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Searching for Starfish

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Thinking about the next activity to add to our summer scavenger hunt idea, I came up with Searching for Starfish.  We love going to the beach and boating, so I thought the girls would like the “summer like” theme…hence the starfish.  I decided to just focus on the numbers 1-9 with and to start with a matching activity.

I made a template with starfish labeled 1-9.  And then I created matching pink starfish with the same numbers.

You can get the printable for this activity HERE.

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I laminated and cut out the pink starfish and then started to think how to make it into a scavenger hunt.  In the past the girls have enjoyed rice bins, so I dyed some rice yellow and hid the starfish in the rice.  You can learn how to dye rice here.  It is very easy!!

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Then I added a couple of shells into the mixture and the girls took turns looking for the starfish.

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Since number recognition is a skill that Avery is currently working on (Leslie is too young), she matched the starfish to the correct number on the corresponding sheet.  I was pretty impressed that she was able to match most of them with little help from me.  When it was Leslie’s turn she gave the starfish to Avery, so she could match them again!

Next time we do this activity, I plan on getting some tweezers so the girls can work on their fine motor skills.

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I decided to make a starfish themed number lesson to accompany this activity since the girls seemed to enjoy it. Included in the mini lesson are flashcards, number matching, individual number sheets, and coloring sheets.  Here is a sample of an activity sheet.

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If you want to check out the entire kit you can find it HERE.

 

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Self Control Cue Cards

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In preparation for next year, I decided to start making a toolbox of resources.  In the past, I have worked with a number of children who have trouble with self control….either they have never been taught the skills or cannot control their actions and need some additional strategies to help them out!  I made four different colored cards that can been used in a number of different ways.  I got the cute polka dot background from here.

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After a small group lesson on teaching self control strategies (take a deep breath, count to 10, ect.), these cards can be given to students as a visual reminder.  Students can keep the card in their desk or tape it to the top of the desk.  When teachers start seeing signs of frustration, they can refer the student to their cue card.

Another way to use the cards could be within a classroom self reflection center.  I hope to make a future post on classroom self reflection centers.  These cue cards could be kept in a basket of “calming tools” for students.

Teachers could also display the cards on a poster within the classroom, so all students can see it and be directed towards it, when frustration is mounting.

I printed out four cards of each color to keep in my office. You can get your copy FREE here. Enjoy!

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Morning Time Visual Schedule

Toddler Morning Time Visual Schedule

Morning time in our house has become rather chaotic. Getting a two and a three year old dressed and ready (plus getting myself ready) and out the door by 7 am is no easy task.  While I try to have most everything prepared the night before (lunch, coffee set, clothes laid out, ect), morning time is still very rough and NOT the way I want our family to start the day.  So, I started to think about ways I could make it better and decided to make a visual schedule for the girls.

Visual schedules have provided an essential intervention element for children I have worked with in the past that experience difficulty with transition and that is exactly the problem my two little ones are currently experiencing.

There are so many different ways to create a visual schedule, but I wanted to start simple and small so I just focused on five essentials that must happen in the morning.

1. Go Potty

2. Eat Breakfast

3. Get Dressed

4. Get Hair Fixed and

5. Brush Teeth

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I also wanted the girls to have something tangible they could do when a task was completed, so I put the schedule in a file folder that I cut so they could cover up the task when it is complete.

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After you paste or tape the schedule into the folder, you cut slits down the file folder, so each item is divided.

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Of course I had to create two so each girl would have their own!

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The only materials you would need to create a similar chart would be a file folder and velcro.  I also laminated mine in order for it to last longer (hopefully!).

UPDATE: The original file folder was easily torn, so I went back and laminated the file folder and now is very durable.  I also keep is stationary on the refrigerator.

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So far the schedule has provided a more relaxed morning and the girls enjoy folding the cards and making it a race.

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You can get a copy of this schedule I created here for FREE!  All clipart was taken from Classroom Clipart.

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Going on a Color Hunt

As summer approaches, I’ve been thinking about creating a repertoire of activities to do with my girls.  There is so much that you can do with scavenger hunts that keeps kids engaged and learning.   Leslie is working on her colors and shapes and Avery is mastering her numbers and letters, so I thought I would create some activities that would work on these skills.

I had never heard of the song from “We’re going on a Bear Hunt” until Avery came home earlier this year and started singing it.  What cute little lyrics that lend themselves perfectly to a Scavenger Hunt.  The first activity I created was “Going on a Color Hunt”.  I laminated the paper, so the girls could look for the colors around the house or outside and then cross them off when they found the color.  Not only does this help Leslie with identifying her colors, it also helps Avery identifying her color words.Dots

I switched up the lyrics to go with our “Color Hunt”

We’re going on a color hunt!
We’re going on a color hunt!
We’re gonna catch a RED color!
We’re gonna catch a RED color!

You can print our your free copy here and just cut in half.

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Here is another spin on it by collecting colored objects in bags.  Details can be found at crayonfreckles.blogspot.com

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I’m also going to try this approach from Hands on as we Grow.  It is a little more detailed by giving the children clues to find the different colored paper to eventually make a rainbow.  Looks like a lot of fun!!

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New Job = New Blog

I’ve spent the last 10 years as a School Psychologist and have collected and created SO many resources for teachers and parents to use in order to help their children.  I’ve worked with kids with ALL different learning styles and needs over the years.  I’m excited to be stepping into my new role as Special Education Coordinator and decided why not start a blog to share tips and create resources to help others who work with struggling learners.

In addition to sharing and making resources to the parents and teachers I serve, I am also constantly working on projects and activities to do with my two little girls who are 2 and 3 years old.  So, my hope is for this to be somewhat of a scrapbook of resources for itty bitty ones and older students who just need a different approach to learning in order to bring out their full potential….hence the name Discovering Hidden Potential!

Thanks for joining me on this journey!