Fizzy Snowmen In Room 8

This week, our weekly story was ‘Sneezy the Snowman’ by Maureen Wright. In this story, Sneezy the Snowman is cold. In trying to warm up, he makes choices that are not in his best interest! Room 8 found the humour in this story as they realized that the choices made have a negative consequence. This was a good way to talk about choices with the children. The story is also written with rhyming words which can help children develop listening and literacy skills.

There were a lot of fun, learning activities that were inspired by this book. Through hands-on activities, children:

• Developed visual discernment skills in playing snowman matching games
• Used higher level thinking and problem-solving skills to describe why their snowman melted when creating their own melted snowman during Science and followed the pattern to recreate Sneeze’s red and blue scarf.
• Discovered the ‘life cycle’ of a snowman, and snow or ice.

During Science, we made a melting snowman experiment that was both simple and festive. The first step was to mix one glass of baking soda with 1 tbsp of salt, 2 tbsp of hand wash and 4 tbsp of water. Next, we moulded three balls and stacked them. Then we decorated the snowman with paint and twigs. Finally, we used a pipette to add vinegar to the snowman and observed as it slowly melted.

Room 8 Create A Cute Autumn Foliage Craft Using Broccoli

While some of our pupils may not eat broccoli, we bet you’ll have no trouble convincing them to do this fun craft with the cruciferous veggie.

The painting technique is not only simple, it’s also inexpensive. There’s no need to clean paint brushes when you’re done!

By using a palette of four quintessential fall colours (red, orange, yellow and brown), we dabbed the raw broccoli in the paint and then stamped our paper. The broccoli florets lent the tree leaves a nice texture.

Look at how the trees are bursting with autumn colours.

If you aren’t great at painting the foundation of your trees — the trunk —use a free tree printable that you can download and print.

So, while we may have told our kids before not to play with their food, there’s nothing wrong with making art with it, right?

Science In Room 8

Who would have ever thought that a plastic bag, some water and a few bamboo skewers would have kids enjoying so much? Learn how to poke holes in a plastic bag filled with water without spilling a drop. Well, that’s the theory we were testing…and it’s wise to practice your liquid trick over the tray, just in case!


  • zip-up bag
  • water
  • bamboo skewers /sharpened pencils

We filled a zip-up bag about half-way with water and sealed it up. We held the bag high over a tray and the kids poked the sticks straight through the bag, from one side to the other.

We had to be sure that the stick didn’t travel through the bag. We didn’t want to have water leaks.

We kept adding sticks until we had enough. Before removing the sticks, we took a moment to talk about what we saw. When the sticks went into the bag, the bag seemed to magically seal itself around the sticks.

When we were done, we removed the sticks over a tray. So much fun! And so much water everywhere!

Sensory Fun In Room 8

Over the current school year, we have created a number of sensory experiences for our pupils. Many of the sensory play activities we create are in the form of sensory bins. 

Shredded paper sensory activity was the cheapest sensory bin we have ever put together. Playing with shredded paper is so much fun. Shredded paper is a tactile sensory learning experience.  But what is the point of this apart from making a mess?

The children have learnt to:

  • relax and enjoy the process rather than the end result
  • social interaction including co-operative and parallel play
  • promote gross and fine motor skill development
  • affirm individuality and build self-esteem as they engage in spontaneous play without pre-set ideas
  • allow them to explore care free and make a mess
  • explore messy play without getting dirty (some children don’t like getting dirty)
  • gain social skills and strategies for sharing space to gain spatial awareness

And we know, the activity doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be FUN!!!

LIVE PE: Wednesday 24th Feb at 2 pm

We have big news this week! Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will have a LIVE PE lesson. To join us all you need to do is to check the ‘PE at Home’ class on Wednesday at 2 pm and there will be a link for the ‘Meet’.

You will need: comfy clothes and a willingness to have fun!

Amanda and Salvi look forward to seeing you!

The PE at home classroom on Google is updated weekly and the team are doing a great job in providing a range of activities to suit pupils of all abilities. These include Dance, Boccia, Orienteering, Scavenger Hunts (this week’s is a lovely sensory, texture hunt) and our regular PE with Salvi and Amanda, ably supported by our own Young Leaders in school.

Please ask your child’s class teacher for a link if you are not in the PE at Home classroom.

Countdown To Christmas

Orchard Brae Advent Calendar: Days 11 and 12

Welcome to the next instalment of the Orchard Brae Advent Calendar. Today we bring you two festive treats for Days 11 and 12.

For Day 11, Room 18 have been and busy making their own chefs hats in preparation for ‘I Know A Turkey’.

For Day 12, Room 8 got on their best party clothes in order to bring you a wonderful Christmas Waltz.

The Bucket Time – Attention Autism in Room 8

One of our favourite activities in Room 8 is ‘The bucket time’.

Attention Autism is an intervention model designed by Gina Davies, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. It aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication through the use of visually based and highly motivating activities.

This activity helps the children in Room 8:

  • To engage attention
  • To improve joint attention
  • To develop shared enjoyment in group activities
  • To increase attention in adult-led activities
  • To encourage spontaneous interaction in a natural group setting
  • To increase non-verbal and verbal communication through commenting
  • To build a wealth and depth of vocabulary
  • To have fun!

The Attention Autism programme progresses through a series of stages, building on each skill level. Each new stage is introduced when the group is ready to expand attention skills. Room 8 has reached stage 3.

Stage 1: The Bucket to Focus Attention

Our purple bucket is filled with visually engaging objects and toys, aiming to gain the shared attention of the group.

First, a song is sung: ‘I’ve got something in my bucket, in my bucket, in my bucket. I’ve got something in my bucket, I wonder what it is?”

Next, the adult leader shows each item to the group and uses simple repetitive vocabulary to comment on the various objects. Our favourites are the naughty monkey, the pig, and the horn.

Stage 2: The Attention Builder

Visually stimulating activities are shown to the group by the adult leader, aiming to sustain attention for a longer period. The activities are fun, visually engaging and can often involve delightful mess! The favourite in room 8 is “Splash the cake!’.

Stage 3: Turn taking and Re-engaging Attention

The adult leader demonstrates a simple activity, often modelled with another adult in the group. Some children are then invited to have a turn, but only if they are comfortable to do so.

The children in our group get a turn, which then teaches important emotional regulation skills, as well as the essential skills of waiting, turn-taking and learning through modelling. I could say the favourite activities have been ‘Make your cake – Halloween party’, ‘The bread shop’ and ‘Choose an instrument’.

So far, the Bucket time sessions have been fun and “offered an irresistible invitation to learn”!

Room 8’s Rocket Bat

There’s an old saying: what goes up must come down. This activity is a perfect chance to challenge that idea, shooting a rocket high into the air by rapidly squashing a plastic bottle launcher. We’ll never get this rocket into space, but some real rockets do go fast enough to prove the saying wrong.

What’s the science?

The bottle we used as the rocket launcher is not really empty: there is air inside it. Air is elastic (squashy), and when we compressed it, it pushed back and the pressure inside increased. In the activity, the sudden increase in air pressure inside the bottle pushed hard on the bottom of the rocket, sending it flying high into the air.

We challenge you to make your very own rocket mouse and launcher – see how high your bat can fly!

We needed:

  • An empty plastic milk bottle (4- or 6-pint bottles work best)
  • Things to decorate your rocket
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A rocket bat template

We followed these steps:

  • Cut out a template along the dotted lines.
  • Rolled it into a cone shape and secured it with tape – this was our rocket.
  • Decorated our rocket adding some bat wings
  • Popped it on top of our bottle.
  • Hit the sides and launched our rocket into the air!

Science in our world

Just as increasing the air pressure in the bottle sends the rocket flying, we use air pressure when we squeeze shampoo or ketchup from a plastic bottle.