We had dreams of Sugarplums—-of the ballet variety—- dancing in our heads this week! Going to the Nutcracker ballet is a tradition for many people this time of year so we thought it would make a perfect theme. Our sensory group explored a variety of colorful boxes related to the ballet, the fine motor groups made Nutcracker art projects, and the language group hosted a holiday party—-like the one in the ballet!
One of the first scenes in the Nutcracker ballet is a Christmas party. This box, with its base of plastic pine needles and holly, contained symbols of Christmas.
Of course we included a little plastic toy nutcracker! It was a squeaky toy too which made it even more fun.
Needless to say, the students had a little fun with the santa hat and goofy glasses 🙂
Lots of fun!!!!!
Associate an object with a person or event is a social studies access point.
This box had a variety of shiny garland, tulle, and chiffon squares that reminded us of the colorful costumes and scenery found at the ballet.
The colors and textures were very intriguing to the students—-it was a very inviting box!
We really addressed the science access point recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli!
We put one BIG mouse and one LITTLE mouse in these turquoise beans (picked because we thought the color looked a little icy). So…… perhaps our mice looked a little more rat like, but sometimes you have to work with what you have on hand 🙂
Recognize similarities and differences in size of common objects is a math access point.
Our purple kinetic sand became “SugarPlum fairy” sand this week! The purple color made it especially inviting and we added a ballerina crown cookie cutter which turned out to be pretty intriguing as well.
Total fun as usual!
Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.
Since the Nutcracker takes place in the winter we HAD to bring out our snowflake umbrella.
White pompom yarn, foam snowflakes, and silver beads make this ordinary umbrella something pretty cool. When we added some pink craft foam ballerinas it became even more special!
We also recorded music from the ballet on a voice output device. All in all, a pretty magical winter wonderland!
The science access point track objects in motion can be addressed here.
Silver glitter added extra sparkle to this box of Insta Snow, making it extra inviting! There was a spoon and a little measuring cup for scooping fun.
It was also fun to watch as it drifted down while sifting through fingers!
Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.
We don’t get much snow down here in Florida—-so for us it is pretty fascinating stuff 🙂
Let it snow! Let it snow!
Our water play helped rinse some of the glitter off the student’s hands—-that stuff gets EVERYWHERE! They also had fun scooping, pouring, and finding a craft foam letter N using the measuring cup and funnel.
Recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids is a math access point.
We used the perfect scent for our water play and lotion—–sugarplum swirl from Bath and Bodyworks! Our students left the group smelling like yummy little sugarplums 🙂
The students used communication symbols to indicate whether they “liked” or “didn’t like” the scent—–for almost all of them it was a hit!
Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.
FINE MOTOR GROUP
On Tuesday our students painted a magical snow scene for their nutcrackers. We used this: nutcracker-template-1
First they used communication symbols to identify the color of the paper we were going to use—-purple!
Sometimes blocks make excellent pointers 🙂
Identify objects by on observable property, such as color, is a science access point.
Then they spread white paint around their paper.
The science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move, is addressed here.
Glitter was added for some sparkle—–we never pass up the opportunity to use glitter!
The math access point recognize when an object is added from a situation, is addressed here.
Then the students glued a Nutcracker with their faces onto their paper.
Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.
TA DA! These Nutcrackers are ready to join the ballet!
On Wednesday the students used paper plates to make nutcracker masks. A great big thank you goes out to our interns Rachel and Nicole for helping set up this project! We used this to complete the mask: nutcracker-template-2
First we discussed the semi-circle we had cut out from the paper plate. We showed the students how 2 semi-circles made a circle and asked students to use communication symbols to identify a circle.
Recognize parts of whole objects is a math access point.
Then they glued pieces of yarn onto their semi-circles.
The math access point solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more can be addressed here.
Next the students glued a mustache onto the middle of the plate.
Match one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is an access point.
Then they pulled apart ONE piece of polyester fiberfil to make TWO pieces and glued them to each side of the plate.
Recognize that pushing and pulling makes an object move, is a science access point.
Ta DA—-meet our Nutcrackers!
Ready for their performance 🙂
We decided to have a Nutcracker Ballet party for our language group this week. We always love to be able to get together and interact with our friends and coworkers and this was the perfect time.
Our language group students dressed up in Christmas and ballerina attire so that we could have a Nutcracker parade.
We even had a harlequin dancer 🙂
The other classes in the elementary building were the participants in the parade—–some of them got into character also!
We had so much fun going down the halls and inviting our friends to the Nutcracker party.
Once we got to the party room, our students got to choose some treats.
We had ice cream with different colors of sprinkles to eat and fizzy lemonade to drink.
Our students conveyed if they LIKED what they got or if they did NOT like it. Usually, their facial expressions are a pretty good indicator 🙂
One of the most fun things that we had was the photo booth. Our students got to choose which prop they wanted to wear/hold for their picture. We had SO MUCH FUN with this!
And not only the students had a great time, but the adults did too.
While the party was going on, the Nutcracker Ballet was playing on a smart board so that our students got to experience this incredible ballet.
Some even did a little dancing of their own 🙂
A big thanks goes to our fabulous interns—–Nicole and Rachel for decorating the room and serving all the guests!
You ladies were wonderful and we will really miss you!
It was a wonderful time, filled with good food, company, and music. What a wonderful way to start this holiday season!
We hope your holiday is filled with happiness and laughter. Join us in the new year for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!