Monday, April 7, 2014

Coffee Filter Butterflies

We are knee deep in our insect unit.  Last week we made coffee filter butterflies and they came out super cute.  The best part is that they are an easy, fun craft that works on fine motor skills,

To make these cute butterflies you will need a coffee filter, washable markers, black pipe cleaners (really any color will work) and a spray bottle and water.  We also had a tray (old cafeteria trays) to put our coffee filters on to contain the water.

First the students colored on the filters with the markers.  I stressed to them just to use different colors and not worry about drawing specific designs.  That was so hard foursome of them!  After they finished decorating I used a permanent marker to write their names on the filter.  Next we put it on the tray and the kids used the spray bottle to wet it download. We then left our butterflies to dry,the next day, I took a black pipecleaners, bundled up the coffee filter in the middle and hooked the pipe cleaner around them.  These butterflies were the perfect addition to our window and hopefully will help spring show up!  

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Work box: bug count

This task is one of my favorites.  I am actually using it with my preschoolers right now and they love it.  I have also used it with my K-2 population and it goes over just as well.
To make this I used a cute container that I found in the Target dollar section.  I then used foam bug beads from Oriental trading that we had ordered a few years ago and hot glued them to large craft sticks.  I also not glued erasers to the sticks, but they did not stay on well.  To make the clothes pins I added foam numbers to the clothespin.  The only one I do not really like how it turned out is the 10.

To use this students pick out a stick and count the bugs.  The student then finds the clothes pin with the correct number and clips it to the stick.  I love this because students are not only working on counting, 1:1 correspondence, and number recognition, but they are also working on their fine motor skills when squeezing the clothes pin.

Friday, March 28, 2014

World Autism Awareness Day

This is a copy of an email that I send to my co-workers.  I wanted to share with all of you in case you would like to use it!  

April 2nd marks the 7th year of World Autism Awareness Day.

As a special education community we know the impacts of Autism on our students and our families.  Lets celebrate our students unique differences by wearing blue on April 2nd (or an Autism Awareness t-shirt).  The same day businesses and homes around the world will be lighting up blue.  You can find out more by going to this website.

If you are interested in teaching your class a bit about autism here is some age based lesson plans.

You can also find a wonderful Arthur video on YouTube.

Last, but not least is a great video by Carly Fleischmann about what it feels like to be a person with Autism.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Work box: money sort

So what did you think of the alphabet matching task?  Easy to make right?  Well this one is even easier!

I found these great 3 section trays at the Dollar Tree and they are perfect for sorting.  I use them for all types of things, but this one is sorting coins.  To make it I used clear packing tape to adhere a coin to each section.  

The kids do great sorting these and after they sort we count the number of coins(we are not ready to to count the actual amount of money yet).  I will have more ideas for this in the next few days.  I jut forgot to take a picture and pictures are always better!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New work boxes/tasks!

I have 3 new work tasks to share, but  spreading them out over 3 posts so I can build suspense (dun, dun, dun!).  

The first one is a new uppercase and lowercase match I made.  What I love about this is I can use the same "Velcro board"  for different tasks.  For example I also made cards with various amounts of objects and students have to match the number. Of course I forgot to take pictures of that on!

So to make this, first I made the cards.  (If you would like them, leave me a comment!) then I took a side off of a box.  I used glue dots to attach 2 styrofoam containers to the end of the cardboard.  I then added Velcro strips.   

The student I am using this with picked up on it really quickly.  I am looking forward to figuring out other ways to use this board. Any suggestions appreciated!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Baking Unit

The past few weeks we have been knee deep in our baking/cooking unit.  We did A LOT of cooking and cute activities.  I only have pictures of some of the activities now, so I thought I would break this up into two posts. 

dirt, cooking, Learning Ahoy, special education, life skills
One day we made dirt.  I love making dirt with kids. (You can find another blog post on dirt here.)  I lead this activity so of course we made a huge mess.  The kids all took turns either opening the pudding packs, pouring the mix in the bowl, or adding the milk to the bowl.  We then all took turn stirring and while waiting their turns the kids sang a song (This is way we stir the pudding, stir the pudding, stir the pudding.  This is the way we stir the pudding, when we make dirt).

 After that we added the whip cream.  Again, each student took a turn adding a scoop.  Next we crushed up the Oreos.  Each student had their own small bag of Oreos in a Ziploc.  They then used a block to crush up the Oreos.  While they were crushing, I was pudding the pudding into cups.  The kids then added their crushed Oreos to the top and  then some gummy worms.  The final verdict was “ MMM, dirt is good.” (The pictures of the cutie where the face is not covered happens to be my own little boy, B.  He will be 5 tomorrow!!  I am lucky mom to be able to teach him on the days that we join the two preschool classes together. )

We also made Pancakes.  We read the book If You Give A Pig  Pancake.  Then for snack we made pancakes.  We also had strawberries and m&ms to make some special pancakes.  You will notice in these pictures that we remembered to have them put on the adorable aprons that one of our paraprofessionals made.  We made these in much the same way, giving each student a chance to do some part of the recipe. These were another hit!!

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dr. Seuss week

Are you celebrating the life of Theodore Geisel this week? We love Dr. Seuss books in our house and at school.  I have already read some books this year and wanted to show you an activity I made to accompany the book 10 Apples up On top.

Last year, I had the kids put an apple on their head and then I took a picture.  They then typed the sentence “I have one apple up on top.”.  This was great for the group I had last year, but with this years crew I knew I needed to do something different.

My preschoolers are working hard on counting, one to one correspondence, and number identification. So I made them a book to count the apples on their heads.  I took a picture of each one of them, cut out the background (that tutorial is coming up soon!), then placed apples on their heads.  It is perfect and the kids love it!!  For the apples I took a picture of an apple we had in our classroom (Ok, really about 15 pictures. I had to have the perfect one) and cut out the background.  Then I just pasted the number I wanted on their heads.  I had pictures to share, but my flash drive is not working.  Hopefully I can update in a little bit with pictures. Yay!! My husband fixed my flash drive!!!

apple, Learning Ahoy, Dr. Suess
I was trying to figure out how to share this adorable activity with everyone, so I made a version of the book  How many apples up on top? with animals.  You can find it in my TPT store.   If you would like a book with your students in it, send me an email.  I am thinking about offering a custom book in my TPT store, but want to gauge interest.  The price would be $5 or less (up to 25 pictures).

banana, strawberry, pattern, Dr. Suess
Last year I also made the green eggs with my kids using the vanilla wafer and pudding.  You can find all about that by going to this post.  Anther yummy activity we did was with bananas and strawberries.  We were able to practice fine motor skills, patterning, and communication with that one.  You can find a post all about it here.

We are doing a lot more this week and I will post about those activities later.
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