Saturday, April 18, 2009

Weather/Calendar board

I made a weather/calendar board for A17 using familar boardmaker pictures. I used a cheap clipboard from the dollar store. I used a clipboard instead of cardstock so it would be sturdy when trying to velcro the picture. For other boards I have used inexpensive white boards to velcro pictures.
We are mostly focusing on day of the week and not the number. He especially likes to do the weather! Every morning the first thing he wants me to do is open the curtains so he can see outside.

He picks from a choice of 2 or 3 pictures when we do the board. For the I am statement, this means describe how I am feeling. This is a tough concept for many kids with special needs. For seasons, we also have an interactive book where he needs to put pictures under the proper season.

Nature Journal and Sun Prints

A17 started a nature journal last fall. We use a binder that he decorated with stickers. In the binder are sheets pre-printed with room for the date, weather, items found and animals/birds seen. I printed out sheets of boardmaker pictures of common items to use a stickers.

Here is one journal entry. He went for a walk and collected an oak leaf, pine cone and small yellow flower. We then glued the corresponding boardmaker pictures in. We also have several nature books that we can use to look up items and find out more information.

Since A17 can't sketch, we are using Sunprint paper to make pictures of the things he collects. I found mine at my local United Art and Education store. It's very easy to use. Put the items down on the paper and leave out in the sun for several minutes. Next, lay the paper in a shallow pan of water to set the prints. Last, dry the paper out of the sun. You will then have a nice sun print!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Science Experiments

A17 loves science! This year we have had fun adding science and experiments to all of our units.
While we check out tons of books from the library, it is nice to have some experiment books of our own so we can do an experiment any time. I have found some neat books at the half price bookstore and in the bargain racks at Borders.

Here are some of our favorite experiment books:

Janice VanCleave's Science Around the Year
Janice VanCleave's 203 Freezing, Frosty, Cool and Wild Science Experiments
Janice VanCleave's 200 Gooey, Slippery, Slimy, Weird and Fun Science Experiments
Pop Bottle Science
501 Science Experiments
DK Kitchen Science
The Everything Kids Science Experiment book

Math Games

I found these jumbo sized foam dice at the teacher store. They are easy for A17 to pick up, hold and throw. We are using these for number practice. After a throw, he needs to count the dots and pick which number it is from a choice of number cards or use his Dynavox to tell me. They can also be used to write simple addition problems.

We are using dominoes in a similar way. Because regular size dominoes are too small for A17, I made some using large rectangles of black cardstock. You can either use paint to make the dots or use a large circle punch.

Funtastic frogs have pattern and activity cards as well as workbooks. I found a fantastic clearance sale on the books and cards at Bookcloseouts.

DK Math Wizard game reviews numbers and counting.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Workbox Ideas

In the past A17 has worked on job boxes--shoe boxes containing a fine motor activity such as sorting plastic silverware. Now we are broadening that to include workboxes. I went through my totes and made a list of what would work in the boxes. Found some things I had forgotten about! LOL

Here are some ideas that we have tried or intend to try. I'm always adding to my list!

Touchmath sheets
magnetic counters
other counters ( bears, large colored spools, Toob animals)
magnetic pattern cards
themed pattern cards and counters
Funtastic frogs
balance scale
dice game ( using a jumbo sized foam dice)
domino game
velcro book for counting

chapter books
easy readers
non-fiction books related to unit study
audio books
vocabulary cards using Boardmaker
Leap pad

Everything else!
unit studies
lapbooks ( ie minit books)
craft supplies ( paints, foam stickies, markers, etc)
lacing cards
lacing beads/blocks
chalk book
Discovery Toys Busy Bugs
Lauri sorting and stacking frogs
sticker books
Learning Resources weather game
magnetic doll with clothes
velcro books with interactive pieces ( ie survival signs, street signs, colors, counting)
file folder games ( ie Evan Moor and Carson Dellosa)
magnetic letters
knob puzzles
sorting games ( use color sorting bowls)
number pegboard
card games ( ie Arthur)
dot markers and art book
magnet matching puzzles
stamps with handles and washable stamp pads
Kumon books for fine motor skills ( cutting, pasting, coloring)
magnetic books
ice cream scoop color game
wood bead stacker
bristle blocks
magnetic wand and discs
sensory boxes ( ie beans, rice)
playdoh and cookie cutters
giant pegboard
alphabet game ( homemade-match upper and lower case)
homemade dictionary ( notebook with pictures cut from magazines and pasted on letter page)
Leap pad
music ( cd's, instruments, Kindermusik stuff)
Early Visual Skills ( tracking, patterns, size)
nature journal and stickers
scavenger hunt
experiments ( Janice Van Cleave books, pop bottle science, etc)
Color Wonder books
matching games ( ie memory)
bean bags
clothes pin games
Magna Doodle
dry erase books, maps
Discovery Toys Opposite Pairs game

Penguins Lapbook

This lapbook was completed in January. We focused on penguins and antarctica. Along with reading several non-fiction books about penguins ( including books by Gail Gibbons and Bobbie Kalman) we read the story of Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester. It's the first in a series of books that A17 enjoys. He really enjoyed making the two wheels. We used a brass fastener to hold the layers together.

This is the front of the first lapbook. The file folder is layed open flat and each side is folder in to the center. I found the minit books as well as other lapbook items on Homeschoolshare.

The Seaworld teacher page also has some nice stuff for kids about penguins including the food chain, maps, and crafts.

Other printables were taken from Mailbox magazine and Evan Moor's Theme Pockets January.