Friday, February 28, 2014

'Tis a Bit o' the Irish

Oh, I can't wait for March 17th when my favorite kindergarten teacher arrives early to school to sprinkle leprechaun dust around her classroom and top off the decorations with green food coloring in the short little toilet in the tiny classroom bathroom.
We got an early start with St. Patty's Day fun this morning in a classroom for high school students with autism--Happy St. Patrick's Day cards.  Next time we're going to hunt for pots o' gold around the building so this card activity will help them be more aware of all things green.
We introduced the activity and the materials--paint, paintbrushes, heart stamps to make shamrock designs, choice of different paper colors and a green marker to write their greeting.  Then the sabotage began--they had to ask for these things.  The Speech-Language Pathologist I work with is so patient and demanding; she works it every which way to get them to ask for what they want:

Students had the choice--a heart shape with strings all over it or a heart with a smooth surface.

They asked for a paintbrush and painted all over the top of the heart.

The heartstrings made a very fun design (thank you, Pinterest person!)

After stamping four hearts to make a clover (shamrock) design, the students traced around the outside edges and added a little stem.  Then, it was time to write their greeting.

Remember to sprinkle a little leprechaun dust!

We were able to observe the students' reactions to handling the cold, messy paint, how they grasped the paintbrush and their accuracy with applying the paint to the heart shapes, their ability to adjust their grasp and wrist position as they turned the shapes around to stamp a clover pattern, their ability to supinate their wrists to receive the leprechaun dust and use a fine pinch with their dominant hand to sprinkle the same.  My SLP buddy got to observe and foster mucho communication.  The teachers asked if they could temporarily use the cards to decorate the classrooms--Score!

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