Tag Archives: New Years

New Years Around the World book


img_4340img_3753We had to have a theme about New Years to celebrate the beginning of 2017!  We have LOTS of our students featured in our book who are celebrating New Years all around the world, from Australia to Hawaii.  The different places go in chronological order on who celebrates first and who is last.  Our students look like they have a great time wherever they were!  Happy New Year and enjoy the book!






img_4354Here is a link to the book: its-new-years-around-the-world

New Years Around the World


img_4574img_3665Happy New Year! We welcomed 2017 with a fun New Year’s theme. Our sensory groups explored boxes related to New Year’s celebrations. The fine motor group (we only had one because it was a short week) painted fireworks and the language group made some lucky New Year’s food!








img_3640img_3773Celebrating the New Year is all about the passing of time so we thought a “sands of time” box would be fun. Dry fluids are so mesmerizing as they are swirled around with fingers or drifting down from the sifter scoop.




img_4170Track a falling object is a science access point.






img_3662img_3738People often wear colorful beads while celebrating. As usual, this eye catching box of colorful beads was a hit with the students.

img_3708The science access point track objects in motion can be addressed here.






img_4226img_3649We recorded some firework sounds on a voice output device and added a couple of discovery bottles with beads and confetti——a total New Year’s Eve experience 🙂




img_4218The science access points track objects moving up and down; and apply a push to move an object are addressed here.






img_4167img_3770We put the numbers 2-0-1-7 for the students to find in a box of dried black eyed peas. Here in the south, black eyed peas are eaten for luck on New Year’s Day!

img_3749Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.






img_3644img_4179We included a light box this week to represent all the colorful lights and fireworks associated with New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Needless to say, the students really loved this box!



img_3698Recognize a source of light energy is a science access point.






img_4251img_3656More color was found in our shaving cream messy play——it was sprinkled with confetti this week! The students had a blast creating their own swirling patterns.

Very eye catching!

img_4210Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.






img_3695img_4216Hands were rinsed in bubbly scented water from Philosophy. We had a couple of different sized scoops for the students to compare and contrast.

Recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids is a math access point.






img_3803img_4268We found a Bath and Body Works lotion that was called Midnight so we HAD to use it for this theme 🙂 Whether rubbed on hands or necks, a great way to work on body part identification!

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






img_4313img_4329We finished by popping some firecrackers—–of the bubble wrap kind!

This is always a lot of fun and resulted in lots of smiles and giggles.







img_3864img_4083Vestibular, visual, and auditory input is provided in this activity which addresses the science access point recognize and respond to different sensory stimuli.





img_3902It also addresses the how to have FUN access point 🙂







In keeping with our New Year’s theme, the fine motor group made fireworks pictures!

img_3942img_3945We started by discussing the color of our paper and then asked the students to identify the shape using communication symbols.

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point.







img_4024img_4009Then the students stamped a colorful mixture of neon paints onto their paper. We emphasized stamping UP and DOWN.

We made our stamper by fringing then rolling up a piece of craft foam. It’s held in place with a rubber band.

img_4054Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship, such as up and down is a math access point.






img_3972img_3986Glitter was added for added sparkle—-you know we never pass up the opportunity to add glitter to a project 🙂

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







img_4064img_4038Ta DA!

img_3974                                                                     Colorful fireworks…….






img_4116The pictures looked pretty cool in regular lighting but the paint seemed to fade into the paper a little, so we brought out our blacklight.

WOW under blacklight——–let the oohs and ahhs begin!









This is going to be a new, fantastic year and we wanted to start it out by eating some foods that are considered lucky for the New Year.

We made 2 different things today for our lucky New Year’s snack.  Here is a powerpoint with the recipes:  lets-make-a-lucky-new-years-snack.  Pixon communication symbols are used throughout the recipes so that our students could match the symbols on the book to their own symbols.  The symbols used are some of the symbols that we use frequently.

img_4363First, we started by making some cornbread.  Cornbread is supposed to symbolize gold because of its color.  I’m sure none of us would mind finding some gold during this new year!

Our students helped count out the cupcake liners and we talked about the number 6.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.







img_4365img_4373Then we poured in the cornbread mix, an egg, and some milk.

Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.








img_4382img_4389Our students helped MIX up the ingredients.  Then we put them in the oven to bake.

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







While the cornbread was baking, we started making our drink: Banana Grape Smoothies.  In Spain, when the clock strikes midnight, people eat 12 grapes–one for each month of the new year.  It’s been said that sweet grapes are a sign of good months to have while sour grapes are a sign of not so great months.  We made sure all of our grapes were super sweet!

img_4408img_4415We first felt the grapes and bananas that had been in the freezer.

They were COLD!!

img_4402The science access point distinguish between hot and cold objects can be addressed here.






img_4426img_4432We put those in the blender then added some grape juice, vanilla Greek yogurt, and some cinnamon.  Our students helped PUT each of these ingredients into the bowls.  Very tricky at times (grape juice!) 🙂

img_4441The science access point recognize when an object has been added to a situation is again addressed here.





img_4463img_4470Then they got to activate the blender using a switch–always a fun time.

img_4490Recognize that electrical systems must be turned on (closed) in order to work is a science access point.






img_4547img_4509Finally, when our cornbread was ALL DONE, our students got to eat some cornbread with grape jelly and drink their grape smoothie.

img_4570                                                           Cheers to a brand new year!!





img_3671img_3757We are so happy to be back and looking forward to a year of fun and learning——Group by Group!

Happy New Year!


IMG_3225Happy 2016 everyone! To welcome the new year we thought it would be fun to take a look BACK at some things that happened in past “new” years.

Each of the sensory group boxes related to one of the historic events. The fine motor groups made art projects celebrating 2016 and the language group—-well they had a party 🙂






IMG_3035IMG_3170The marriage of Prince Ferdinand and Queen Isabella united the country of Spain. The red and yellow of this colorful box were a nod to the colors of the Spanish flag. In addition to sorting by color, the students were able to sort by texture since we included soft pompoms and hard beads.

Of course, the beads were also lots of fun to wear or shake 🙂

IMG_3162Identify objects by one observable property, such as color is a science access point.






IMG_3165IMG_2790In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed and in celebration of that historic event we made some red, white and blue play dough! We added snipped pieces of an old star garland and some glitter to give the play dough a patriotic sparkle 🙂

The students cut out stars using two different sized cookie cutters.

The science access point recognize differences in size of objects is addressed here.






IMG_2827IMG_3012At the turn of the century, people were thrilled with the construction of the Statue of Liberty. We thought our green Bubber looked pretty similar to the color of the statue as we see it today.

Bubber’s texture is a little like circus peanut candy so it is drier than play dough but it still sticks together really well.





IMG_2980IMG_3122 We also included a souvenir  hat just for fun——thanks Kira!

While making sculptures with the Bubber, the students addressed the science access point recognize a change in an object.

Trying on the hat addressed the “let’s have fun” access point 🙂







IMG_3146IMG_3021In 1955 the hit song Rock Around the Clock was released. Our students used finger drums and a maraca to rock out to the song we recorded on a voice output device.

The finger drums were a HUGE hit 🙂

IMG_2990The science access points recognize an action as fast or slow and recognize objects that create sounds are addressed here.




IMG_2857IMG_3030The movie Footloose was hugely popular in 1984 and we thought this neon rice perfectly represented the decade!

The little funnel and spoon made for lots of scooping fun and the students were especially fascinated as they watched the grains stream out the bottom. At the bottom of the box was a piece of paper with the numbers 1984—–written with neon markers, of course!

Track a falling object is a science access point.





IMG_3139IMG_3033The psychedelic 1960’s rang out with the Woodstock concert held in the summer of 1969. In homage to the fashion of the day, we made some tie dye oobleck! Watching the colors swirl around was just GROOVY 🙂

IMG_3013We got the tie dye effect by mixing the different colors in separate bowls and then pouring them onto a tray.

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




IMG_2839IMG_3157Another musician made history in 1977 with his concert in Hawaii—–the king himself, Elvis! Since lei’s are made from plumeria flowers we used that scent from Bath and Bodyworks for our water play scent this week. There was a “plumeria” blossom floating in the water and a bulb syringe to “water” it with.

IMG_3123Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is addressed here.





IMG_3180IMG_2866The students really liked the aroma of the matching lotion rubbed on their arms and hands.

IMG_3046Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.






On Tuesday the students decorated signs made from paper plates and popsicle sticks.

IMG_2879We started by discussing the shape of plate and asking the students to identify it using communication symbols.

Recognize a common object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point.







IMG_2886IMG_2919Then they painted the plate with GOLD paint—-this looked so cool!!! By having the students hold onto the popsicle stick handle we also addressed bilateral coordination with this activity.

Recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed is a science access point.





IMG_2910IMG_2900We added even more sparkle with some glitter confetti and topped off the sign with a piece of paper with “2016” printed on it.

The paper stuck easily to the paint so we didn’t  have to use glue!

Recognize that objects can stick together is a science access point.




IMG_2896TA DA—–Happy 2016!










On Wednesday we used the numbers 2016 again, but this time we put them on a SHIELD—-kind of like the one Henry VIII might have used!

IMG_3060We started by identifying the number 6 on a number line—-the students did a really great job with this!

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.






IMG_3081IMG_3064Then we got out some BIG brushes and painted the shields with silver paint. Some of the students are still learning to use paint brushes but most of them  got to work without any help from us!

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




IMG_3095IMG_3110We used the Ellison machine to cut out the numbers 2-0-1-6 and the students placed them on their shields.

To make it easier to hold, a toilet paper roll was hot glued to the back of the shield by an adult, then…….

IMG_3105                                                                Time for a 2016 royal TA DA





In our language group this week, we made some yummy cornbread. It is a traditional Southern food eaten for good luck because it’s supposed to resemble gold!

IMG_3186We started by counting out the cupcake liners while placing them in the cupcake tin.  We used a visual of the number 6 to help reinforce number recognition.

The math access point match one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is addressed here.






IMG_3191Then, we followed the directions on the Jiffy cornbread mix box and put all of the ingredients in a bowl.  We made sure to talk about the COLOR of the cornbread mix and also how it was DRY.  When we cracked the egg in, we talked about how the mixture was now WET.

Distinguish between items that are wet and items that are dry is a science access point.






IMG_3199IMG_3202When it was time to pour in the milk, noting that it was a LIQUID, our students got to feel the temperature—-it was COLD!

IMG_3206Recognize the temperature of items, such as food, as cool or warm is a science access point.






IMG_3210IMG_3215We mixed up the ingredients and counted out how many spoonfuls we needed to put into the cupcake tin.  Once finished, we put them in the oven to bake.

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





IMG_3240IMG_3234While we were waiting, we had a small New Years party of our own.  We got out party hats, boas, and princess crowns.  Our students then got to make some “fireworks” by walking or rolling over bubblewrap-IMG_3262                                                               —they had a BLAST!




IMG_3278IMG_3268Finally, we got to eat our “gold”.  Cheers to a lucky 2016!!









IMG_3135Well, it was back to school with a blast and we had tons of fun welcoming in the new year! Join us again next week for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

New Years Around the World book


IMG_2083We had a New Years around the world theme last year and decided to bring it back again this year, looking at different countries and how they celebrate New Years.  The countries we focused on this year are: Australia, Austria, England, Japan, Canada, Vietnam, Switzerland, South Africa, and Belgium.  It is so interesting to learn about all of the different traditions varying cultures have and also why they have these traditions.  Get ready to learn about some fascinating New Years traditions!



IMG_2260Here is a link to the book: It’s New Years Around the World

New Years Around the World


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.





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 🙂







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!!!!




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!

New Years Around the World Book


We’re back to school after the break and it’s a new year!  There are so many different traditions that people have for New Years, so we wrote about a few of them in the book for this week.  Boy, are some of them interesting!  After reading about each tradition, we asked the students, “why do they do this?”  The voice output device was programmed with the repetitive line, “it’s new years around the world.”  It is so interesting to read about all the different things that people do for New Year’s Eve.  We hope you enjoy the book for this week, and Happy New Year!

IMG_9992Here is a link to the book: It’s New Year’s Around the World

New Years Around the World


IMG_9613Happy New Year! We all had a wonderful and restful winter break, coming back ready to greet the new year with some exciting and new group activities.  For our first week back, we thought it would be fun to look at New Years traditions around the world—-there sure are a lot of different ones 🙂 Hope you enjoy seeing all the fun we had learning about them!





IMG_9639IMG_9450At the stroke of midnight around the world, confetti is tossed into the air! Our first box was filled with paper confetti, a clock, crazy glasses,  and noise makers.  We also included a glitter tube—-we thought the glitter looked like falling confetti. The voice output device in the box contained a clip of the countdown and people singing Auld Lang Syne. A peace sign was included to remind us that world peace is one of the things people hope for in the new year.

Also in the box was a toy suitcase because in Mexico people take a piece of luggage and run around the block; round play fruit—people in the Philippines eat round fruit for luck, and a toy plate because people throw plates at doors in Denmark—-all fun new years traditions!

IMG_9677There were so many different items to discover! It was fun seeing which items turned out to be favorites as little hands dug in and pulled out contents—-leaving trails of confetti across the table….and laps….and floor. We like to leave memories of our visit 🙂

Our students loved trying on the glasses, grabbing handfuls of confetti, and OF COURSE the noise makers! This was a really fun box!

The social studies access point of associating a celebration with an event is addressed in this and all our other boxes.

The science access point of applying a push or pull to move an object is also addressed.




IMG_9498Here in the South, eating black eyed peas on New Years day is an annual tradition. Our students loved running their hands through the peas or seeing how many scoops it took to fill their hands.

In addition to practicing scooping skills, the math access point recognizing when an object is added is addressed.

The math access point of solving problems involving small quantities of objects or action using language, such as enough, too much, or more is also addressed.

Don’t you just love the intent look of concentration on this students face 🙂





IMG_9745Our soft, crumbly cloud dough reminded us of the Armenian bread that is baked for good luck. Now that sounds like a very yummy tradition!

Cookie cutters with the numbers 2014 were included for the students to stamp impressions into the cloud dough.

In addition to number recognition, the science access point recognizing a change in an object is addressed.







IMG_9711IMG_9747In Spain they eat 12 grapes to celebrate the new year—one for each stroke of the clock at midnight.

We filled our “grape” box with big, soft, purple pom poms and small, hard purple beads. This box was so vibrant and colorful, really quite pretty!

The science access point of recognizing 2 objects that are identical to each other can be addressed with this box—-that is if you can pull the students attention away from those fabulous purple beads 🙂




IMG_9491Our light up toys flashed bright colorful lights just like fireworks that light up the skies during new year celebrations. We included 2 different kinds of light toys. Some of them were activated when struck, others when a button was pushed.

Some of our students preferred one toy over the other, others like this student here demonstrated some nice bilateral coordination using both at the same time!

Applying a push to move an object and recognizing sources of light are science access points addressed in this activity.







IMG_9683Speaking of fireworks—what could be more fun than firecracker oobleck! We added pop rocks to our oobleck for super popping fun. Ok, this is totally cool and fascinating—-a must try!

Tracking the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is a science access point addressed here.

The science access point recognizing and responding to different types of sensory stimuli is also addressed.







IMG_9779In Scotland they waft the scent of juniper around the house to rid it of any germs! Lucky for us we found some Juniper Breeze bath gel at Bath and Bodyworks! Made it pretty easy to decide the scent for this week 🙂

We included a couple of measuring cups with our water play to address the math access point recognizing differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids.








IMG_9514The Juniper Breeze scent had a nice soft aroma and our students all seemed to really like it. They all anticipated their turn to smell the lotion and the students are getting very good at indicating on which body part they want the lotion.

The science access points recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli and recognizing one or more external body parts are addressed with this activity.








IMG_9793IMG_9726We finished the group with fireworks—-of the bubble wrap kind that is! This is a great time of year to find scraps of bubble wrap and our coworkers gave us plenty of donations. We just laid pieces on the floor and had our students run, stomp, or roll over it. It really does sound like firecrackers, especially when the wheelchairs rolled over it.

The kids totally had a blast and yes——- so did the adults 🙂








IMG_9545On Tuesday we made fireworks pictures! We started by discussing the different colors of paint we were going to use and asked the students to identify the colors using the communication symbols. The students have been doing so well when given a choice of 2, that we decided to make it a little harder by giving them 3 choices. This also helps prepare them for the alternate assessment which is in a 3 answer choice format.

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





IMG_9560We counted out pieces of black paper, noting that it was a rectangle and also counting how many sides it had. Recognizing objects with 2 dimensional shapes and identifying the sides of a rectangle are math access points.

Then we began stamping our fireworks. The stamper is a toilet paper roll with slits cut into it (we saw this idea on Pinterest). The paint colors popped on the black paper and our students really got into it!

Applying a push or pull to move an object is a science access point.







IMG_9813IMG_9824After reading Cara’s book, we worked on putting the months of the year in the correct order.  The chart that we used had a picture for each month in case the student needed a visual prompt to match the word to.

Each student was given 3 different months to choose from when it was their turn.  The months presented were read aloud to the student and they chose which month was the correct month.  If they were unable to find the correct month with just auditory feedback, they could use the picture signifying the month as a visual prompt.




IMG_9817We had such a high success rate with this activity!  The students in Mrs. Robin’s class know their months of the year well.  Rote learning had taught them the order of the months and since Mrs. Robin goes over the months of the year each day in her class, these students were able to put the months in order with minimal prompting.  So cool!






IMG_9846IMG_9833After putting the months of the year together, we got the number chart out and began the New Years countdown. We gave our students noise makers, crazy glasses, party hats and…..of course we pulled out the bubble wrap again!!!!




IMG_9890                                                                        10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

This week was so much fun, keep following us, there are so many more exciting things to learn and discover—-Group by Group!