Friday, May 29, 2009

Pirate Lapbook

For a pirates lapbook we read a Magic Tree House chapter book , Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne. Many of the Magic Tree House books have research guides which go along with them--in this case we read Pirates. These guides are packed with lots of neat info and drawings and A17 really enjoys them. Another great book was DK Eye Wonder: Pirate.
The lapbook components came from several sources including Homeschoolshare and Hands of a Child. I purchased the lapbook Ahoy Matey! from HOAC. The Magic Tree House items were found on the Random House website which has teacher guides for some of their books.

The left side of the lapbook contained a minit book on some key vocab from Pirates Past Noon, a list of the books we read, a tabbed minit book on pirates, a minit book on parrots and minit book of A17's favorite pirate jokes.

The right side has an eye spy minit book, a Magic Tree House Passport, a book on words with the letter P , and minit books on island and compass. The MTH Passport includes 4 pages which are used to summarize the book. For compass you might want to try an experiment making your own with a cork, needle and a pan of water. There are several variations of this online.

Pirate Crafts

A17 finished a fun unit on Pirates. We decided on a pirate unit after he had so much fun doing a pirate skit at AAC camp last summer. Aarrgh!! For this craft we found a wooden box ( JoAnn's) and painted it black. Then he glued on wooden decorations also found at the craft store. Inside are gold coins cut from craft foam. We also used the foam coins to play a pirate board game.

The second craft is a foam kit from Michaels. This was a bit trickier due to all the glue and needed to be completed in stages. The sails didn't go on exactly right, so we improvised!

For the map we started with off white paper and printed out a map. We crumpled up the paper then smoothed it back out. To give it an old look we used a wet tea bag and "painted" all over the paper. For a quick dry, I used my hair dryer.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Work Job Board

Although we have been doing the workbox system lately, I wanted to share another type of visual schedule that has been a big help to A17. We have used the work job board at home and at therapies for years. For us, the workbox system is an extension of our work job board. I made the board above from an inexpensive dry erase board I found at Walmart.
The child picks a preferred activity--for A17 it could be computer, music, or any other fun activity. I have specific cards for these but keep a generic treat card for something unexpected. At therapy the "reward" is doing a favorite activity like gait trainer. Then I or the therapist chooses the work or "job" activities that must be completed before a favorite activity. When each job is completed, he takes off the card. This helps him know what is expected and gives him something to work toward. I also use this to break down a more difficult task into steps.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Craft Box

One thing that has been a suprise to me this year is how often A17 requests to do crafts. He has enjoyed coloring in the past, but not much else. Now, he asks me to get out our craft box. I put together a basic craft box at the start of the school year so we would be able to do some basic crafts whenever the mood strikes. He needs lots of help due to fine motor issues but really enjoys choosing supplies, colors and pointing where something should go!
The box is a tall clear tote with a lid and a handle. I keep the paints in a separate box in case of leaks.

A look inside shows:

sheets of felt in several basic colors
colored pipe cleaners
googly eyes
jingle bells in gold and silver
glitter paints
glitter in sprinkle tubes
Elmers clear washable school glue
Elmers glue sticks
crafts sticks--regular and jumbo--plain colored
pom poms--variety of colors and sizes
colored feathers
Crayola washable kid paints
paint brush with thick handle
Crayola So Big crayons
Crayola washable markers

Our biggest craft find has been foam stickies that you can buy in tubs at craft stores. These have been a huge hit with A17! He uses these to make cards, bookmarks, door hangers, collages, etc. We have also purchased several themed kits-- a pirate ship and a log cabin--to go along with our unit studies. I prefer to buy the ones with the sticky background so we don't have to mess around with gluing small pieces.

For anyone doing the workbox system, we have found that the following crafty items really work well in the boxes.

Kumon First Steps Workbooks--Let's color, Let's sticker and paste, Let's Fold,

Crayola Color Wonder books and markers

Let's Draw with Chalk ( or other chalk books)

paint with water books


washable stamp pads and stamps ( we use an adapted handle and tape/velcro the stamp on)

A17 uses adapted scissors. These are a push down type. I put the paper in and move it as necessary while he pushes down on the handle.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wipe-Off Books

Since receiving new dry erase markers ( see Touchmath post), A17 loves using them. He can't write due to his disability, but he is enjoying several pre-writing books. He needs some assistance with hand eye coordination to follow the lines. Some books in this series can be found at Target.

The Get Ready to Print book features animals and a construction theme. A green star shows the child where to start and the red dot shows the end. The book starts with simple draw a line activities and gets progressively harder as you advance through the book.
A second book titled Pre-Printing with Mazes features a mouse. Each page is a maze with another adventure such as find the buried treasure, get through a cave, fly in outer space. This book has a black arrow to show where to start and a piece of cheese at the end.

DK Wildlife Gardening

A17 and I love this new book we found! DK's Wildlife Gardening --How to Bring Birds and Bugs to your Backyard by Martyn Cox. We are looking forward to trying some of these projects. Projects are listed as Watch It, Make It or Grow It.

Here is a sample from the table of contents:

Keep a nature diary

Make a butterfly house

Grow smiley sunflowers

Make a wormery ( this looks really cool for A17!)

Make a ladybug sanctuary

Grow a wildlife hedge

Make a flower pot birdhouse

Watch a pond dipping

Make a frog and toad home
I'll update when we have completed some of these projects.