Friday, February 13, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

During Week 4 we had a blast reading the story (the kids were really into it). But by far the most popular activity we did was the Great Green Food Taste Test. Every one of the kids had a fantastic time and EVERYONE used their higher level (relative to the student) communication systems to comment, request, and ask and answer questions. AWESOME! Tasting activities are a top favorite for my tube fed kids and all the kids demonstrated definite and consistent preferences.

In Week 5 of our Wizard of Oz project we vanquish a Witch, get some wishes granted, and learn that there truly is no place like home. Activities this week include:
  • This rainbow art project: We are going to do the mobile project and add a writing component by choosing things about home that are important to us, gluing the PCS symbols to clouds and hanging the clouds from the bottom of the rainbow
  • Making rainbow cookies

This week we are also hosting our big Wizard of Oz party. We've invited friends from two other classes to join us at the Skill Development Center. We are expecting about 25 kids plus staff and parents and have lots of fun activities planned:

  • Follow the Yellow Brick Road game with lollipops for prizes
  • Apple Toss with Scarecrow (toss plastic apples into a bucket from different distances) with rainbow springs as prizes
  • Pin the Heart on the Tin Man with heart ornaments I found at Wal-Mart on clearance
  • Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY! game (played like Duck Duck Goose) with medals of courage as prizes (I found them at Wal-Mart)
  • Emerald City sensory play (lots of green sensory toys like discovery bottles, colored rice, mardi gras beads, play doh, etc.) and cookie decorating; the kids will get a cookie (for those who can eat them) and a mardi gras necklace
  • Melt the Witch game (place witch hat on an empty two liter pop bottle; toss a blue bean bag or small ball at the hat to knock it over) with bubbles (to represent water) as prizes
  • We'll also have the Poppy Field quiet zone with bean bags and mats and Wizard of Oz music playing for kids who need a break from the rest of the action.
  • During lunch we'll show the movie using the big screen in the Skill Development Center's gym
  • We'll also have kids and adults dressed as the various characters in the story

We spent today's teacher work day finding and/or making decorations for the party:

  • For the Yellow Brick Road we are using yellow disposable table cloths duck taped to the floor to make them safe to walk on
  • The Emerald City area will be covered in green table cloths (it helps that this section is located in front of the stage which has green curtains)
  • Party City had an awesome Dora the Explorer scene setter background sans characters which will make a perfect Oz countryside. It even has a passable Yellow Brick Road
  • We made enlarged versions of some of Pete Wells's wonderful characters from his Oztastic unit to designate the different areas; Dorothy's house will even be 3-D as there is a large cooler in that section of the gym (add some "windows" and a "door" and a pair of stuffed striped stockings wearing ruby slippers and you have a house!)
  • The goodie bags the kids will carry around to collect their prizes are made from brown gift bags with a picture of Toto glued to the front
  • We'll have a crepe paper streamer "rainbow" hanging over the entrance door

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