Tag Archives: Memorial Day

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!







Memorial Day book


Memorial Day is a time for remembering, so this week we are celebrating the men and women who have sacrificed their lives while fighting for America.  The book targets different things that people may do to celebrate this holiday, like watching Memorial Day parades or waving American flags.  The students answered the question “what do we do on Memorial Day?” with the repetitive line, “on Memorial Day, we remember those who served”.  We definitely appreciate all those who have sacrificed their lives.

IMG_1641Here is a link to the book: On Memorial Day, We Remember Those Who Served

Memorial Day


IMG_1756It was all about the red, white and blue as we learned about Memorial Day this week. Cara wrote a wonderful book that really helped our students understand the meaning behind the holiday.

IMG_1941Our Sensory Group had lots of exciting boxes to discover—and we got lots of adorable pictures of our students in sunglasses 🙂

The Fine Motor Group made 2 patriotic art projects, learning about shapes in the process.

And finally, our Language Group had fun playing a game and learning some action words.

All in all, a great week!




IMG_1909IMG_1911As we said, it was all about the red, white, and blue this week. This first box was filled with soft red and white pompoms to contrast with hard blue beads. Our students loved sorting the items and its always interesting watching which items the students prefer—some love the pom poms while others always go for the bling beads 🙂

This activity addresses the science access points of recognizing common objects as the same and recognizing objects by one observable property such as color.




IMG_1664Our discovery bottle continued our red, white, and blue theme. A little corn syrup was added to our water to slow down the movement of the beads as the bottle was tilted back and forth. The colorful beads were very eye catching and the bottle was a hit!

This addresses the science access point of tracking objects in motion.








IMG_1936We also brought some auditory input with a recording of “America the Beautiful” on our voice output device (we found the music on Youtube).  Our students are really drawn to music and the recording was no exception.

We love how this student is creating his own multi-sensory experience 🙂

These items address the science access point of recognizing and responding to common sounds.









IMG_1898IMG_1795We love the texture of our homemade playdough but we made it extra special this week by adding cherry koolaid to the mixture! Some of our students enjoyed the aroma while others had fun cutting out big and little stars with the cookie cutters.

For some extra fun, we used a patriotic themed placemat—thanks Ms. Kim!

This addresses the math access point of recognizing differences in sizes of objects and the science access point recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli.




We also used big and little star shaped cookie cutters with the blue moonsand. It has a different texture than the playdough—soft but much drier and more crumbly.

IMG_1728We found the cookie cutters were better used to make impressions on the surface—of course it was also fun to just grab handfuls and squish between fingers 🙂




IMG_1707Our students looked for the letters U S A and a hidden flag picture taped to the bottom of our red, white, and blue box.                                                                                                                                           Not only bright and colorful, the rice has a wonderful tactile feel which is an important feature as some of our students are also visually impaired.

This box addresses both visual and tactile discrimination.

It also addresses the social studies access point of recognizing the american flag.






IMG_1766IMG_1900Our next box was a HUGE hit!

We filled it with bright blue foil paper shred (thanks again Ms. Kim!), toy soldiers, chenille stems, beads, sunglasses, star garland, flags, and other assorted red, white, and blue items.






IMG_1689This box addresses the social studies access points of recognizing the american flag and recognizing a symbol or event that represents America.




IMG_1824IMG_1807Red and blue glitter made our oobleck super sparkly and pretty this week! Our students had fun practicing prewriting patterns, watching it drip off fingers…..

or just enjoying the FEEL of it 🙂

The science access point of recognizing a change in an object is addressed as the oobleck changes from solid to liquid and back again as it is touched.

Just wonderful, wonderful stuff!




IMG_1699Our water play scent is always a favorite with our students. This week we added the scent Country Apple from Bath and Bodyworks. We also vary the temperature from cold to warm (never hot, of course) each week.

Our measuring cups help address the science access point of recognizing different containers that hold liquids.

This activity also addresses the science access points of recognizing water as a liquid and recognizing the different ways people use water……

……in our case for FUN 🙂




IMG_182720130521_103315-1The matching Country Apple lotion was rubbed on hand, arms or necks and left our students smelling like yummy apple pies—-and what could be more american than that!

The science access points of recognizing external body parts and recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli are addressed here.

It also provides an opportunity to address the math access point of indicating a desire for more of an action or object.





IMG_1841On Tuesday we decorated some great big stars! We divided our markers into trays by color (red and blue) and asked the students to tell us what color was in each tray using communication symbols.

Our students are getting better and better at identifying their colors!

This addresses the science access point of recognizing objects by one observable property such as color.

It also addresses the language access point of identifying obvious differences between referent objects.








IMG_1838Then, of course, we used the markers to color our stars!

First we colored with blue markers—then with the red ones. There were a variety of markers to choose from. Some had rounded tops (from RoseArt) that are particularly easy for our students to hold and manipulate. We also really like the smaller Pipsqueak markers from Crayola. Some of our students are working on increasing the time they spend scribbling while others are working on making directional strokes.

They have all made such good progress this year!

This activity also addresses the math access point of recognizing objects with 2 dimensional shapes.




IMG_1891IMG_1862We finished with some gold glitter—-we never pass up the opportunity to add a little sparkle to our projects 🙂

TA DA!!!!







IMG_1880                                                 Didn’t they turn out cute!



On Thursday we continued our patriotic theme by making flags!

IMG_1966We started by cutting 4 strips of red paper with our paper cutter—-counting aloud as each strip was cut.

Applying a push or pull to move an object is a science access point and associating quantities with number names is a math access point.











IMG_1975Then we glued the strips to a large white rectangle piece of paper.

We used our colored glue (food coloring added to white glue) to help our students position their strips in a horizontal manner—









IMG_1973some students, of course, had their own artistic vision 🙂

This activity addresses spatial relations and eye hand coordination. Squeezing the glue  helps hand strengthening.

It also addresses the math access point of recognizing objects with 2 dimensional shapes.









IMG_1983Then we stamped white stars onto a small blue rectangle. We made the stamp by cutting out stars from thick craft foam and using double stick tape to adhere them to a kitchen scrubber (our always handy adaptive art tool).

Instead of ink, we used white paint—-mixed with gold glitter 🙂

Our students really enjoyed this part of the activity and had a lot of fun stamping their stars

This activity addresses eye hand coordination and the math access points of recognizing objects with 2 dimensional shapes and recognizing differences in the size of objects.

It also addresses the science access point of recognizing objects by one observable property, in this case color.





IMG_1995IMG_1992TA DA!!!!

Our flags turned out super CUTE!













IMG_1605To get the students into the spirit of Memorial Day, we had them following some patriotic directions.  We got this idea from the Carrots are Orange blog. The directions we used were: flag waving, drum beating, bell ringing, stars twinkling, eagle soaring, and legs marching.

We put the directions on an All Turn It spinner which is operated by a switch.  Our students used PIXON symbols to convey the message, “it’s my turn” before they pressed the switch to see what direction they had to carry out.  They really seemed to like watching it spin.  After it stopped, the students used PIXON symbols to convey the message, “I do it”.

This activity addresses the language access point of associating information or wants and needs with pictures, symbols, or words.




IMG_1621IMG_1628For “flag waving”, the students waved a flag, for “drum beating” the students beat on bongo drums, for “bell ringing” they shook a bell, for “stars twinkling” we turned on battery operated christmas lights, for “eagle soaring” they outstretched their arms to mimic a bird in flight, and for “legs marching” they marched their feet.








IMG_1617The students totally got into the activity and loved playing with our different props!

All sorts of access points are addressed while performing the various movements including the language access point of exploring and interacting with the functions of a selected object and the science access point of recognizing external body parts!



20130521_102313Well that is it for the week and our last group post of the school year! We plan to be back for more fun and learning in the fall.  We hope you will be joining us—Group by Group!

IMG_1927For now we are  “too cool for school” and ready for summer 🙂