizard that you might find in the desert. IMG_7095

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



IMG_7341Penguins are found in the antarctic habitat. We used dry tapioca for our “snow” in this box. While not cold like real snow it did have a pretty cool effect—-all the adults wanted to know what we used! We included a little measuring spoon to let the students scoop up the snow and sprinkle it on top of the 5 penguins.

The science access point, match animals that are the same is addressed here.

Two of the penguins were IDENTICAL so the math access point recognize 2 objects that are identical to each other is also addressed.




IMG_7045IMG_7093In our savanna habitat we included some raffia “grass” for the 2 ostriches to nestle into. There was also a soft feather boa which was a huge hit—–a favorite for some of our students who loved waving and shaking it around!

Associate quantities 1 and 2 with number names is a math access point addressed.

Of course, the science access point track objects in motion can also be addressed 🙂


IMG_7275Silk leaves made a great base for our woodland habitat box. We added a pine cone, some woodland animals, and a little nest for 1 cute blue bird. The bright blue color of the bird really popped, drawing our students eyes immediately! It was a great box with lots of different textures—–hard, soft, rough, smooth!

Recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli as well as recognize a model of a real object are science access points addressed.





IMG_7072We were pretty happy with the way our bright green lime jello swamp habitat turned out! The plastic grass blades (scavenged from some discarded fake flowers) really gave it that wetland/swamp look. Again we put in a variety of animals that might be found in this habitat AND bird shaped cookie cutter! The jello was cold and sticky—–our students had a blast squishing it between their fingers! Really, really, great fun 🙂

Use senses to recognize objects is a science access  point definitely addressed with this box!





IMG_7231IMG_72933 little ducks swam around our lake habitat, scented with dancing water bath gel from Bath and Bodyworks. Perfect, of course, for rinsing all the sticky jello off hands 🙂

We also included a spoon so our students could give the ducks a little shower.

There was 1 big duck and 2 little ducks.

The science access point recognize the larger of 2 objects can be addressed here.




IMG_7357We finished with the matching lotion. It smelled really nice and we got lots of smiles as our students tested its aroma. A perfect scent to help us remember all the different bird habitats we learned about today!

As usual, the science access points recognize one or more external body parts and recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli are addressed with this activity.



IMG_7139On Tuesday we made a fun paper bag puppet! These cool blue lunch bags we got at Target were perfect for the project. We started asking our students to point out the color blue using communication symbols.

Identify an object by one observable property is the science access point addressed here.

Then we pointed out the lunch bags were rectangular in shape and counted the sides—-working on the math access point identify the sides of a rectangle.

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


IMG_7171Using the paper cutter, our students cut out a yellow triangle beak——recognize an object with a 2 dimensional shape is a math access point.

The beak was glued down and then we added we added 2 round googlie eyes and colorful, fluffy feathers.  Picking up all these little pieces and gluing them down was great for promoting eye hand coordination.






These puppets turned out so super cute!

IMG_7187                                                                                     TA tweet tweet DA


On Thursday we made some bird feeders to put around the school. All those little birds building their nests around the school are going to have some pretty hungry mouths to feed soon 🙂 Recognize that living things have basic needs, including water and food is a science access point.

IMG_7525IMG_7512The students chose which color yarn they wanted to tie to their pinecone for hanging. They indicated their color preference using communication symbols—–addressing the language access point effectively communicate wants using referent objects, gestures/signs, pictures, symbols, or words.

Then the yarn was cut using our adaptive scissors. Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is the science access point addressed with this activity.


IMG_7548Next, came the FUN part—– spreading peanut butter on pine cones! Using a plastic knife worked well for this activity and gave our students continued practice using classroom tools.

IMG_7559After the peanut butter was applied, it was time to add the birdseed. The birdseed could be added by either rolling the pine cone around or by sprinkling the birdseed on top. Ok, this was a pretty messy process and yes the tray was knocked over BUT then again, making a mess has not exactly slowed us down before 🙂

Apply a push or pull to move an object is the science access point addressed as fine motor skills are practiced.


IMG_7577                                                         TA DA——there will be no hungry birds around here!



IMG_7387After reading this weeks book, we brought in the rainforest umbrella habitat.  Our students really love the umbrellas that Joy puts together!








IMG_7401After reading about the different birds and their habitats, it was time to go bird watching—–but of course, we needed some binoculars!  We taped 2 toilet paper rolls together to make our binoculars and the students chose dimensional stickers to decorate them. Students made choices by pointing, tapping, using eye gaze, or verbalizing.

Peeling the paper off of those stickers really works those fine motor skills!

Communicating a preference for a familiar object is a language access point.

IMG_7375                                       Time to go bird watching!









IMG_7407Colorful laminated birds (made by local artist Peggy Adair)  were hung them up in the backyard area of Ms. Robin’s classroom.  It was a breezy day which made the birds “fly” around and they really looked quite fabulous out there. To start, we had one of our students choose which color bird to look for using eye gaze.

The language access point effectively communicate information using referent objects, gestures/signs, pictures, symbols, or words———–nailed it 🙂





IMG_7410Our “bird watchers” went outside and had to find the yellow bird! Some clues had to be provided to help tell WHERE the bird might be.  We used prepositions such as IN, ON, AROUND, and UNDER to help our students in their search.

In addition to language concepts, the science access point recognize common objects in the environment is also addressed.

IMG_7467We adapted the activity for our students with a visual impairment by having them feel the different shapes.


It was such a beautiful day and both the students and staff enjoyed their afternoon of bird watching, Audubon Society, here we come!



Wow we had so much fun learning about all these beautiful and exotic birds this week! Join us again next time for IMG_7196more fun and learning————-Group by Group!