Tag Archives: pre-writing

Let’s Go To The Beach

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Summer vacation is coming up soon so you know what that means—–let’s go to the beach!  The sensory groups explored boxes filled with items you might find at the beach. The fine motor groups made beach themed art projects out of paper plates and the language group made a beach inspired treat.

It was a fun filled week and a great theme to end this school year!

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

Play sand is a great medium to explore. Not only is it soft to the touch but so fun to watch stream down through the funnel we put in this box!

Track objects in motion is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Down near the water the sand denser and perfect for building sandcastles—–like our moon sand! In this box a plastic crab, toy sea turtle and 2 shells could be found. There was also a fun play dough toy. It could be used to make sand castles or rolled along to make footprints in the sand—-very cool!

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

 

 

 

 

 

While we don’t have any black sand beaches here, we think they would be pretty cool to explore! Our black sand beach was actually kinetic sand—-always popular with both students and staff! Everyone loves the way kinetic sand feels but since it molds well, we put a cute starfish mold in this box.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Playing along the seashore means feeling a cool breeze and water spray. There were a variety of hand operated fans to mimic ocean breezes. We had some with whirling lights and others that did not have blades at all—-very cool!

The students found them fascinating.

The really fun part of this box was our misting water bottle! After we sprayed the water into the air, there were LOTS of giggles from the students as the water droplets fell down on them 🙂

Recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, with a beach unit we HAD to include our ocean umbrella! Both dolphin and whale sounds were recorded on a voice output device. As usual, this umbrella was a hit—-it really is one of our favorites 🙂

The science access point match living things with their habitats can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

Since this is our last post of the year—–and our students are so VERY cute,

                                                here are a few more photos 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

For our messy play this week we asked the students to make wavy ocean wave lines in our “sea foam” shaving cream. A really fun way to work on pre-writing skills!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Our water play featured a fun little fish and some different sized scoops. Water is always fun for our students and a great way to rinse off messy hands 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sunscreen is a MUST for a day at the beach! Bath and BodyWorks aruba coconut bath gel in our water and its matching scented lotion left our students smelling like they had spent a day at the beach!

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

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday our students made paper plate sea shells. To make the plates look like shells we just freehanded a little curve along each side of a small paper plate—-pretty easy.

To start out we asked the students to identify the color of our paint using communication symbols.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the students painted their sea shells PINK!

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

 

 

 

 

 

We added some glitter to give the shell a little sparkle!

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

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

Fabulous sea shells!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the students made crabs using paper plates. Paper plates were folded in half and stapled prior to the group. We also pre-made the crab pincers.

Using communication symbols, the students identified the color of the paint they were going to use to paint their crabs.

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

 

 

 

 

They also identified a semi-circle—–the shape of our crabs!

Recognize a half of an object as part of the whole object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

The students added 2 crab pincers (made with chenille stems and construction paper) by putting the chenille stem through holes punched in the plates. They did a really great job with this!

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

 

 

 

 

Then the students painted their crabs with bright YELLOW paint!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 glue dots were added for 2 googlie eyes! We pre-glued the googlie eyes on to paper circles to make for easier handling.

Match an object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA!!!

Such cute little yellow crabs!

 

 

 

 

They are super cute BUT…….

better watch out for those crab claws 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

We did things a little bit differently today.  Instead of making something to eat, we made ourselves a nice cool drink!  We made a copycat recipe of Sonic’s Ocean Water drink.  Here’s the recipe we used: Let_s Make Sonic Ocean Water

We started out by measuring some sugar.  We talked about how we use measuring spoons rather than measuring cups.  We added some water and then microwaved the ingredients for 30 seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

While the ingredients were in the microwave, we talked about how things get HOT when they are heated up.  Once the sugar and water was finished, we stirred it up and let it sit for a bit to cool down. When it was safe, the students got to feel the warm bowl.

Recognize objects or materials as warm or cold is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

We counted out 4 drops of food coloring and then added some coconut extract.  We stirred it all up and watched as the color CHANGED.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We POURED 2 cans of sprite into a pitcher.

Then we poured the other ingredients in and stirred it all up and……

VOILA! We created our own Ocean drink!

The math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed here. The science access point recognize a change in an object is also addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

Our students got to request if they wanted any goldfish crackers to go with their drink.  They were only given a small amount and had to ask for MORE if they wanted more.

Both the drink and the crackers were hits 🙂

Indicate desire for more of an action or object is  math access point.

I think we’re all ready to visit the beach!

 

 

 

 

Well thank you for joining us! We hope you enjoy your summer as much as we plan to! Hope to see you in the fall for more fun and learning Group by Group!

Gasparilla

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IMG_4853IMG_0504Arggg there was lots of piratey fun to be had this week as our students turned into scurvy pirates to celebrate Jose Gaspar’s invasion of Tampa Bay!

Our sensory boxes related to various aspects of the festival. Our fine motor groups made pirate themed art projects and the language group led a parade through the elementary building for our own Gasparilla festival!

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

IMG_5099IMG_5050Jose Gaspar came from Spain and our nod to him was rice was made with the colors of the Spanish flag. There was a treasure map at the bottom and pirate booty to find hidden in the colorful grains.

IMG_4841Counting found doubloons addresses the math access point associate quantities with number names.

 

 

 

IMG_5037IMG_4848There were lots of little pirates to discover in this box of black beans. A great activity for visual discrimination—-the red pirates were pretty easy to find but the black colored pirate figures really blended in with the black beans! We also put in a little pirate finger puppet just for fun.

 

IMG_5047Identify objects by one observable property, such a color, is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

IMG_5091IMG_4900Pirate ships  fly the Jolly Roger flag which has a skull and cross bones decoration. Our students used  a bone shaped cookie cutter to make “crossbones” in our cool black kinetic sand—-very piratey!

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

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4695IMG_4652Of course pirates are always looking for TREASURE—-so we had to include some!

There were 3 different bottles filled with gold and jewels——-very sparkly and VERY eye catching!

IMG_5148The science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is addressed here.

 

 

 

IMG_4687IMG_5063The Gasparilla festival always has a parade complete with floats and people throwing beads—–just like the shiny beads in our box. Beads are always a hit with our students and a box this colorful is pretty irresistible!

IMG_5138Since the senses of touch, hearing, and vision are used to explore the beads, recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is the science access point addressed here.

 

 

 

IMG_4646IMG_4691Pop rocks gave a snap, crackle and pop to our “sea foam”——kind of like firecrackers in the distance as the pirate ships approach Tampa Bay. We encouraged the students to practice writing shapes such as letters or circles in addition to making “waves” as they pushed the foam around.

IMG_4894Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.

 

 

 

IMG_4846IMG_4854Hands were rinsed in our miniature Tampa Bay, complete with a shipwreck and 2 different size scoops. We discovered that as the pop rocks got washed off hands they continued to make noise——–bonus! 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4723IMG_4720Tampa is located in the state of Florida. Since oranges are a symbol of the state, that fruity scented lotion (from Bath and BodyWorks) was the perfect scent this week! As usual, after we asked the students to let us know if they liked the scent, we then asked them to show us where they wanted it applied.

IMG_5171Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

On Tuesday we made some pirate ships! The templates for the pirate flag used in this art project and the bandana used on Wednesday can be found here: pirate template

IMG_4732IMG_4728First we discussed the shape of our paper plate and asked the students to use communication symbols to show us a “circle”. Then we showed them how we were using a half circle to make our ship.

Recognize objects with 2 dimensional shapes is a math access point. Recognize a half of an object as part of the whole object is also a math access point.

 

 

 

 

IMG_4733IMG_4736Next the students painted their ships using brown paint and foam brushes.

IMG_4760Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

IMG_4763IMG_4743After the students finished painted we taped a mast (made from a straw) with a little Jolly Roger flag to the back of the boat and……..

IMG_4770                                                      TA Da—–avast ye’ mateys!

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday we made some fun pirate masks!

IMG_4933IMG_4940The students started by using communication symbols to indicate  which color they wanted to paint their “bandana”. We gave them a choice of blue, orange, and green but most of the students chose blue—-maybe it reminded them of the high seas 🙂

IMG_4948The science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is addressed here.

 

 

 

 

IMG_4965IMG_4990While their paint dried, the students applied glue to the BOTTOM of their paper plate and used black paper shred to make a “beard”. The paper got everywhere but the students really had fun with this step.

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

 

The students glued their bandanas to the TOP of their paper plate and……

IMG_5023                                                                TA Daarrrgggg!

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

IMG_5178IMG_5183 (1)We had a grrrrreat time during our language group this week!  To keep in stride with Gasparilla, we decided to have a pirate parade and follow that up with a pirate festival of our own 🙂

IMG_5181                                      Of course our students HAD to dress the part!

 

 

 

IMG_5177IMG_5196Once everyone was dressed, we added pirate flags to our wheelchairs.

Then proceeded down the hallway to the sounds of  “A Pirates Life for Me” recorded on a voice output device.  We made sure the volume was LOUD!

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5213IMG_5222Since beads are one of the highlights of parades we made sure to have plenty to share with our friends!

IMG_5205We invited all of the other elementary classrooms to be the audience, so our students got to parade around the building while their peers cheered them on.  A lot of the parade-goers were also dressed in pirate attire!

 

 

 

 

IMG_5259IMG_5243On our second go-round of the elementary building, we had the rest of the classrooms join the parade.

IMG_5238We all ended up at the pirate festival for some socialization, games, and music videos—–PIRATE ones naturally!

 

 

 

IMG_5256IMG_5250Grog and provisions—–otherwise known as punch and ice cream—–were available of course! The students had to request the ice-cream using verbalizations, gestures, picture symbols, or signs.

Needless to say, this was a hit 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5261IMG_5283Our volunteer Ali made us a fabulous photo cutout that turned out to be a lot of fun—–say “treasure”!

IMG_5282                                            It was a jolly time, matey!  Arrrrrrg!!!

 

 

 

IMG_4662IMG_5079What more can we say, this week was a BLAST 🙂 Join 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!

The Circus

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IMG_6500FSU High Flying Circus performs this month in Tallahassee and that inspired this weeks theme! We had a blast planning all our different groups—-with an emphasis on COLORFUL fun! Our book is fantastic and we are so grateful to all the people who helped us with the costumes (Ms. Kim and Ms. Robin), props (Mr. Noah, Ms. Harrison, and Ms. Christy),  and painted backdrop (Ms. Judy).

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

IMG_6443We filled this box with popcorn kernels and some colorful cornstarch packing “peanuts”. We added a variety of animals you might see at the circus such as lions, horses, and elephants. Also included were some clown figures and a ringmaster puzzle piece (an amazing find on the giveaway table!).  The big red pompoms——clown noses, of course!

It really was a fabulous box filled with fun! Our students had a great time discovering all the different items we had included.

Respond to new vocabulary that is introduced and taught directly is a language access point addressed here.

Apply a push to move an object is a science access point addressed when pushing the buttons on the animals.

 

IMG_6773IMG_6549Our next box was filled with our bright red moon sand. It has a great texture, soft yet firm enough to mold. Students used a cookie cutter to cut circle CLOWN noses in the moon sand. This was a nice big cookie cutter so they turned out really cool looking! Of course they also had fun just squishing it with their fingers.

Recognize common objects with two-dimensional shapes, such as a circle is a math access point addressed in this activity.

 

This fuzzy basket filler was so colorful and totally reminded us of cotton candy! Our students loved pulling it apart or waving and shaking it. We also put in two different size cups—-a “big” one and a “little” one for our students to fill up.

IMG_6679Solve problems involving small quantities of objects using language, such as enough, too much, or more.

 

 

 

 

IMG_6643Traditionally the floor of the circus tent is sawdust! We thought our yellow cornmeal looked a lot like sawdust—-especially when mixed with some potato flakes! It had a really cool tactile feel to which our students really responded. There was a letter C and a colorful clown picture to find as the sawdust was swept away. It’s always fun to see the smiles on the students faces when they discover the hidden picture.

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

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6487Everybody loves the fabulous, colorful costumes that the circus performers wear. This box contained a piece of cool stretchy spandex that our students had a great time either wrapping around themselves……… or playing tug of war with a partner 🙂 This was a last minute addition and we were so glad we decided to include it!

Recognizing that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is again addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

 

IMG_6670IMG_6748We also included 4 of our discovery bottles filled with sequins, beads, and glitter—-just like the costumes.  These were a huge hit——our students just LOVED them!

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Track objects in motion is a science access point addressed in this activity.

 

 

IMG_6675IMG_6793Circus clowns do all sorts of silly things like throwing cream pies in each others faces 🙂 As usual, the students had a great time playing in the shaving cream. Whether practicing pre-writing designs or just rubbing it around it’s always a hit!

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

 

 

 

IMG_6702Then we rinsed our hands in vanilla sugar scented water using bath gel from Bath and Bodyworks. A measuring cup and measuring spoon were included for scooping and pouring fun

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

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6817We finished with the yummy matching lotion, leaving our students smelling like delicious sweet circus treats! A fabulous way to remember all the fun we had!

The science access point recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli—-touch and smell—-is addressed as students smell the lotion and feel it rubbed on their skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

IMG_6585This week we decided to do a 2 part art project—–a fun clown costume! We started on Tuesday by making clown shoes out of shoe boxes.

First we discussed the color paint we were going to use and asked our students to show us the color “red” using communication symbols.

Identify objects by one observable property, such as color is addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6606IMG_6602Then, we used a circle shaped sponge to stamp on our 2 shoeboxes. This sponge has a little handle which made it easier for our students to hold. Our initial plan was to stamp polka dots but it turned out our sponge was a little to big for most of the shoeboxes so it became a paint tool instead—–and that worked out pretty well 🙂

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Recognize a change in an object is a science access point addressed. The math access points recognize a common object with a two-dimensional shape and associate quantities 1 and 2 with number names are also addressed.

 

IMG_6928IMG_6957On Thursday we made a clown collar using the rim of a regular size paper paper plate. We found this idea at http://www.jugglingwithkids.com

The collar was decorated with colorful pompoms——lots of pincer grasp practice! We discussed the colors of the different pompoms and counted how many were put on each one.

 

 

 

IMG_7002IMG_6969Then, it was time to clown up!

First we put the silly clown shoes on our feet, the collar around our neck, and either a hat or wig on our head—–this addresses the science access point recognize one or more external body parts.

 

 

 

 

TA DA!

IMG_7008                                                                                  Let’s send in the clowns!!!!

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

IMG_6882We have found that this group of students does well when there is more movement involved, so we like to include that as much as we can. This week we set up some circus games focusing on taking turns—-sharing objects with a partner is also a science access point.

For our beanbag toss, Joy drew a circus scene on a large piece of paper, taped it to a piece of cardboard and cut a hole in the middle.  When our students were at this game, we talked about throwing the beanbag IN the hole.  Some of our students were able to do this independently while others required some hand-over-hand assistance.

Track objects that fall to the ground is a science access point that can be addressed in this activity.

 

IMG_6917IMG_6869Next, we got on the balance beam to practice tight-rope walking skills!  We talked about walking ON the beam.  Even our students in wheel chairs were able to participate in this game by an adult pushing them OVER the balance beam.  We had them hold out their arms so they could maintain their balance 🙂

 

 

 

 

 


IMG_6870Another game the students played was bowling.  We had to adapt this with some of our students by using a mat so the ball could roll DOWN to get to the pins.  Our students had a blast with this, especially because the ball we used made noises when rolled—–perfect for our students with visual impairments.

IMG_6850The science access points track objects in motion and track the movement of objects that are pushed and pulled are addressed here.

Of course, we also counted all the pins and how many got knocked down!

 

 

 

IMG_6884For the last center, we pulled out a couple of the discovery bottles used in the sensory group as well as the stretchy material.  Our students loved looking at all of the SHINY colors in the discovery bottles.  They also enjoyed trying to see how LONG the material got when it was stretched—–recognize that pushing or pulling an object makes it move again addressed!

Although we didn’t get to see acrobats and gymnasts perform tricks, our students had lots of fun with the games.

 

 

 

IMG_6833Well, that wraps things up for this week! Be sure to join us again for more fun and learning—-Group by Group!

 

 

Thanksgiving

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IMG_7921It’s turkey time around here! Cara’s book explored directional concepts and our students had fun putting a stuffed turkey in the different positions from the book. We explored a variety of Thanksgiving related items in our sensory groups. We made cute little turkeys in the fine motor group and our language group went on a turkey hunt!

The social studies access points recognizing a past event and recognizing an activity associated with a national celebration are both addressed in all our groups this week.

 

 

 

Sensory Group

IMG_7926IMG_8046This first box was filled with Thanksgiving related items nestled in the silk fall leaves, gourds and pine cones. There were some dimensional felt pilgrims and a discovery bottle with beads to remind us of the Wampanoag tribe of native americans who feasted at the first Thanksgiving.

A toy car and toy airplane remind us that some people travel to their Thanksgiving feasts. A toy Tweety Bird and clown puzzle piece are like the big balloons and people on parade floats. A little football was included because that’s something people like to watch on tv after the big feast. It’s usually chilly this time of year so there was a tiny scarf and pieces of yarn!

Speaking of feasts—we had to include some play food and a grocery store “gift card”! And finally a cute plush turkey—-the symbol of Thanksgiving, along with the words HOME and FAMILY.

This box was filled with opportunities to address the language access point respond to new vocabulary that is introduced and taught directly. It also addresses the science access point recognizing a model of a real object.

 

 

 

 

IMG_7806Corn was one of the items on the first Thanksgiving menu! We put in some play food to find and hide again in the popcorn kernels. One of the cobs actually could be broken apart into 2 pieces and then put back together—-great for bilateral coordination!

Whether running fingers through it or exploring the play food, our students really enjoyed exploring the contents of this box.

The math access point recognizing parts of whole objects and parts of sets of objects is addressed here. Solving simple problems involving putting together and taking apart small quantities of objects is another math access point addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7945Our next box contained turkey feathers (a brown feather boa). This was fun to wrap around, wave in the air or just TOUCH—oh so soft!

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

IMG_7811Of course, some of our students got quite creative—deciding our little stuffed turkey needed some more feathers 🙂

Just too cute!!!

The science access point: explore, observe, and recognize common objects in the natural world is addressed with this activity.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7800IMG_8022There are lots of big football games coming up around Thanksgiving and we have lots of fans around here! We included a variety of colors in this pom pom shaker box so everyone could cheer for their favorite team!

Our students LOVE the pom pom shakers and had the best time with them as you can see!

The science access points recognizing that pushing and pulling an object makes it move and identifying objects by one observable property, such as color are addressed here.

 

 

 

 

IMG_7794We made some pumpkin pie scented playdough this week. Hmmm, it had such a wonderful aroma!

This turkey cookie cutter is very versatile—for either cutting out shapes in the playdough…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8010 OR being stuffed with it 🙂

This is a great activity for addressing hand intrinsic functions—strengthening, finger individuation, pincer grasp etc.

The math access point solving simple problems involving putting together and taking apart small quantities of objects is addressed in this activity.

The science access point recognizing that the appearance of an object or material has changed is also addressed.

 

 

 

 

IMG_7925IMG_7981Pumpkin pie needs some whipped cream! Shaving cream made a perfect stand in and as usual, our students had a great time squishing, smooshing—technical terms 🙂 —it about.

Recognizing that pushing or pulling an object makes it move is the science access point addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

IMG_7783Cinnamon pumpkin scented bath gel from Bath and Bodyworks made our rinsing water smell just delicious! Our students had fun playing with the different sized measuring cups.

Recognizing differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids (capacity) is the science access point addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7820The cinnamon pumpkin scented lotion left our students smelling like yummy pumpkin pies!

Recognizing one or more external body parts is the science access point addressed with this activity.

Recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli is another science access point addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fine Motor Group

On Tuesday we made some cute little turkeys. We started by discussing how we cut a circle plate into 2 pieces to make semi-circles.

IMG_7840IMG_7852Then we decorated the feathers using a variety of colorful markers. These fat markers are nice because they can be gripped at the top which is easier for some of our students. For our students with physical disabilities we used Joy’s adapted switch toy—-always a huge hit!

The science access points recognizing that the appearance of an object has changed and sharing objects with a partner are addressed with this activity.

The switch toy addresses the science access points tracking objects in motion and applying a push or pull to move an object. It also addresses the math access point of indicating a desire for more of an action.

 

 

 

IMG_7871Next we glued down a toilet paper roll…..

and attached a pre-made turkey face with googlie eyes. We discussed the different parts of the turkeys face and pointed out those parts on ourselves—-recognizing external body parts is a science access point!

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7889                                                                  TA gobble, gobble DA!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Thursday art project was a pilgrim ship! This was constructed with cardboard, paper, and a wooden dowel—a true trash to treasure project!

IMG_8117We started by showing our students a bottle of brown paint and asking them to show us the color brown on the communication board. They did a great job!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identifying an object by one observable property, such a color is a science access point.

IMG_8138IMG_8130Then we proceeded to paint the ship. We mostly used a variety of fat handled brushes to get the job done. A brush taped to a paint stick made for an excellent adaptation.

The science access points recognizing that pushing or pulling moves an object and recognizing a change in an object are addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

IMG_8159When the ship was painted we added a sail and some pilgrims and native americans (thanks to Sarah, our volunteer, for making them for us)! We added both students and staff faces to the figures—our students were pretty tickled with them.

For our Ta Da shot, our plan was to take a group shot of all our happy little pilgrims…..

Yes, lets try to get 5 little kids ALL looking at the camera and smiling at the same time—-yep, GOOD PLAN lol 🙂

 

 

Language Group

IMG_8068IMG_8075After reading Cara’s book we had our own turkey hunt! Cara made clues and hid laminated pictures of turkeys around the room.

Our students acted like pilgrims on the first Thanksgiving and searched for the turkeys using the clues they were given.  Some examples of the clues were, “look UNDER the table; look ON the chair; look IN the box”.  Our pilgrims did well with following the clues to find the turkeys.  Way to go!

 

 

 

 

IMG_8094The last turkey was outside the door and BESIDE a tree located in the hallway.  Lo and behold, the turkey brought a snack with him so that he wouldn’t be eaten!

This activity addressed the language access point respond purposefully to referent objects or pictures of objects or actions in a familiar read-aloud text.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8101The students enjoyed the cheeseballs and didn’t seem to mind that they weren’t getting a turkey dinner.  We let the students request how many they wanted to eat by indicating on a number board if they wanted 1, 2, or 3. Our student with a visual impairment used a number stick to select his choice.

This addresses the language access point of effectively communicating wants, and needs using referent objects, gestures, signs, pictures, symbols, or words.

 

 

 

IMG_8111IMG_8115Yum! Even our turkey joined the feast 🙂

We won’t be having groups next week because of the holiday. We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Pirate Day

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IMG_3451Avast ye land lubbers—-we celebrated Talk like a Pirate Day this week.

Cara had written such a great book last year that we used it again. Repetition is always good for our students and helps reinforce concepts and language learned. We kept some of the same sensory boxes but did add a few new ones.  Our fine motor and language group activities were different from last years celebration.

Shiver me timbers, we do have the cutest pirates to ever sail the seven seas! Read along to see all the fun we had and be prepared to smile 🙂

 

 

 

 

SENSORY GROUP

IMG_3440We filled this box with some basket filler in a pretty light ocean blue.  Then added some cool pirate stuff like a shipwreck (from an old aquarium), black beads and pom poms, an eye patch, and “parrot” feathers. Rubber duck and action figure pirates completed the box.

Lots of things to make you go argg 🙂

Visual discrimination skills are targeted as students look through the box and decide which items to pick up and examine.

The language access point responding to new vocabulary that is introduced and taught directly, is addressed in this activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3246Pirates are always looking for buried treasure on deserted islands and X marks the spot!

Our students were able to stamp an X in the sand with their cookie cutter. Shifting the sand aside reveals a treasure map and some gold coins taped the bottom of the box.

Math skills are addressed as the hidden coins or stamped X’s are counted.

In addition, applying a push or pull to move an object, such as stamping an X or pushing the sand aside, addresses science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3251IMG_3284If you find the right spot you can dig up a treasure chest filled with GOLD. Our students just couldn’t resist grabbing these gold beads by the handfuls!

Of course, adding a pirate hat really helps one get into character 🙂

Exploring, observing, and recognizing objects in the natural world is a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3271More treasure was contained in our discovery bottle. Filled with plastic jewels, gold glitter, water and corn syrup—-the bottle swirled and glittered as it was shaken. This was a really one of the prettiest bottles we have made—-very, very eye catching!

Picking up and grasping the bottle addresses eye hand coordination and gross grasp skills.

Recognizing that pushing or pulling an object makes it move and tracking objects as they move are science access points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3243IMG_3421We made some super cool black pirate playdough this week—and added some black glitter to it for additional sparkle! Did we mention this stuff was SUPER COOL 🙂

Our students could roll the playdough into cannon balls or use the bone shaped cookie cutter to make shapes.

Squeezing, pushing, pulling and otherwise manipulating playdough is great for strengthening hand intrinsics.

This activity addresses the science access point of recognizing that the appearance of an object or material has changed.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3294Then we turned off the lights and turned on our black light to help us explore our pirate swamp! We mixed up our oobleck using tonic water, which contains quinine, instead of ordinary water to help give it even more glow.

Our students practiced making prewriting strokes and the letter X in the oobleck and really had fun watching it drip and flow down hands!

Using the senses—-in this case vision and touch—to explore objects is a science access point. Tracking the oobleck as it flows also addresses a science access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3310We finished by rinsing hands in Bath and Bodyworks Ocean scented bath gel with an added element—–ocean spray (from our mister)!  Some of our students got quite giggly as they felt the mist come down around them 🙂

A large measuring cup and measuring spoon were available in the water bowl for scooping fun.

The science access point of recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli is addressed as the water spray comes down. The math access point of recognizing differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids while scooping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3476As usual, we also used the companion lotion to help our students learn external body parts and address the math access point of indicating a desire for more of an action or object.

This also addresses the science access point of recognizing external body parts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINE MOTOR GROUP

IMG_3379Every pirate needs a pet so on Tuesday we made a paper plate parrot for our art project!

We counted out a circle shaped paper plate for each student then gave them a choice of 3 colors to paint their parrot. Since the Florida Alternate Assessment has an array of 3 format, we like to give our students lots of practice making choices out of sets of 3.

Our students are getting to be such good painters!

Recognizing a common object with a 2 dimensional shape is a math access point.

Effectively communicate wants and needs to a familiar person using referent objects, gestures/signs, pictures, symbols, or words is a language access point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3327IMG_3342Then we used our circle cutter to cut out 2 small circles.  We glued these onto the paper plate and added 2 googlie eyes on top.

We also added a precut beak and some fluffy feathers.

Picking up and placing the smaller pieces promotes pincer grasp and finger isolation skills in addition to eye hand coordination.

Recognizing differences in size of objects and associating quantities 1 and 2 with number names are math access points.

 

 

TA DA!!!!!!!

 

IMG_3411Looks like Polly parrot is ready to set sail!

 

 

 

 

IMG_0315On Thursday our little pirates made some telescopes—–all the better to see those treasure filled islands 🙂

We used paper towel and toilet paper rolls that fit inside each other—-to get telescoping action, way cool! They were decorated with paper strips.  We started by using our paper cutters to cut rectangle shaped strips of paper and taped them to the rolls. The electric scissors attached to a switch were used for our students with physical impairments.

Recognizing a change in an object ( as the paper is cut) and recognizing a model of a real object are science access points.

Recognizing a common object with a 2 dimensional shape (the rectangular paper) is a math access point.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0333The strips of paper were taped around each roll. We discussed the fact that one roll was large and one was small—-addressing the math access point of recognizing the differences in size of objects.

Bilateral coordination and eye hand coordination are addressed as the paper is taped around the roll and as one roll is inserted into the other!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0327Land Ho!!!!

ARGHH 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANGUAGE GROUP

IMG_0272A pirate came by and left clues to his buried treasure in our language group.  Our students had to use the clues to find the hidden treasure.  Each of the clues incorporated a preposition, like “up”, “next to”, “under” and “on”.  They also had a rhyming word to help figure out what to look for.  For example, “this thing rhymes with carrot.  Is it parrot or car?”  The students did such a grrrrrreat job figuring out the rhyming words and finding the things associated with pirates.

Using pictures, symbols, gestures/signs, or words to communicate meaning.

Recognizing a movement that reflects a spatial relationship is a math access point.

 

 

 

IMG_0297 IMG_0295-1Hidden around the room and also outside were a parrot, a pirate vest, a hook, a pirate hat, and of course, the hidden treasure on the X.

Recognizing the next step in a simple pattern or sequence of activities is a math access point.

Associating information with referent objects is a language access point.

When the students found the treasure, they opened it up to find a little treat wrapped in gold wrapping paper.  Excitement galore!

IMG_0294                                                                                               It was fun fer all 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3372Arrrgg, be sure to ship out with us next week for more fun and learning, Group by Group!

Jobs At School

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We celebrated labor day this week by talking about what different jobs there are at our school. There were a lot of familiar faces in Cara’s book and the students in all our groups got so excited when they recognized someone.  One of our students was able to verbalize what the music and art teacher did right when seeing their picture!

SENSORY GROUP

IMG_2820One of the most important jobs at school is “teacher”—the person who helps us learn to read and count!  We have some pretty fabulous ones at our school 🙂 and for their box we used our blue moonsand—-one of our school colors is blue! Our students had the choice of pressing A B C or 1 2 3 cookie cutters into the sand.

Pushing the cookie cutters helps strengthen hand intrinsics as well as working on letter and number identification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2648Our students really love music and we had such fun with our “music teacher” box. We brought out our shakers—lentils in one bottle and acorns in another—-and recorded some lively music on the voice output device.

It was so cute to see little heads start bobbing as soon as the button was pressed—-even Ms. Joi started rocking out to the beat 🙂

This activity addresses the language access point of responding to rhythm in familiar songs.

By pressing the voice output device, students address the math access point of indicating a desire for more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2652Who doesn’t love art—-especially when it involves finger painting! Our sensory group version was shaving cream with food coloring. Messy fun, always a favorite with us. It’s a great tactile experience but also an opportunity to practice prewriting designs and letters.

This activity also addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli.

As the food coloring is mixed with the shaving cream, the science access point of recognizing a change in an object is addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2760Water play is always fun, whether in the swimming pool during PE or our little splash pool!

As hands—both little and big—splash the water, the science access point of applying a push to move an object is addressed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2659We used SOFT cotton balls and HARD tongue depressors for our “nurse” box. Some of our students enjoyed sorting the items by texture, practicing counting or even imitating some letters!

Of course, just exploring the items was a popular activity also 🙂

The science access point of recognizing common objects as identical to each other can be addressed here.

This also addresses the math access point of recognizing two objects that are the same size or color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2822LUNCH—everyone’s favorite part of the day 🙂 Our lunchroom staff serve us lots of choices of yummy food!

We filled our box with some green paper shred “lettuce” and a variety of play food. Eating utensils, an identification card and a mini lunch tray.

Hmm………a burger or chicken, decisions decisions……

The math access point of recognizing common activities that occur every day can be addressed with this box.

In addition, the science access points of recognizing models of real objects and recognizing that people need food can be addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2780One of the most exciting jobs at school has to be “school bus driver”. Our students love their big yellow buses and drivers! Our yellow rice was wonderfully bright and perfect for driving a little bus around in. A picture of the bus was also taped to the bottom of the box.

The science access points of applying a push or pull to move an object and recognizing models of real objects are both addressed in this box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2850We finished with Bath and Bodyworks Country Apple scent—-apples for teacher, naturally 🙂

Our students are always given the opportunity to communicate their preferences for the week’s scent and this one was pretty much a favorite of everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fine Motor Group

IMG_2693IMG_2700On Tuesday we stamped with an assortment of fruit and vegetables—-on rectangle shaped paper.

just like those we get at lunch!

This was a great art activity, our students really had a great time and were fascinated by the impressions they made. And……nobody took samples 🙂

The math access point of recognizing 2 dimensional shapes is addressed here.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2738                                                   TA DA—-didn’t these turn out so cute and colorful!

 

 

 

IMG_2908On Thursday we made paper plate tambourines.  We started by counting out our circle plates and then decorated them with markers.

The math access point of recognizing 2 dimensional shapes is addressed here.

You may notice our students don’t always have a perfect “tripod grasp” of their writing utensil but we feel that active involvement is more important than perfect grasps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2943IMG_2919Then we attached 3 jingle bells which were pre-threaded with small chenille stems. Our students did need help pushing and pulling the chenille stems through the holes but what a great opportunity to work on pincer grasp skills —–Joy really likes that, one of those OT things 🙂

We counted the bells as they were strung, asking our students to find the number on the communication board—–they did an awesome job, we were so proud!!!!!

 

 

 

 

IMG_2939Time to rock out, our students LOVED shaking their tambourines……

TA sha la la DA 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Language Group

IMG_2856We used the same pictures of the people used in our book and  Boardmaker symbols for pictures of what each person could be associated with at school.  We taped the people on the left side and the picture symbols on the right side of a piece of board.

Using black yarn that was connected to each of the pictures of people, the students had to figure out what picture symbol went with which person.

This activity addresses the language access point of recognizing familiar persons and objects associated with routines.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2876For our students who needed more support to understand the concept, we used auditory scanning and had them answer yes or no or eye gaze to indicate their choice, for example “Does the music teacher use a bandaid? Does she use a paintbrush? Does she use musical instruments?”).

After finding the correct picture symbol, Cara modeled the PIXON symbols “she uses this” and had the students verbalize if they were able to or point in the correct order if they were unable to vocalize.

This addresses the language access point of communicating information about familiar persons, objects, or actions, using non-verbal expressions, gestures, signs, pictures, symbols, or words.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2867IMG_2858For some of our students with visual impairments and also for the students that do not have a great understanding of pictures yet, we used real objects, including: paintbrush for the art teacher, maraca for the music teacher, ball for PE teacher, stethoscope for nurse, play food for lunch lady, and a recording of bus sounds for bus driver.

This worked out SO great and made it more meaningful for ALL the students.

 

IMG_2634It was another great week and we had so much fun, join us next time…….Group by Group 🙂