This week our theme followed the Unique Curriculum unit some of our classes were learning about this month. Lets dive right in and explore all our fun activities……
We started with winter—and a wish for snow! We don’t get a lot of that stuff down here in Florida but we can still dream…..
Assorted snowflakes (paper, ornaments, etc), white pompom yarn, white and silver beads along with twist ties and clear packing tape turned a clear umbrella into a winter wonderland—-pretty darn magical, if we do say so ourselves 🙂
This really was a great experience for our students, they really loved it!
Exploring, observing, and recognizing objects in the natural world is the science access point addressed in this activity.
No winter wonderland is complete without snow! We made ours using cornstarch and shaving cream. Adding the cornstarch gave the shaving cream some texture and allowed it to be shaped into small “snowballs” if desired.
This was totally fun messy play, with MESSY being the operative word—–our students dived in and this stuff got everywhere 🙂
Bilateral coordination is addressed when making snowballs.
Applying a push to move an object and recognizing and responding to different stimuli are the science access points addressed with this activity.
Spring is such a colorful time of year with plants growing and flowers blooming. In this box, we sprinkled some dried bean “seeds” into our colorful green rice—and taped a hidden surprise of pictures of colorful plants just waiting to bloom as the rice was swept away. The picture was actually a piece of wallpaper from one of those wallpaper sample books that someone always seems to be giving away
We also put in the letters W (winter), F (fall), and S (spring, summer)
This box helps address visual and tactile discrimination as well as fine motor skills for picking up the little “seeds”.
Recognizing that pushing or pulling an object to make it move is a science access point addressed here. In addition, the science access points of recognizing the leaf and flower of a plant and recognizing that plants grow can be addressed.
Our second box was filled with our caterpillar and butterfly pasta—-now this is one COLORFUL box! It’s also a wonderful box for sorting concepts of same/different and counting activities—-lots of math access points covered, including:
Solving problems involving small quantities of objects using language such as “more”, recognizing objects that are identical to each other, recognizing when an object is added to (addition) or taken away (subtraction) from a situation, recognizing two objects that are the same size or color……
It’s amazing all the learning you can fit into one little box!
Fall has so many pretty colors with the changing leaves and colorful gourds and pumpkins that are seen everywhere.
Our students loved picking up and shaking the leaves as well as watching handfuls of them drift down. Others found a couple of scarecrow friends.
This was another great box for visual and tactile discrimination, so many things to explore!
The science access point of exploring, observing, and recognizing common objects in the natural world is addressed here.
Recognizing models of real objects is another science access point addressed.
Fall also means colorful warm sweaters and blankets—at least to look at in the stores, NO WAY is it cold enough to need them here yet 🙂
This soft pompom yarn has such pretty fall colors and is just so touchable—-wouldn’t it make a fabulous blanket or poncho!?
Our students had a great time with this yarn, draping it around themselves or just shaking it. Pulling it apart is a great way to work on bilateral coordination!
Recognizing and responding to different types of sensory stimuli is a science access point addressed here.
The science access point of recognizing clothing worn by humans in different seasons can also be addressed.
In the same box, we also included a shaker bottle filled with acorns. Our students love shaker bottles—-it’s always fun to make noise!
The science access points recognizing and responding to common sounds, recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli AND applying a push to move an object are all addressed here.
Discussing that acorns turn into oak trees also helps relate to the science access point recognizing that plants grow.
That’s a lot of science in one bottle!!!
Summer means going to the beach! We put in 3 seashells and 1 starfish for our students to find in our summer fun sand box. We used fine soft play sand that our students really loved touching.
Whether addressing the science access point of tracking objects in motion or the math access point of associating quantities with number names—–this is a great box!
Other access points addressed include for math: recognizing objects that are the same size or color and for science: recognizing common objects related to science by name.
Finishing up summer, our scent this week was Bath and Bodyworks aruba coconut. It was a wonderful summer aroma for our warm water play which included 2 colorful squirter fish. You would be hard pressed to find a more fun way to work on strengthening grip skills 🙂
Identifying objects by one observable property such as color and recognizing materials as warm or cold are science access points addressed here.
We finished with a little lotion, addressing the science access point of recognizing external body parts. This scent was a real favorite with the students and they left smelling like they had spent a day at the beach!
FINE MOTOR GROUP
For our art activity this week we made seasonal trees using torn tissue paper (our usual stash from presents past). Our tree trunk came from a reproducible in the book Apples, Apples Everywhere by Peggy Hundley Spitz OTR which can be purchased from Flaghouse.
On Tuesday we made our spring and summer trees. We used pink and purple paper for spring and green paper for our summer trees. On Thursday we used brown and orange for the fall trees and white paper with silver swirls for the winter trees.
We started by asking the students to match the communication symbols with the different paper colors. You may have observed that the literacy component for this student might have been improved if we had actually presented the words right side up 🙂
Recognizing two objects that are the same color is a science access point.
Responding accurately and consistently to referent objects or pictures used in routines is a language access point.
For each tree, we tore and crumpled up the paper. This is a great activity for addressing bilateral coordination and the students really had fun with it!
Recognizing that the appearance of an object or material has changed is a science access point.
The crumpled paper pieces were then dipped in glue………
and placed on the tree. This activity addresses pincer grasp skills and eye hand coordination.
We also counted the pieces as they were applied—-of course!
Recognizing that the appearance of some plants in the environment changes throughout the year is a science access point.
Our students were pretty pleased with the way their trees turned out—–can you tell 🙂
We started off the group by reading Cara’s book and asking the students to point to the picture of their favorite season.
Communicating preferences using non-verbal gestures is a language access point.
After the students had indicated their favorite season, we used some of the boxes and objects from the sensory group as props.
For summer we used the sand, autumn we used the box of leaves, spring we used the green rice, and for winter we used the umbrella. What a hit!
This activity addresses the language access point of exploring and interacting with the functions of selected objects.
Next we played a memory game. We made cards using Boardmaker symbols and laminated them.
The pictures on the cards were: summer, autumn, winter, spring, beach, rake, mittens, and bird. They were presented with 4 pictures at a time which were turned over, face down. Each student took a turn and flipped over 2 cards at a time.
Using referent objects or pictures from a familiar read-aloud story is a language access point.
PIXON picture symbols for “same” and “different” were presented to the students and they were asked if the cards they flipped over were the same or different. Some of our students required some assistance figuring it out, but for the most part, they did pretty well.
Using pictures, symbols, gestures/signs, or words to communicate meaning is a language access point
This week turned out to be so much fun! We hope you enjoy seeing what we did as much as we enjoyed experiencing it! Please join us again, Group by Group.