Saturday, May 14, 2016

BFIAR: Blueberries for Sal with a Special Needs Twist

With each passing day it becomes more clear that homeschooling is the right fit for Trevy. We're continuing to use and enjoy Before Five in a Row.

This week he chose to "row" Blueberries for Sal.

We read the story each day this week. Some days in his school room and some in his bed where he was resting because he felt "tired sick". It's hard to know if it's allergies, neurological, or even GI related. Just another layer of why homeschooling is right for him. We can snuggle in bed and read a lovely, living book together as part of his education program. 


To incorporate some oral motor muscle work we played a blueberry picking game with a straw and blue pom poms.

I drew a "basket" on our chalkboard table and had him start by blowing the blueberries into the circle.

When he mastered that I drew a second basket and had him suck and hold the blueberry to place it in the basket.

 Life Skills

I try to have at least one kitchen activity each week. He loves everything about cooking and helping in the kitchen! He helped me make a blueberry smoothie to go along with our book and his All About Reading "f say /f/" for fruit smoothie. He's a finicky eater and wasn't too sure about the yummy factor. 

Nature Study

and fine motor

I found this super cute bird feeder idea on Pinterest and was intending to make one just like it. I quickly realized that fine motor skills were going to be too intensive for Trevy, so I modified by smearing peanut butter on a paper plate and having him stick cheerios and blueberries to it.

I also had him string a couple cheerios onto the pipe cleaner to use as a tie.

His big sister thought it was such a cute craft that she insisted on making one too! 


and fine motor

For this project we talked about how all the illustrations were only in blue and white. I decided we needed to create a masterpiece using only blue and white as well.

1. Using finger paint and a brush I had him paint lines for the blueberry bushes. My model is the picture on the left. He copied what he saw me doing. 

2. I had him tear pieces of blue tissue paper into small chunks.

3. Using just his thumb and pointer finger I had him roll the tissue paper into balls. This was tough work to get those two fingers isolated.

4. I dabbed glue dots where he wanted his blueberries and his placed them onto the glue dot.


I wanted to get a daily narration but his "tired sick" week interrupted that idea. I'm still experimenting with how to approach narration best for him. While I love the idea of it all flowing from him, he does need some coaching if I want a narration that includes more than "poop pooop pooooooop". Oy! This week I decided to try using the Story Grammar Marker sequence on the first day. The second day I simply asked him to tell me three things he remembered from the story. I typed exactly what he said.

  1. Who?  
    1. Seventh old Sal. The mom and the bear.
  2. What?
    1. Sal followed the mom and Sal’s mom followed the boy bear. And say, “Oh this is not Sal!” Picking blueberries.
  3. Where?
    1. In the garden.
  4. When?
    1. Warm weather.
  5. Spontaneous Narration
    1. One more thing. She’s looking for her mom.  

Trevor, tell me three things you remember about Blueberries for Sal...

  1. The mama bear got bigger because she was eating blueberries.
  2. Think Sal was there. The mom. Blueberries for Sal.
    1. Clarified with him that he was saying Sal’s mom thought Sal was behind her and the mommy bear thought that the baby bear was behind her.
  3. Oh, missing the mom. Like Sal find her mom.

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