Thursday, October 27, 2011

Five Friday Freebies - Week 22

f you are not a TN member, membership is FREE. Here is a link to register so you will be able to download. Teacher Notebook Registration  Click on log in or register.

If you are not a member of Teachers Pay Teachers, you will need to register.  Teachers Pay Teachers Registration 

Now to the good stuff. This week's freebies are:

Freebie #1 -  The Giver:  Complete Unit of Engaging Activities by Middle School Teacher

Freebie #2 -   Sunflower Synonyms by Down Under Teacher

Freebie #3 -  Cursive Alphabet Chart by Ladybugs Teacher Files

Freebie #4 -   Gingerbread Center by Tara Ward

Freebie #5 -   Nouns and Verbs Match Up by First Grade Friends

Monday, October 24, 2011

Addition and Subtraction

As I was looking at things pinned at Pinterest I came across a link to some wonderful addition and subtraction strategies posters.

Since I follow this blog, I don't know how I missed this, but I had to share them with you.  They are from Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons.

Don't miss out on these as Mrs. Lemons has them saved into Google Documents so you can also have a copy.  How great is that!

Thanks Mrs. Lemons for sharing your resources.

Addition posters

Subtraction posters

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Trick or Treat! Everyone Gets A Treat!

Ana at Ingles360 is having a wonderful promotion at Ingles 360.  Everyone will get eight, yes I mean 8, free downloads from her wonderful products!

Be sure to visit her blog to learn the easy to follow directions in order to receive her wonderful products.

Thanks Ana for being so generous!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reading a Triple Beam Balance

A teammate called me this week wanting to obtain a triple beam balance for her students to use.  Since they are in another part of storage, I was unable to help her at the moment.

I did however recommend that she use the tutorial with the projector to have them work as a class reading the scales.

The tutorial from Ohaus is great practice for students to learn to add and read the numbers used on a triple-beam balance.   (Click on triple beam)

I have used the tutorial on an interactive board as well as I have had my students practice individually on a singular computer.

My teammate told me later in the day her students LOVED the activity.

If you are teaching students on how to measure with a triple-beam balance this is a great tutorial!  One more thing, it is FREE!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Five Friday Freebies - Week 21

If you are not a TN member, membership is FREE. Here is a link to register so you will be able to download. Teacher Notebook Registration  Click on log in or register.

If you are not a member of Teachers Pay Teachers, you will need to register.  Teachers Pay Teachers Registration 

Now to the good stuff. This week's freebies are:

Freebie #1 - Preschool Halloween Activity Pack by Susannah Jane-TeacherStation

Freebie #2 -   Noun Sort-Fall and Halloween by Holly Baker

Freebie #3 -  Halloween Deal or No Deal Science Quiz by Simon Perkin

Freebie #4 -   Word Wizards Book by Ladybugs Teacher Files

Freebie #5 -   Measuring Monsters by Karla Banks

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preschoolers and the Caves at Lascaux

When I was teaching sixth grade Social Studies, my students were always mesmerized by the cave paintings in the book from Lascaux, France.  To go with this section I had my students "tell" a story with "cave paintings."  They would write a short story, then have to tell it with pictures.

We opened up a paper grocery bag and they used a charcoal briquette as their drawing utensil.  The next day each group wrote what they thought the story was.

I am bringing this up because it was a great activity, but also because I have came across an article with a video and some resources I think my students would have thoroughly enjoyed and I learned some new things additionally!  See how preschoolers and this ancient cave may be related by clicking on the image below.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stop Bullying Campaign

Most of us deal with students being bullied every day.  How sad?

Stop Bullying has some short webisodes that are cartoons to help address this situation.  There are 12 different episodes for different types of bullying.  Each cartoon is about 2 minutes long.

Watch the Webisodes

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Writing Captions

Need some creative writing ideas to help your students.  Writing captions is harder than you think.  They  have to be short and express creativity. Scholastic News has a section in their website that allows students to write and submit a caption for a picture each week.  Below is the picture for this week.

I was thinking this would be a great weekly activity for the classroom. Print the picture and have your students come up with the caption. They could work in groups or individually.   Have them vote on the best two and you submit those.  That way everyone is sharing ideas and trying to come up with the best.  The next week you can see which captions were chosen.  

This Week's Picture

All students can submit a caption they came up with, but I think the sharing and explaining would help some of us "less creative" individuals. I also am thinking of some of my past students who would just submit anything so they could say they did and would have benefited by the sharing, etc.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Humming For Groups

Yesterday I heard a little one humming a song a song and I thought of a grouping activity I haven't used in a while.  I thought I would share it with you as well.

Write on index cards the names of several different tunes your children would know and can hum.  (My students don't know the tunes so I usually have to teach them the tunes.)  You will need one tune for each group.
Examples:  Row, Row Your Boat,  Mary Had a Little Lamb, etc.

Each child draws a card from the group and doesn't tell anyone what tune they have.

When you say go, everyone starts humming their tune and walking around the room trying to locate the other people in their group humming the same tune.  There is no talking and they are NOT allowed to show anyone the card.  When everyone has been "Found" they go to a location on the edge of the room away from the others and hum their song loudly, then stand silently.  (I usually tell them how many people make up a group ahead of time so they will know how many people to find.)

When the last group has gone to a location and the room is now silent, I pick up the cards.  I now have groups for the activity that we are doing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A "Spooktacular Collection" of Holiday Freebies--Week 20

Welcome to a "Spooktacular Collection" of Freebies this week!  This week I am bringing you freebies from various sources and levels for a great Halloween season!  I hope you don't get "too scared" while downloading  all these freebies.  

(If you are not a TN member, membership is FREE. Here is a link to register so you will be able to download. Teacher Notebook Registration  Click on log in or register )

Now to the good stuff. This week's freebies are:

Freebie #1 -   Halloween Word Search Activity and Writing Prompts by Tracee Orman

Freebie #2 -  Halloween Would You Rather Questions for Kids by Rachel Lynette

Freebie #3 -  Halloween Uppercase and Lowercase Alphabet Sort by Michelle Walker

Freebie #4 -  Pumpkin Ten Frame Cards by Kreative in Kinder

Freebie #5 -  Halloween Costume Descriptive Writing Prompt Handout by Ann Marie Smith

Freebie #6 - Halloween Haunting:  Developing Alphabet Letter Naming Fluency by Kindergarten Kiosk

Freebie #7 - Halloween Count Cards 1-20 by Preschool-Printable

Freebie #8 - Boo Bump Halloween Math Game (Addition) by SunnyDays

Freebie #9 - Halloween Brain Teaser with Double Double Letters by Margaret Whisnant

Freebie #10 - Candy Corn Roll and Remove by Melanie Bowers

Freebie #11 - Yum!  Candy Corn Fact Families by Primary Grafetti

Freebie #12 - Over in the Pumpkin Patch Counting Mats by Little Miss Kindergarten

Freebie #13 - Halloween Fact Family and Noun Sorting by DeAnne Davis

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Adjectives Ideas and a Freebie

Looking for some cute activities for your students to do while learning about adjectives?  

Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons has activities to reinforce the study of adjectives.  

She has five activities, a great poster, and a set of sorting sentences to download for free!

Thanks Mrs. Lemons for sharing these wonderful resources.  Don't miss out on these adorable activities!  My favorites are the Frankenstein's and the Witch's Legs!  Then again, the scarecrow is really cute too!

I Heart Your Blog Award Received

I would like to thank A Teacher's Treasure for awarding Vintage Teacher the I Heart Your Blog Award!  It is always a treat to be recognized by your blogging friends!  To see the list of blogs I nominated, click on the award below.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's PIGometry Baby!

I just had to share this PIGometry idea from Quench Your First blog in their study of 2D shapes.  I also pinned it on my Pinterest board. They made their pigs then wrote about them.  More details on the specifics are available at Quench Your First blog.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Page Corner Bookmarks

I stumbled on these page corner bookmarks.  What a great activity or maybe they could be made and given as "prizes" for special readers, etc. To get the directions, go to I Can Make That for directions or click on the bookmarks below.

There are directions to make your own template and a pdf with a template available.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Holly Bloggy Christmas

If you are looking for a fun Christmas project for yourself and additionally be helping others, be sure to visit Kindergarten Korner and join in on their Holly Bloggy Christmas project.

Holly Bloggy Christmas is a Christmas gift exchange for members of the teaching blogging community.  Participants will receive a gift from another teacher blogger AND a virtual stocking full of teacher resources from sponsors!  It is free to participate but sponsorship options are available and all donations will go to support TOYS FOR TOTS.

To learn more details visit Kindergarten Korner!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Five Friday Freebies - Week 19

PLEASE leave feedback for these authors so they know that you appreciate them sharing their freebies.  With the launch of the new web design it is more important than ever to leave ratings.

(If you are not a TN member, membership is FREE. Here is a link to register so you will be able to download. Teacher Notebook Registration  Click on log in or register )

Now to the good stuff. This week's freebies are:

Freebie #1 -   Monster Dice Game by Kreative-in-Kinder

Freebie #2 -  Trick or Treat - Odd & Even Numbers by The Bubbly Blonde Teacher

Freebie #3 -   Planet Hop Board Game oi/oy Sounds by Down Under Teacher

Freebie #4 -   Boggle Letters by Carries-Creations

Freebie #5 -  Word Family Game - ill, -all, -ell by Flip Flop teach

Would you like to set up your own Teachers Notebook Shop?  Click on the Teachers Notebook pencil below  to learn more.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Riddle Me

Do you use riddles to help your students think at a higher level or maybe just to make them smile.  (I am awful at riddles, does that mean I can't think at a higher level?)

The idea at Education World was to make a bingo cards with just the answers then play giving the riddle as the call out.  Maybe a fun party game for the Halloween party?   What do you think?

Here are some riddles I found at Education World:

Riddle Question: What is a ghosts favorite ride at an amusement park?
Riddle Answer: The roller ghoster.

Riddle Question: Where does a fish keep its money?
Riddle Answer: In a riverbank.

Riddle Question: What kind of car does an electrician drive?
Riddle Answer: A volts-wagon.

Riddle Question: Why did the woman wear a helmet at the dinner table?
Riddle Answer: She was on a crash diet.

Riddle Question: What is the difference between here and there?
Riddle Answer: The letter t.

Riddle Question: Which city has no people?
Riddle Answer: Electri-city!

Riddle Question: What does a duck wear when it gets married?
Riddle Answer: A duck-cedo.

Riddle Question: What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?
Riddle Answer: A towel.

Riddle Question: Which month is the best month for a parade?
Riddle Answer: March.

Riddle Question: What has a foot on each side and another one in the middle?
Riddle Answer: A yardstick.

Riddle Question: Why is Alabama the smartest state in the U.S.A.?
Riddle Answer: It has 4 As and 1 B.

Riddle Question: What do you see twice in a week, once in a year, but never in a day?
Riddle Answer: The letter e.

Riddle Question: Which bone keeps getting longer and shorter?
Riddle Answer: A trombone.

Riddle Question: What did one potato chip say to another?
Riddle Answer: Lets go for a dip.

Riddle Question: What kind of coat only gets put on when its wet?
Riddle Answer: A coat of paint.

Riddle Question: What do you call a deer with no eyes?
Riddle Answer: No eye deer."

Riddle Question: What building has the most stories?
Riddle Answer: A library.

Riddle Question: Where does Friday come before Thursday?
Riddle Answer: In a dictionary.

Riddle Question: What are two things you cant eat for supper?
Riddle Answer: Breakfast and lunch.

Riddle Question: What has just two words but thousands of letters?
Riddle Answer: A post office.

Riddle Question: What runs around your house but never moves?
Riddle Answer: A fence.

Riddle Question: Why did the silly gardener plant a light bulb?
Riddle Answer: He wanted to grow a power plant.

Riddle Question: Why did the cookie go to the doctor?
Riddle Answer: He was feeling crummy.

Riddle Question: What is a cannibals favorite game?
Riddle Answer: Swallow the leader.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Earth Science Link Up

"Earth Science Week" 
Linky Party

Earth Science Week is October 9-15.

I thought I would host my first  linky party.  The topic is Earth Science.  Please link any resources that you feel might benefit teachers.  You can link blog posts, Internet resources you found helpful, etc.  Please link resources for all grade levels.

1.  If linking to a blog post please link directly to the post.
2.  All posts should deal with Earth Science.

If you don't have a blog, you can still participate.  You can leave comments explaining your ideas and you can participate in the linky party by linking to resources you have found helpful!

Thanks for sharing your ideas and resources!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Catching Fish for Measurement Fun

Here is a link to a Early Math fun game for measuring fish and moving them to the correct tank based on their length.

After catching the fish, the player must "measure" the fish against the ruler and select the correct tank.

If your first or second graders need some practice with measurement, play Time to Move!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Five Friday Freebies - Week 18

PLEASE leave feedback for these authors so they know that you appreciate them sharing their freebies.  With the launch of the new web design it is more important than ever to leave ratings.

(If you are not a TPT member, membership is FREE. Here is a link to register so you will be able to download. TPT registration  )

Now to the good stuff. This week's freebies are:

Freebie #1 -   Dinosaur Themed Homework Packet by Kindergarten Kiosk

Freebie #2 - Farmhouse Fact or Opinion Freebie by A Series of 3rd Grade Events

Freebie #3 -  Ghostly Fact Families by Caitlyn Taylor
Freebie #4 -   Black Cat Box Art Craft Activity by From the Pond

Freebie #5 -   Shape Poems (song) by Skipper's Jungle

TFreebie Fridays


The Smithsonian is a place that as educators many of us wish that our students could explore and have new worlds opened to them.

All though that may not be physically possible for many of us, but it is available virtually for all of us.

How about taking a trip to the Smithsonian with Meet Me At Midnight or maybe exploring the Mammal Family Reunion is better, or how about a trip to the National Zoo via live web cams?

All of these options and more are available at the Smithsonian on line.

Explore and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Story Starters

Are you or your students looking for a new idea to write about?

Would you like to have a simple, fun way for students to come up with an idea?

Scholastic may have the tool for you to use with a fun-filled interactive virtual selection tool.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Heart Your Blog Award Received

I would like to thank Maria from Charmed in Third Grade blog for this wonderful award.  She has brightened my week!  Thank you so much for extending this to me.

Here is the story of this honor.

I Heart Your Blog  Award: dear friend of mine taught me a profound lesson several years ago when she shared her personal mantra, "There Is Only Love". Since then, I have realized that by adopting this mantra in my own life, I have changed my whole approach to everything I experience. That being said, as a total newbie to the teacher's blogging world, I discovered this gold mine of amazingly creative and talented teachers out here in cyber space. There are so many of you spreading the teaching Love around the globe by sharing your ideas and experiences. I just had to create a blog award to celebrate those of you who have touched my heart and inspired me, increasing my LOVE of teaching.   

Thank you for sharing your talent with the world! 

When you are awarded the I Heart Your Blog Award you are asked to do the following things:

1. Give the "I Heart Your Blog "Award to your favorite Top 10 Blogs that have touched your heart and inspired your teaching by listing them on your blog.
2. Contact that person and let them know of their heartfelt award.
3. When you receive the award, copy and paste the graphic on you blog and give a shout out to the person who nominated you.
4. Spread the LOVE by passing the "Heart Your Blog" Award on your Top 10.

I would like to give my I Heart Your Blog Award to the following awesome blogs!

Runde's Room

Visit Sunny Days


First Grade Brain

Lutton 519

Teaching with TLC

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Writer's Workshop With First Grade Friends

Jodi from First Grade Friends has graciously agreed to be a guest blogger at Vintage Teacher!  Thanks Jodi.  If you are not a follower of her blog, you might want to be!

Writer's Workshop in First Grade

This is Jodi from First Grade Friends!  

My PhotoIn my first grade community, Writer's Workshop is a big deal!  I have been working with my kids since the first day on Writer's Workshop procedures, and it is almost time for parent teacher conferences and the end of my first quarter.  My school is year round, so my firsties have been working hard since July.  

In reading we are working on characters, setting, problem/conflict, and solution.  Since reading and writing go hand in hand, I created this template for my first graders to publish a piece of writing using all the skills they have learned this quarter.  

The first page is a brainstorm template to write or draw anything they are thinking they might want in their story.  We have read many picture books, so I pull out some favorites (anything Mo Willems, for example) for reference and to spark ideas.  

After this, each day is devoted to creating a different page in the story line.  We spend a day on each page to make sure that each part of the story is created with care.  After each page is created, we put the book together!  

We have a "publishing party" then where each first grader puts their story on their desk, and the children (and myself) walk around the classroom to read each others' stories.  They can leave comments or a smiley face with their name on a piece of paper next to the child's published story.  

This is a great way to end the quarter, and I am sure other first grade communities are doing this as well!  Enjoy the template and I hope it helps to create some wonderful first grade pieces of writing.  Template for published piece.

First Grade Friends

Thank You For the Recognition

I want to thank First Grade Brain for awarding Vintage Teacher the Versatile Blog Award.  It is always a special honor when someone recognizes you.

Be sure to visit First Grade Brain!  {But don't forget to return to Vintage Teacher!}

First Grade Brain

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Five Friday Freebies - Week 17

PLEASE leave feedback for these authors so they know that you appreciate them sharing their freebies.  With the launch of the new web design it is more important than ever to leave ratings.

(If you are not a TPT member, membership is FREE. Here is a link to register so you will be able to download. TPT registration  )

Now to the good stuff. This week's freebies are:

Freebie #3 - Flower Clock by Dizzy for Kindergarten
Freebie #4 -  Halloween Fruit Snack Fun by Lory Evans

Freebie #5 -  Instant Math Cowly Races Through the Missing Hundreds Chart by Ms.Lies

TFreebie Fridays

National Punctuation Day

September 24 (which is Saturday)  is National Punctuation Day!  (I didn't know that until I read a post at TBA and followed the link to the Organized Classroom Blog.

I loved this:  Let's eat Grandpa.
                    Let's eat, Grandpa.

If you are Grandpa, punctuation is extremely important!

I am going to try to celebrate it on Monday, since it is on Saturday.

What are you going to do to celebrate National Punctuation Day?  Please share your ideas.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Day

Let me start by saying I am tired and I have fallen behind in posting. Monday was my first day at school.  Yes, Monday.

It was my first day, not my student's first day.  It was the first day I met my students, saw my room, learned what I was supposed to be teaching, etc.  

I have been off on medical leave since February due to an incident that happened at school.  

I have been assigned to teach fourth grade.  We "departmentalize" our students for Reading and Math.  The majority of my students are at least   2-3 years behind academically.

Since I have never been in the situation of starting the year after my students and they have had a really nice sub for the first of the year, it has been a struggle.  I have never made so many phone calls home regarding behaviors in the first two days in all the years I taught.   

I welcome any suggestions, for I fear it will get worse before it gets better. Hopefully I am wrong. :0)  

Off to try to develop some lessons, it is 3:21 AM and I have to head to school for another day in less than 3 hours.  

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Resource E-books from Scholastic

Scholastic is having a fantastic E-Book sale.  It ends on Tuesday, September 9, so don't delay.  The  E-books are on sale for $1.00 each.  No, that is not a typo.  They are only ONE DOLLAR!  They have 849 different books on many different levels.

It even gets better than that.  You can get ten for free with the coupon code of 10Thanks 

Your purchase is available immediately after checking out.  They are pdf. files.

I ended up getting more than ten, but if you only get ten it won't cost you anything.

Don't miss out on this opportunity and don't forget to use the coupon code to save.  (The site is very busy so it is slow.)

Dollar Deals

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 19--International Talk Like a Pirate Day

In case you are unaware of it, Monday, September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

If you would like to learn more about this holiday and see the google map showing part of the participants for this years "holiday", visit Talk Like A Pirate.

If you need some pirate jokes to share, I have also posted a list for you.

In honor of the "holiday", I am putting the 'pirate items' in my Teachers Notebook Shop and Teachers Pay Teachers Store on sale.  The sale will run on Sunday and Monday.   (September 18-19.)

On a personal note, the art teacher in the room next to me loved this holiday.  It was his favorite and he looked forward to it every year.  After losing his battle with cancer, the next year the students who knew him all celebrated this holiday at school in his memory.

Pirate Jokes for Talk Like a Pirate Day

Here are some 'Pirate Jokes' for you to share on International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Q. How much does it cost a pirate to get earrings?
A. A Buccaneer! 

Q. What is a pirates favorite kind of cookie? 
A. Ships Ahoy! 

Q. What do pirates like to eat? 
A. BARRRRbecue! 

Q. Why are pirates so mean? 
A. I don't know, they just ARRRRe! 

Q. How much did the pirate pay for his peg leg and hook? 
A. An arm and a leg! 

Q. Why didn't the pirate get hungry on the desert island? 
A. Because of all the sand which is there! 

Q. Why do pirates carry a bar of soap? 
A. So, if they are shipwrecked they can wash themselves to shore! 

Q. What do you get when you cross a pie and a rat? 
A. A Pie Rat! 

Q. Why did the pirate's phone go beep, beep, beep? 
A. Because he left it off the hook! 

Q. What's a pirates favorite color? 
A. Depends on the pirate! 

Q:  Why does it take pirate's so long to learn the alphabet?
A:  Because they get stuck at "C"!

Q:  What is a pirate's girlfriend called?
A:  Peggy

Q:  Why couldn't the pirate play cards?
A:  He was setting on the deck.

Knock knock!  Who's there?  Turner.  Turner who?  Turner round there is a pirate behind you.

Q:  What hook can't you hang your clothes on?
A:  Captain Hook!

Q:  What is a pirate's favorite kind of music?
A:  Arrr and B!

Q:  What do you call a pirate with two arms and two legs?
A;  A rookie!

Q:  Why was the pirate drafted first into the NBA?
A:  He had an awesome hook shot!

Pirate Jokes are from Olive and Party Ideas

If that is not enough pirate jokes here is a site that has more.  :0)  More Pirate Jokes

Surprise for Me From Teachers Notebook

Today when I opened my Teachers Notebook member newsletter, I received a huge surprise.

They chose my shop, Vintage Teacher, to be the featured shop!  I am shocked and thrilled.

If you would like to read the newsletter and see what the featured and free items are, click on the picture below!

Thank you Debbie and Steve at Teachers Notebook for all you do to help teachers.

TBA Today

Have you heard about the new radio show called TBA Today?

I am so excited about this.

More details will be out next week.

What would you like TBA Today to be like?  Please share your thoughts!   This is so exciting.  :0)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Five Friday Freebies - Week 16

PLEASE leave feedback for these authors so they know that you appreciate them sharing their freebies.  With the launch of the new web design it is more important than ever to leave ratings.  This week's freebies are from Teacher Notebook authors.  

(You must be registered to access the downloads.  Teacher Notebook Registration )

Now to the good stuff. This week's freebies are:

Freebie #1 -   Roll the Dice by Little Miss Kindergarten (Halloween)

Freebie #2 - Popsicle Stick Shapes by Froggy Friends Fun

Freebie #3 -  Monster Squeeze Number Game by Over The Moonbow
Freebie #4 - Math Tricks Task Cards by Frogs and Cupcakes

Freebie #5 -  The Power of Color in Teaching by Teaching With TLC

TFreebie Fridays

Students Drawing and Writing

Teachers Pay Teachers
Cindy (Kinder Kay)

Cindy at Kinder Kay has agreed to be a guest author today at Vintage Teacher.  (She has allowed me to share her freebie products as well on past Five Friday Freebies.)  I am amazed at the talent she shares with her students and the way she brings drawing and writing together.

Student Drawing and Writing
                            by Cindy (Kinder Kay)

I am so flattered that I have been asked to be an author on Vintage Teacher! I have been an elementary  (second grade and presently, kindergarten) teacher for 23 years (can’t believe it!) and through those years, I have grown into the teacher I am today because of all the advice I have received from some really awesome teachers! So I am glad to be able to share, in a small way, a classroom-tested idea that I have used with my students that has involved into something that brings pride to both my students and me!

I love to teach children to draw and write! Helping children to visualize shapes within everyday objects is such a joy! Even my kinders can make some really cool pictures once they start to realize that all they have to do is draw shapes! I start with teacher-directed lessons and then once they get the hang of how it is done, I let them go and usually what my students come up with is SO MUCH better than what I could do! I am NOT an artist! I struggled with drawing and painting all through school – just like most of us! But once I started observing the world through different eyes, I realized that just knowing a few basic shapes or strokes can help us to create almost anything!

In the “old days”, I introduced my lessons with an overhead projector and I would put pictures of everyday objects on the screen and allow my students to take the pen and circle the shapes that they saw in the picture. Now I have a Promethean board and we can have all sorts of fun searching for shapes on the “big” board! Another fun way to search for everyday shapes is to simply attach paper to a clipboard, walk outside, and start sketching! It is so amazing to see what children can see! Their observation skills are so much more attuned to visual cues than mine and they have taught ME to see shapes I didn’t realize were there!

For awhile, I was simply teaching my students to draw, but I soon realized that they were so excited to see what they could create, that I thought “Why not have them write about their creation, too?” So from the beginning lesson, I ask my students to add some words to their picture. Even if is only the beginning sound of the word prefaced with a high frequency word such as “the or a”; it is the start of their writing journey. The drawing/cutting techniques that I use with my students help them with their handwriting, too! Once they can take control of their pencil or scissors to create a picture, they have more confidence in their ability to write a letter, a word, or even a sentence. The end of the school year astounds me by what they can do!

If you are interested in trying some of my ideas, I have a product in my TPT store that gives children step-by-step directions for drawing or cutting simple everyday animals. 
 Teachers Pay Teachers
Above are some examples of a finished product as well as an example of a step-by-step illustration of how easy it is to create! Do you see the ovals? The circles? The arrows? The hills?

Anyone can do this – teacher or student! All it takes is a pencil, some paper, and a desire!
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