Tag Archives: FSU marching chiefs

Spring Fun


Spring brings lots of exciting events both in school and in the community. This made for a really fun theme this week! Our sensory groups explored boxes related to different events. The fine motor groups made decorations for the biggest spring event—–graduation! The language group led a fantastic spring parade and then had a party, with sweet treats 🙂







Spring break often means BEACH time around here! We put a little shovel and a measuring scoop in our play sand. The students had fun making sandcastles and finding shells in it.

Since the sandcastles could be counted, the math access point associate quantities with number names can be addressed here.





The Rough Riders visit our school the day before the city’s Springtime parade. Not only do they wear cool costumes but they pass out beads and teddy bears to all the students—-how cool is that! There were some HARD beads and a SOFT teddy bear for the students to explore in this box.

Match objects with similar observable properties, such as size, shape, color, or texture is a science access point.





The FSU marching chiefs visit is another spring highlight for our school. We filled this FSU box with shaker pompoms, beads, garland etc. all in the school’s colors. We also included a toy saxophone which was a big hit with the students!

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





The school talent show is always so much fun—-we have some pretty talented students and staff! To help get our students in the show biz spirit, we put in a variety of costume props but the feather boa and glasses were the hits here!

While trying on the props, the students can identify one or more external body parts—-a science access point.





Graduation is THE event in spring. This box contained rice in our school colors along with our school initials. There was also a picture of our soon to be graduates at the bottom of the box. Lots of opportunities for visual and tactile discrimination in this box!

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





Memorial Day brings about the end of school and the beginning of summer. We put blue and red glitter to make our patriotic oobleck. The swirling glitter looked pretty cool!

Track objects in motion is a science access point.





Our students love participating in all of the sports activities in Special Olympics and SportsAbility events. We put our paddle wheel toy in our water play as a nod to the ever popular paddle boat ride at SportsAbility.  As usual, lots of splashy fun here!

The science access point recognize that when an activity is repeated, it has the same result, can be addressed here.





A lot of our spring events happen outside and outside events mean sunscreen! we went with coconut scented bath gel and body lotion this week. Coconut is a pretty strong scent, leaving the students smelling like a day at the beach!

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






On Tuesday the students made a garland to decorate the graduation festivities. We used craft foam stars purchased at the dollar store.

First the students used communication symbols to identify the color of the stars.

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






Then they squeezed glue onto the stars and added either a letter or number to their star—-either our school initials or 2-0-1-7!

Since they had to put these DOWN onto their stars, the math access point recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship is addressed.






Next the students added some sparkly blue glitter!

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








The students practiced their pincer grasp skills as they threaded some yarn through holes in the tops of the stars.

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







TA Da!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              Congratulations class of 2017!






On Wednesday the students made decorations that highlighted each of our seniors. This time we used starts cut from yellow poster board.

First the students counted out 3 craft foam star stickers.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.









Peeling the backs off the stickers was a great opportunity to work on pincer grasp skills. They had to put their LITTLE stars onto their BIG star.

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







Then they added a picture of one of the graduates to their stars.

Recognize when 1 item has been added to sets of objects to 3, is a math access point.








To finish, the students pulled some shiny curling ribbon through a hole in the top of their stars.

The science access point recognize pushing and pulling and object makes it move is addressed here.







TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!











We love our seniors!!!!











We had such a great time celebrating spring this week during our language group!  During the spring, we have a spring parade here in town, so we decided to mimic it with our OWN spring parade.

The language group dressed up in hats, tutus, and beads and we made our own parade floats using poster board that we attached to the front of the students in wheelchairs.

We had a special bubble blowing Grand Marshall, who was here for “Take your Child to work Day”, to lead the parade!






While we paraded through the elementary building, we handed out beads and bears to the parade goers.

Lots of fun and excitement!






Everybody LOVED their teddy bears!

                                                         They were a hit!






Once we made it through the parade route it was time for refreshments and socialization.

Each student had to use the symbol sentence strips provided in order to request what they wanted.  There were different sentence strips for each of the items: ice cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and punch.  Our students had to indicate “I want ___” in order to receive the food/drink items.

Food is super motivating so everyone did a great job using their symbols!






The ice-cream was REALLY yummy 🙂











We had music on to dance to and what a dance it was!

Everybody showed off their best moves 🙂






There were lots of opportunities for communicating as students asked a partner to dance with them!

We LOVE to dance!!!






Of course, we can’t have a party here without the photo booth!  Our students got to choose what they wanted to wear for the camera.

So many great pictures come from the photo booth!






Everyone had such a great time and we can’t wait to do it again 🙂

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









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!





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.






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!







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!

Hello Summer


IMG_4342We can’t believe another school year has come to an end—- it always amazes us how fast the year goes by!

There have been a lot of exciting things that have happened from snow days and book parades, to a hot air balloon. We also had special visitors including Taiwanese acrobats, the FSU marching chiefs and Governor Rick Scott—-how cool is that!



Since this is our last post until the fall, we wanted to take the time to spotlight some of the special teachers, staff, and volunteers that are usually “behind the scenes” so to speak. Group by Group would certainly not be what it is without them 🙂

IMG_4770Thank you to Joi, Frankie, Michelle, and Grandma who are always full of fun ideas and make sure our week starts out with a smile!









IMG_4446Thank you Maria, Yvette, and Dontrel who go with the flow and don’t mind the mess week after week 🙂










IMG_4447Thank you to Jen, Mary, Sonja, and volunteer Hope who keep us laughing 🙂









IMG_4449Thanks also Lori who takes time out of her busy schedule to help us each week!











IMG_4894IMG_4771Thank you to Robin, Ellen, Candy, Arlene (happy retirement but we will miss you) and Grandma who are up for anything week after week!








IMG_2099Thanks also to all the enthusiastic interns, practicum students, and OT volunteers who are always such a huge help!









IMG_4444Thank you to Melissa, our retiring vision teacher for all her support through the years.











Thanks also to volunteer Robert who makes sure the sensory room is well taken care of week after week!











IMG_4529Finally thank you and a great big TA DA to the fabulous Jeannie, Katie, and Celeste!









IMG_4779Happy summer everyone! Don’t worry we will be back in the fall with more fun and learning Group by Group but for now———- see ya later alligator 🙂