Tag Archives: grasp

Johnny Appleseed

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Johnny Appleseed Day is September 26 so we decided to learn a little more about him this week! Our sensory groups explored boxes that were all about apples. The fine motor groups made apple themed art projects and the language group made a yummy apple snack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

We turned one of our umbrellas into an apple tree this week and it was a total hit with the students! There were 3 different apples to find and a voice output with the song “Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me”—–an oldie but a goodie!

The math access point associate quantities with number names can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

As we said, this umbrella tree really captured the students’ attention.

So we couldn’t resist adding a few more super cute photos 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

A is for APPLE——the students searched  for letter A’s in green rice with black bean “apple seeds”. There was also a map of his home state to find at the bottom of the box.

Identify objects by observable properties, such as shape, is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Apples come in lots of different colors but mostly RED, YELLOW, or GREEN. In this box the students sorted colorful “apple” pompoms into matching plates.

The science access point identify objects by one observable property, such as color, and the math access point recognize objects with three-dimensional objects, such as balls (spheres) can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

The students used apple shaped cookie cutters to make BIG and LITTLE apples in red moon sand. We didn’t actually have apple cookie cutters so we used the pumpkin cutters we had on hand since they are a pretty similar shape—–sometimes you just have to make do with what you have 🙂

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apple seeds are kind of black and brown so we thought these small beans would work as a nice stand in for them. There was a little dish to fill and a measuring spoon for fun scooping practice.

 

 

The math access point recognize when an object or person is added to or is taken away from a situation, can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

We added some green food coloring to shaving cream this week. We encouraged the students to draw apple shaped circles or straight line stems.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Hands were rinsed in apple scented water with a floating plastic apple, watering can, scoop, and an apple shaped sponge. Lots of different things to interact with here and the students had a blast.

The math access point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids, can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

The watering can was especially fun and

the students were fascinated by the streaming water!

 

 

 

 

 

Our apple scent this week was country apple from Bath and BodyWorks.

It was a pretty yummy scent that left our students smelling like delicious little apples 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On ‘Tuesday we made apples using this template: apple

We started by identifying the color of our paper shred.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next the students painted glue (watered down a little bit to make it easier to spread) with a sponge brush.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then came the fun part—–dropping handfuls of paper shred onto their apples! They really liked this part.

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

 

 

 

 

 

A little green leaf was added and ………..Ta DA!

                                                                   Just delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made apple trees. We used green plates from the Dollar Tree (a whole stack for $1, how can you beat that!) and leftover corrugated cardboard for the tree trunks. This was a really cheap craft—–and we like that 🙂

First the students identified the shape of the plates and the color of our “apple” pompoms

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape such as a circle, is a math access point.

 

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

 

 

 

 

Then they practiced eye hand coordination skills by dipping red pompoms into glue and then gluing them onto their “trees”. Of course, we counted the number of apples on each tree!

 

The math access points recognize when an object is added to a situation and associate quantities with number names, can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

Ta Da!

 

 

 

 

                                                        Look at our apple orchard!

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

This week we made our own applesauce!  We also learned a lot about patience since the food processor was acting up a bit during group.  Here is a link to the recipe we used: Let_s Make Cinnamon Applesauce

We started out by peeling the apples.  We got to use an apple peeler which was pretty cool to our students.  They helped us turn the handle to make the peeler work.

 

 

 

We found that the peeler also cored AND cut the apple so we got to skip that step 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

We checked out the string of apple peel!

Some of the students thought it was pretty fascinating but others weren’t quite so sure about it.

 

 

 

 

Next, we had to add some lemon juice.  Each of our students got to try a little taste of the lemon juice.  We talked about how it tasted SOUR.

 

 

Then we added some lemon juice to the food processor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our students helped turn the food processor on.  We found that we had to add a little bit of water to help get the mixture going.

Recognize a way to stop an object from moving is a science access point that can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

We poured the mixture into a bowl.  Next, we added some sugar and cinnamon.  Our students smelled the cinnamon and we talked about how it smelled sweet.

We stirred everything up and voila!  No-cook applesauce!

 

The math access point solve problems involving quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more, can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Yummy deliciousness

this was a hit 🙂

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about Johnny Appleseed.

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

Mardi Gras

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IMG_6111We celebrated Mardi Gras this week! Our sensory group explored colorful green, gold, and purple boxes. The fine motor group made some festive party props. The language group led a parade around the elementary building handing out beads to their friends. It was a fabulous and fun week filled with smiles!

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

IMG_5758Green, gold, and purple are the colors of mardi gras and our rice this week. It is just the prettiest box—-one of our favorites! This rice was so colorful and VERY eye catching with 2 letter M’s and a sparkly crown picture to find!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5795IMG_6121Speaking of fun—-what could be more fun than FEATHERS! Ticklish, floaty and completely irresistible——this box invites touch! Of course, there were things to discover such as masks, beads, clown figures—-and totally fabulous glittery sunglasses which turned out to be the favorite item in the box.

Our students certainly KNOW how to rock a pair of sunglasses!

Recognize common objects in the environment is a science access point that can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

IMG_5817We made mardi gras play dough by adding purple and green glitter to a yellow base color. Quite festive although it did have a slight poppy seed look to it 🙂

The students cut fleur d’lis shapes into the dough—–and then counted them of course!

The math access point associate quantities with number names can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

IMG_5770IMG_5857So mardi gras is all about BEADS and we had them! This box contained lots of gold, green, and purple beads—-perfect for shaking, sorting, and wearing!

Another irresistible box filled with color and fun!

Identify objects by one observable property is a science access point that can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5868IMG_6126We let the good times roll with some zydeco music recorded on a voice output device. There was a fabulous hat (thank you Dr. Hamilton) and a mardi gras shaker bottle to help the students get in the groove.

Everyone had a rockin good time 🙂

IMG_5884                                     Appy a push to move an object is a science access point addressed here.

 

 

IMG_5865IMG_5798Gold, green, and purple glitter swirled around the oobleck this week, very cool looking! We made the batch a little thicker this week so it really oozed—–can we say FUN 🙂

IMG_5843With all glitter swirling around this was a great activity for tracking objects in motion and tracking falling objects, both are science access points.

 

 

 

IMG_5901A yummy vanilla sugar scent was used in our water play this week. There was a big measuring cup and small spoon for scooping fun and a perfect way to address the math access point recognize differences in size of objects.

Use senses to recognize objects is another science access point that can be addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6146The matching lotion was so delicious smelling. There was lots of giggling as the lotion was rubbed on various body parts such as hands, arms, legs—–and behind the occasional ear 🙂

Our students left the group smelling like sweet beignets!

This activity addresses the science access point recognize one or more external body parts.

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

IMG_5978On Tuesday we made some super fun mardi gras masks! These craft foam masks were found in a dollar bin and made for a really quick and easy art project.

We started by squeezing glue into a large jar lid—-a great activity for hand strengthening!

Then the students dipped feathers into the glue and attached them to the mask. They chose which colors they wanted using communication symbols and we counted each feather as it was placed.

The math access points associate quantities with number names and indicate desire for more of an object can be addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

IMG_5998IMG_6005A straw was glued to the back of the mask and……

IMG_6009                                                                                 TA DA! We are ready for mardi gras!

 

 

On Thursday we made some fun mardi gras shakers using small paper plates starting by discussing the shape of the plate and the number 3—–since we were going to count to 3 A LOT in this activity.

IMG_6253We have found that our students do really well with number and color identification when given a choice of two but have a tendency to go to the middle symbol when there is a choice of three—-but we are going to keep practicing 🙂

The math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6271The students did a SUPER job using 3 colored markers——yelbow, green, and purple—–to color their paper plates. They really are getting more proficient with writing tools!

Communication symbols were used to practice color identification, addressing the science access point identify common objects by one observable property, such as color.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6337IMG_6285Then we used the adaptive scissors to cut 3 pieces of crepe paper streamers—-mardi gras colors OF COURSE! The paper plate was folded in half and we used the electric stapler to staple the plate together and the streamers to the plate.

Activate a device that uses electricity and recognize a change in an object are both science access points addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6317We left an opening at one end of the plate so we could put 3 small sections of broken mardi gras beads before finishing stapling.

Take a look at the concentration and fabulous pincer grasp pictured here—–the OT is so proud 🙂

Again, the math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6310TA DA!

This project was a hit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

IMG_6174IMG_6246Our students in the language group put on a Mardi Gras parade for all of the elementary students and BOY was it fun!

The plan was for the students to follow the directions “STOP” and “GO” while we all paraded down the hallways to the different classrooms—-it ended up a little like herding cats but we all had a blast anyway 🙂  The students handed out beads to all of the spectators who waved and cheered us on and we also gave some of our students voice output devices programed to ask, “do you want beads?”

 

 

IMG_6179IMG_6219The leader of the parade had a voice output device with zydeco music programmed on it and she was in charge of keeping the music going for the parade by activating the device. Our students did a wonderful job of walking together and giving out beads, of course with a few prompts here and there.

 

 

 

 

IMG_6204Everyone had so much fun at  our Mardi Gras parade that there were calls for it to become an annual tradition!

IMG_6150Join us again next time for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Years Around the World

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IMG_2037Learning about how people around the world celebrate the new year—–the perfect topic to celebrate our first week back to school! Our sensory groups explored boxes related to different countries celebrations and the fine motor group made some fun new years decorations. We looked at a world map and found the different countries whose celebrations were discussed in this week’s book. Throughout this unit the social studies access point associate a celebration with an event is addressed.

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

IMG_1927IMG_2143In Australia lots of people go to the beach to celebrate the new year. Our little beach had 3 shells to find and a map of Australia to find hidden under the sand.  We found the free printable map on the internet and really liked it because there were some animals included on it which the students enjoyed finding.

The social studies access point locate pictures of symbols on a drawing or map can be addressed here. The math access point associate quantities with number names is also addressed.

 

 

IMG_2158Watermelon is eaten for luck during Vietnamese celebrations.  We added some dried split peas and black beans to the vibrantly colored rice and it turned out SO eye catching and so much fun to run fingers through!  A map of Vietnam and the letter V could be found in this box.

Locate pictures of symbols on a drawing or map is addressed again.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1888IMG_1922Bread, salt, or coal are considered lucky gifts by new years visitors in England. A picture of bread—-well actually a picture of a grilled cheese sandwich since that is what we found 🙂 —-was taped the bottom of this box filled with salt. We haven’t used salt before and so this was a new texture for our students to explore. They really enjoyed seeing the colorful “bread” picture appear as they moved the salt around with their fingers—–a great way to practice prewriting patterns.  There was black puzzle piece included to represent the coal.

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

 

 

 

IMG_1914IMG_2164People in Japan decorate their homes with evergreens and lobsters! Hidden in our plastic evergreens were 4 lobsters——1 big and 3 little ones. A special song sung by children during new years celebrations was recorded on a voice output device also found in the box. It was fun seeing which items the students were most intrigued with—-everyone had their favorites.

IMG_2003The math access point recognize differences in size of objects is addressed here.

 

 

 

IMG_2135Marzipan pigs are a favorite treat for Austrian celebrations. Our pink play dough was scented with almond extract and both looked and smelled like the real thing! The students had a lot of fun using the pig shaped cookie cutter to make their own “marzipan” pigs.

All those little piggies can be counted—–addressed the math access point associate quantities with number names.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2007In Switzerland they drop dollops of whipped cream on their floors to symbolize the richness of the new year—–how fun is that! We, of course, used shaving cream and LOTS of it 🙂

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is the science access point addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1962Many Canadians go ice fishing to celebrate the new year! We put 2 fish in our water basin, 1 big and 1 little. Not only were they really cute but they squirted water which the students thought was lots of fun. This little scientist explored how many squirts if took to fill his measuring cup—–how clever! There were also 2 different sized cups for scooping.

Recognize differences in size of objects is the math access point addressed here.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2014Many countries, including Turkey eat pomegranates for luck in the new year. Both our water and lotion had this fruity aroma——YUM!

The science access point use senses to recognize objects is a science access point addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2017IMG_2204We finished our celebration with some bubble wrap fireworks—–a huge hit with our students. It is amazing what fun can be had with such simple stuff!

What a fun way to address the science access point recognize and respond to common sounds 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

IMG_2093For our Tuesday art project we made garlands of ribbon, cherubs and hearts—–like they do in Belgium! We started by letting the students choose the color of their crepe paper ribbon from a choice of red, blue, or yellow. Then they cut the ribbon using the adaptive scissors.

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

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2042IMG_2069The students decorated their ribbons with 1 cherub and 2 hearts (precut on the Ellison machine) which we counted, of course 🙂

IMG_2081In addition to eye hand coordination, this activity addresses the math access point associate quantities 1 and 2 with number names.

 

 

IMG_2111IMG_2060Ta Da!

The garland looks so festive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Thursday we made some bells to ring in the new year! This was a really quick and easy project which started with some plastic cups and jingle bells attached with chenille stems.

IMG_2245IMG_2293The students chose stickers from a couple of sticker books we had on hand. Pincer grasps were practiced as the stickers were peeled and placed on the sides of the cups.

Needless to say, we didn’t pass on the opportunity to count the stickers!

Again, the math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed.

 

 

The students had a blast ringing their bells——-

IMG_2280                                                                                           Happy New Year!!!!

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

IMG_2233We traveled the world in visiting all of the places we read about in our book.  The big question for this group was “where?”

After reading the book, our students took turns activating the All-Turn-It spinner.  Located on the All-Turn-It were pictures of fireworks along with the names of the different places that we talked about in the book.

 

 

 

IMG_2219IMG_2238Then they came up to a map of the world and put the fireworks in the correct country (with verbal and visual prompting), answering the question “where?”

 

The social studies access point complete a pictorial map using pictures or symbols for designated areas is addressed in this activity.

It was a nice little geography lesson for both the students as well as the adults in the room!

 

 

IMG_2139Happy new year everyone, it’s great to be back at school! We have lots more fun activities planned for the upcoming weeks so be sure to join us again for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

Columbus Day

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IMG_6163In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue! October 13 was Columbus Day and we spent the week learning a little bit more about the famous explorer. Our sensory group explored a variety of boxes including some colorful ocean blue play dough. The fine motor group made some sparkly crowns and the language group played a Columbus Day game—-what fun! All our activities addressed the social studies access point associate a celebration with an event.

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

IMG_6024Our first box was filled with red, white, and green rice which are the colors of the Italian flag.

Italy is the country that Christopher Columbus comes from! There were 2 letter C’s—-for Christopher Columbus—– to find and a picture of Columbus hidden beneath the rice.

The social studies access point recognize a person in a story can be addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

 

IMG_6057Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain helped fund the trip. This box had red and yellow rice—-the colors of the Spanish flag. As the students explored the rice there were some compasses to find and a picture of the royal couple at the bottom of the box. This bright colorful rice certainly invited exploration!

Recognize pictures or artifacts that relate to important people or events is an access point that can be addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6363IMG_6389Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand used gold and jewels to help pay for voyage. We didn’t have any real gold but this box filled with gold mardi gras beads made a great stand in——bright, sparkly, and touchable 🙂 Our students loved wearing them or grabbing handfuls and shaking them. Total fun!

IMG_6220The science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled can be addressed here.

 

IMG_6446Discovery bottles are always a hit with our students and this one was pretty eye catching!

The colorful jewels looked so pretty floating around. A great way to track objects in motion—-a science access point.

 

 

 

 

IMG_6430Since our world is round we wanted to include a reference to that in our boxes. We put some beautiful ocean blue play dough in this box and added a circle cookie cutter.

Recognize a common object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point. Since the play dough can be rolled into a ball the math access point recognize a common 3 dimensional object can also be addressed.

 

 

 

 

IMG_6107IMG_6182Columbus landed on the sandy shores of the Bahamas. We used some kinetic sand for our sandy shore and believe us when we say that this stuff is TOTALLY cool! It is kind of like this dry oobleck——adults and children were totally mesmerized.

The science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled can be addressed here.

We are SO getting more of this stuff 🙂

 

 

 

IMG_6194One of the things Columbus was hoping to find was a trade route for spices from the orient! To add a little “spice” to our oobleck we added some oregano flakes. So ok, oregano is technically an herb but it was what we had and it made the oobleck very aromatic 🙂

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point that can be addressed here. The science access point recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli, in this case smell, can also be addressed.

 

 

 

 

IMG_6404We used Bath and Body Works ocean scented water—-it seemed appropriate! We also put in a small boat to float around in our little ocean.

Recognize water as a liquid is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6227Our students really liked the scent of the matching lotion and loved feeling it massaged onto their hands, arms, necks, or even knees!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

IMG_6263IMG_6276On Tuesday for our art project we made some cute little sailing ships! We started by asking the students to use communication symbols to choose a color for their ship sails. Then they used adaptive scissors to cut construction paper into rectangular shapes—–1 big and 1 little.

Recognize differences in size of objects is a math access point. The science access point recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed is also addressed.

 

 

IMG_6301The sails were threaded (little slits were cut into the rectangles) onto a straw——with a little triangle flag already attached! Our students needed a little help with this part but it was a great activity for practicing pincer grasp and bilateral coordination skills.

We used some black and brown paper plates folded in half to make the boat. These plates were leftovers from other projects—-it was nice to use them up! The straw mast was slipped through a hole snipped into the middle of the plate and stapled into place.

 

 

 

 

IMG_6249IMG_6325Ta Da—-our little captains are ready to set sail!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Thursday art project was a pretty quick one—–the students made some fun paper crowns. We found this silver and gold bulletin board trim on the give-away table and knew it would be perfect for our project!

IMG_5980The adaptive scissors were pulled out again to snip a length of bulletin board trim.

Recognize that pushing and pulling a object—-in this case the scissors handle—-makes it move is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5983Pincer grasp skills were practiced as the students added some glitter stickers as the “jewels” for the crowns. They really liked this part 🙂

The math access points indicate desire for more of an action or object and indicate desire for no more of an action or object are addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6467IMG_6458TA DA—–we have royalty in the classroom!

IMG_6004

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

IMG_6345After reading about Columbus’ travels, we wanted to take one of our own!  We decided to play a Christopher Columbus game using a globe, a small laminated ship, and an All-Turn-It Spinner.

Each of our students took turns playing the game.  They used the All-Turn-It to see how many places they would move forward.  We only used numbers 1-3 on the spinner.  Once they landed on a number, they moved the ship that many places.  Of course, we all counted out loud how many places the ship moved.

 

 

IMG_6351IMG_6355While moving the ship, we talked about how the ships sailed on the water and showed our students the route Columbus used on his trek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6349Our students had such a great time taking turns, counting, and moving the ship.  They are officially captains of their ship!

 

IMG_6014IMG_6377Wow we really learned a lot about Columbus this week, hope you join us again next week for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

 

 

 

 

Elephants

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IMG_3266September 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day—–who knew! We decided that it would a great theme and an opportunity to learn more about elephants. Our sensory group explored boxes that related to places we would find elephants. The fine motor group stamped and painted elephants. In the language group we had an elephant dance party—–how fun is that!

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

IMG_3312IMG_3431There are 2 different kinds of elephants—-African and Asian. We decided to represent them with some cool and colorful discovery bottles. The African discovery bottle contained beads with the colors of the continent—-black, green, and red. There was also a little elephant bead to find floating around. The Asian discovery bottle was filled with colorful sequins like those that might decorate the headdresses the elephants might wear during a festival. There was another elephant to find in that bottle also.

IMG_3460                                   What a fun way to explore the science access point track objects in motion!

 

IMG_3134One of the coolest things about elephants are their TRUNKS. This box contained our grey Floam which has an interesting texture and is easily moldable into shapes—-such as an elephant’s trunk! Most of our students really enjoyed squeezing, rolling, pushing and pulling the floam but some of them did not like it at all. While we encourage exploration we try to always respect our students preferences.

Bilateral skills are addressed as students use their hands to roll the Floam into tubes. The science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is also addressed.

 

 

IMG_3314IMG_3237This box was total fun, it contained a voice output device that had elephant sounds recorded on it. We also included a small plush elephant and an elephant hat.  Our students had a blast with this box, such great opportunities for pretend play……and they looked SO CUTE in the hat 🙂

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

 

 

IMG_3213Here at home, one place to see elephants is the circus. Our circus box was filled with these colorful packing peanuts and a cute little circus elephant. We also put in a cup for filling and pouring——so much fun! This was also a great opportunity to practice fine motor skills such as pincer grasp.

Solving problems involving small quantities of objects using language such as enough, too much, or more is a math access point that can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

IMG_3471IMG_3450Another place we might see elephants is at the zoo. Our zoo box was filled with some coarse sawdust—-kind of like the sawdust at the bottom of the circus tent. Since it was coarse rather than fine, it was easily brushed off hands. This was the first time we have used this and we were pretty happy with the way it turned out. Of course, we made sure to watch our students very carefully since this material is not edible.

This box allows the opportunity to address the science access point match animals that are the same since there was more than 1 elephant in the box.

IMG_3494We also put some sunglasses in the zoo box—–if you live in Florida you always need sunglasses for any outdoor activity! Our cool students always rock a pair of sunglasses!

 

IMG_3308We practiced making vertical and horizontal strokes—–the basic strokes of the letter E—-in our shaving foam. Messy play is always a hit with our students!

A super fun way to address the science access point apply a push to move an object.

IMG_3145The foam was rinsed off in Bath and Bodyworks Into the Wild scented water. Elephants are WILD animals so it sort of works 🙂  Since elephants like to eat fruit, we put in a fruity shaped sponge.

In this activity the science access point recognize water as a liquid is addressed.

 

 

 

IMG_3331We finished with some banana scented lotion from World Market. Bananas are another fruity snack that elephants enjoy. We left our students smelling totally yummy—–with the precaution to stay away from hungry elephants 🙂

Recognize one or more external body parts is the science access point addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

IMG_3339On Tuesday for our art project we stamped elephants! We started by discussing the rectangular shape of our paper and asking our students to show us its color using the communication symbols.

Recognizing objects with 2 dimensional shapes is a math access point. Identifying objects by one observable property such as color is a science access point.

 

 

 

IMG_3350IMG_3377Then we had a lot of fun mixing black and white paint to make GREY paint—–recognize a change in an object is the science access point addressed here.

The grey paint was applied to an elephant stamp with a foam brush. An empty thread spool was hot glued onto the stamp to make it easier for our students to grasp. The students took turns stamping 3 elephants onto their papers.

The math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed here.

 

IMG_3399                                                                            TA DA—–elephants on parade!

 

On Thursday we made fun elephant masks!

IMG_3651We started by cutting paper plates in half using our switch operated electric scissors—-which are pretty darn cool 🙂 Of course we discussed the shape of the plate and the fact that we were going to cut 1 plate into 2 halves!

The math access points recognize a common object with a two-dimensional shape and distinguish half from whole using objects can be addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

 

IMG_3702After the ears were cut, Ms. Katie stapled the ears onto another paper plate (with eye holes already cut out) and the students began painting their elephants.  They really did an AWESOME job—–we were so PROUD!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3669Recognize a change in an object is a science access point addressed here.

Probably the coolest part of this art project was the trunk. We made it using some trash to treasure spiral notebook bindings—–are we creative or WHAT 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3680IMG_3714Ta DA—–cue elephant trumpeting sounds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

IMG_3535IMG_3524We were up and moving again for our language group.  After reading the book, we put on some elephant music found when searching elephant kids songs on youtube.

Attending to oral presentations (ex. stories, songs, verbal messages) is a language access point.

IMG_3533We practiced following directions, such as STOMP YOUR FEET, SWING YOUR ARMS, HIT THE DRUM, and of course, DANCE!  Some of our students required a little bit of assistance swinging their arms like a trunk might swing on an elephant, but for the most part, they did really well!

 

IMG_3559We got drums out so we could be LOUD like elephants are loud.  Our students with visual impairments especially liked this part of the dance party!

Recognize and respond to common sounds is a science access point.

The students, AND teachers, had lots of fun at our elephant dance party!

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3501Elephants were certainly appreciated around here this week 🙂 Hope you enjoyed seeing all our activities. Join us again next time for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!

The Planets

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IMG_8191We traveled around our solar system learning about the 8 planets this week—-it was a totally out of this world experience 🙂      We have been wanting to do a planet theme for a while and with the year winding down decided now was as good a time as any! Throughout this unit the science access point recognize that there are planetary systems in the universe is explored. In our sensory group each of the boxes represented a different planet, the fine motor group made their own solar system, and the language group acted like planets! Read along to see all the fun we had.

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

IMG_8347Our first stop was Mercury. Our students used this grey floam to make squish into balls that look like the small grey planet. Floam has a really cool texture and  a pretty “cosmic” look! Both the adults and students are always intrigued when we include it in one of our units.

This was a great activity for working on bilateral coordination. It also addresses the science access point (related to forces and motion) recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move.

It also addresses the math access point recognize common 3 dimensional objects such as balls (spheres).

 

 

 

IMG_8312The next planet we explored was Venus. It has swirls of blue and green clouds. We decided that a discovery bottle would be a perfect way to illustrate this feature. The bottle was made using oil, water, food coloring, green glitter, blue glitter, and blue sequins. We got a cloud-like effect and the students really enjoyed watching the swirling contents after it was shaken.

Forces and motion are again explored in the science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled.

 

 

 

IMG_8392IMG_8297From space, our planet earth is also blue and green! In this box, filled with blue rice and green split peas, students found letter “E’s” hidden in the rice.

We have used this rice before and everyone seems to like its pretty bright colors. This time as the rice was swept away, a picture of earth from space was revealed.

The science access point recognize that earth is a planet is addressed, in addition to visual and tactile discrimination skills.

 

 

IMG_8367Next we pulled out our red moon sand—-perfect for Mars, the red planet! Our students used a large cookie cutter to stamp circles—–which could be counted, of course!

In addition to exploring forces as the cookie cutter is pushed into the sand, the math access point recognize 2 dimensional shapes, such as a circle.

That red color is just SO eye catching!

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8326IMG_8374Our students swirled red and yellow food coloring into shaving cream to look like the massive storms on the planet Jupiter. Since Jupiter is the biggest planet we used LOTS of shaving cream!

They loved swirling the colors together——-can you tell they had a blast 🙂

IMG_8405The science access points recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed and recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move are both addressed.

 

IMG_8179IMG_8131These large, colorful, fluffy chenille stems made perfect rings of Saturn. Students could link them together, put them on their arms like a bracelet, or just explore their soft texture.

In addition to counting the rings, recognize 2 dimensional shapes is the math access point addressed. The science access point identify objects by one observable property, such as color can also be addressed.

 

 

IMG_8129Uranus is a beautiful blue color—-just like our play dough! It really turned out such a pretty color and the texture was PERFECT this week!

We added a number 8 cookie cutter to remind us that there are 8 planets in our solar system. Of course that led to discussion of what happened to Pluto, some of the adults are still miffed about Pluto’s demotion from planetary status—–but that is another story 🙂

Recognize a change in an object, a science access point, is addressed as number 8 impressions are made.

 

 

 

IMG_8187The planet Neptune was named after the greek god of the sea so we thought water was the perfect representation of this planet. A large cup and small spoon let our students explore capacity—–and the math access point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids.

 

 

 

 

IMG_8454The Bath and Bodyworks scent Ocean was used for our water play and lotion. This was a pretty strong scent that definitely caught our students attention and they all really seemed to like it.

The science access point recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

IMG_8213We made a two part art project this week! On Tuesday each student got to make their own planet. We started by counting out our small paper plates. Then each student got to pick which color—–either red, green, or blue—-that they wanted. Effectively communicate wants and needs with prompting is a language access point addressed here.

The math access point recognize a 2 dimensional shape, in this case a circle, is addressed. In addition, the science access point recognize a change in an object is also addressed.

 

 

 

 

IMG_8272After the planets were painted the students chose how to decorate them. The choices were colored sand, glitter, or pompom moons. We just printed out photos of the choices on a piece of paper and asked them to point to the choice.

Putting on the pompoms was great for pincer grasp practice and eye hand coordination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8293IMG_8256With all the different colors and embellishments, each planet was unique and totally cool!

IMG_8235                                                                                                  TA DA!!!!!

 

IMG_8615On Thursday we finished our solar system. We started by stamping stars onto a black poster board. We adapted the stamps in a variety of ways, including hot gluing a thread spool or adding a piece of pool noodle to make handles.

 

IMG_8547We discussed the color of the paint and asked our students to show us the color white using the communication symbols. We were so proud of them, 100% correct!

The science access point identify an object by one observable property such as color——NAILED!!!!!!

Our students ROCK 🙂

 

 

 

 

IMG_8557Next we stamped white stars all over a piece of black poster board—–addressing the science access point recognize a change in an object.

IMG_8584Then we added some silver glitter—–we NEVER pass up the opportunity to add glitter to a project 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finished by attaching all the planets to the poster board. The students chose the location of their planets but to make sure they were secure we used hot glue to affix them.

IMG_8612                                                                    Ta DA—–welcome to our solar system!

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

IMG_8459Since we have found that this group of students works well with movement, we decided to make the solar system come alive in our language group by using planet balls.

We started by taking 2 different sized planets and asking our students to find the BIG one or find the SMALL one.  They conveyed their answer either by gesturing, eye gaze, or verbalizing which one was the BIG/SMALL one.

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

 

 

 

IMG_8473We picked one of our students to be the sun and to stand still in the middle.  Each of the students AND adults became “planets”, had to rotate AROUND the sun.  This took a bit of prompting to get right, but after our students got the hang of it, they were revolving like true planets 🙂

Recognize three dimensional objects, such as a ball (sphere) is a math access point that can be addressed during this activity.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8520Sometimes we would ask our students to stop revolving.  We talked about which planet was the CLOSEST to the sun and which was the FURTHEST from the sun.

Recognize items as nearby is a science access point related to concepts of earth in time an space.

Our classroom solar system was a success!

 

 

IMG_8115Well this week was totally out of this world 🙂 Join us again next week for more fun and learning Group by Group!

 

Bird Habitats

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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.

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

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.

 

FINE MOTOR

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!

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

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!