First Ever Lesson Cloud Dollar Days Sale!

I am honored to be a Lesson Cloud author! The Lesson Cloud authors range from elementary to college teachers. To celebrate Back to School and to thank all the teachers who follow us,  Lesson Cloud is having a Dollar Days sale this Saturday and Sunday, July 29 and July 30! Every author that is participating is offering at least 5 items priced at $1.00 - $2.00! AND Lesson Cloud is giving away a $75 gift certificate to Really Good Stuff! Woo hoo!

Here are my Dollar Day goodies!
Animal Friends I Can Draw I Can Write! Pack
Apple Blossoms and Bees Early Math Pack
Fractions for Little Kids
Pirate Fun Pack I Can Draw I Can Write
Princess and Dragon Fun Pack I Can Draw I Can Write

All you have to do is click the image above to be taken to a TON of Dollar Day bargains! Happy Back to School shopping and thank you for dedicating yourself to the education of our school children!

Back to School Freebie! Fun way to put away school supplies

Our kinder students come to visit us a few days before school starts to meet their teacher and become oriented to their classroom. On this visit day, we ask that they bring their school supplies with them to put away with their parents. We love to do this because it eliminates having to do it on the first day of school PLUS for those kiddos who do not have school supplies, it is an easy way to keep them from feeling badly about NOT having their supplies. I have tried varied activities, but have never been quite satisfied with what we have done.  So this year, I thought I would have the kids do a Scavenger hunt with their parents or caregiver. I thought that I would put the clues in a pocket chart and have parent and child read the clues and discover where their supplies are stored.

Here is how the game works:
The clues show the supply that is to be put away. The clue describes a picture that must be searched for in order to find the spot to put away the supply. Put tubs or boxes in which supplies will be stored close to the picture.

For example, the first clue says:
Pretty, pretty crayons. Colors in your box. I love crayons! Which one is my favorite you ask? The one that reminds me of a fox!

So.... what the kids do is look for a picture of a fox somewhere in the classroom and that is where their crayons go! Does this make sense?

Of course, the problem I have with sharing this is that we all do not have the same supplies, so I did add some blank cards in the packet. I also included supply labels that can be used to label bins or tubs that are used for the storage of supplies.

I hope that you will find this packet helpful! If you would like to download it, click the image above and it will take you to my TPT store!


Christmas in July!

Let's celebrate Christmas in July!   On July 25th, join me and some blogging buddies for some jolly good deals on our seasonal items.   The seasonal items in my TPT store and that of my blogging buddies will be discounted 20%!  Join in the jolly by hopping over to Blog Hoppin' to shop and hop around!

Here are the products that will be in my store. They will ONLY be on sale tomorrow, July 25! Happy shopping!

Reflections on Chapter 6 of the Daily 5

Here is what I LOVE about the Work on Writing part of the Daily 5....... that the children will have more time to work on their writing projects from Writer's Workshop. My Writer's workshop block is short. When I teach a mini lesson and ask my students to go back and work on what they just learned, they often only have 15 minutes and then they need to put their journals away so that we can get to lunch. So, the awesome thing about "Work on Writing" in the Daily 5 is that my kiddos will have more time to work in their journals. Now, it's not that writing has not been included in my literacy centers; I have always added writing to literacy centers. But for some reason, the way it is taught in the Daily 5 just seems more relaxed and focused and I think my kiddos will be more relaxed, too. I still plan to have my students work on Draw, Cut, and Write projects, though. As I think about my organization, we probably will do a few of these projects together and then I will have several laminated copies of the Draw, Cut, and Write directions available for them to use as needed as the year progresses. I plan to keep them in a 3 ring binder that will be easily accessible in the Writing center. I also plan to continue to have a Writing box available that contains fun pencils, pens, stickers, and markers that may used in their journals.

I love it when my students get to the point where they are reading their stories to each other!
As far as Word Work goes, I plan to continue this type of work as I have done in the past. The difference for me is that I will only be planning 6 Word Work centers a week instead of 12! Woo hoo! I plan to model Word Work in guided reading times and then place them into the Word Work tubs. I will continue to use magnet letters, play dough mats, letter buttons, stamps, and matching games. Last year I purchased a couple bags of plastic letter buttons from Wal-Mart that fit perfectly into a muffin tray. The letters were sorted alphabetically and it made it so easy for my kiddos to find the letters that they needed. I labeled each muffin section with a letter. The problem I had was that the muffin pan only had 24 sections and of course there are 26 letters in the alphabet! So I had to put the Y's  and Z's into a smaller muffin trays!
 In this picture, my kiddos are reading their sight words to each other. This definitely will continue!

The fun thing about the Daily 5 Word Work is that it provides a wonderful platform for differentiation. The other thing I am thrilled about is teaching kids to clean up after themselves and to be orderly in their learning. My students have always been great helpers when it comes to housekeeping jobs, but if I can teach them to clean up as they are working, it will free up so much time at the conclusion of our literacy block! I love this quote from the book: They now know everything they need to know about where materials are in the classroom, how we expect them to work independently and with peers, and how to organize and monitor their time. Perhaps most important, this thoughtful, sustained independent work in literacy has become a daily habit for them.

Doesn't that sound AWESOME!!

I plan to get into my classroom next week and will be posting pictures of my progress in organizing my classroom for the Daily 5.

Little Miss Kindergarten and Kreative in Kinder are both hosting the Linky party for Chapter 6! 

Gardening with kids workshop!

Hello my Friends!
I know this is the week to post my reflections on Chapter 6 of the Daily 5, but I'm sorry to say that I am a bit behind! I am taking a Horticultural class this week. It's a wonderful class - all about teaching gardening and growing to kids, but it is taking up most of my time right now! Many field trips and projects to complete in just a few days! Last night I was up until 11:00 p.m. completing an assignment for hands-on learning in the classroom. I plan to post the project here when the class is over! So...... because I really want to write a thoughtful post about the Daily 5, I am going to try to get a post written when my class is over - perhaps later today......

Yesterday we visited one of our very few tall grass prairie conservation areas here in Urbana, Illinois. It is so interesting to imagine what the first settlers saw when they came across our area so many decades ago. To me the prairie is beautiful, but I am sure if you were traveling the area in wagons or on horseback, it would look menacing! I learned yesterday that drought is a naturally occurring part of our climate pattern here in Central Illinois. Apparently drought is good for our native species of plants and they are equipped to handle it when it occurs. If you look at the pictures, you can see that the plants do not look stressed at all; unlike the corn and beans in our poor fields!

 This is a picture of our sad soil. This was taken in the prairie reserve and as I said, the native species of plants continue to thrive. They put all their energy into their root systems, so they are able to reach the moisture below ground level unlike their European cousins that have no idea what to do when they can't get to water!

Okay enough of my prairie reflections! Have a wonderful day and I will try to get Chapter 6 reflections posted as soon as I can!

Wonderful workshop with Deanna Jump!

I attended a wonderful workshop with Deanna Jump today! It was a Reading, Math, and Science workshop sponsored by our Illinois ASCD. It was a great day for a couple reasons.... First, I was able to spend the day with one of my kinder co-workers, Lisa, who I haven't seen since school was out in May. We had a fun time catching up during our hour long drive to the workshop. Second, I saw my good friend, Karen, who has been teaching kindergarten as long as I have in a school about 2 hours away and this is the first time we have seen each other for at least 20 years! Third, I was honored to have lunch with Deanna who spent at least 15 minutes at our table and I have to tell you that she is as sweet as apple pie! I am an author on Blog Hopper, but Deanna and I have only communicated through email and this was our first "face to face!" When we met, she told me that she didn't recognize me at first because I look 15 years younger in person than the picture I use on my blog and TPT! Okay, is this a compliment?? Hmmmmm........ I think I am going to take it as one! :) Deanna was so nice to agree to have a picture taken with me! As I said, she is as sweet as apple pie and her workshop was AWESOME! If you ever get a chance to attend one, I would highly recommend it! You won't be disappointed!

Here is a picture of a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom coconut tree anchor chart asking the question: Will a coconut float?

Here is a cute way to compare/contrast farm animals. Deanna suggested using this style instead of a traditional Venn diagram. The facts are written on the flowers.

I came away with so much fun stuff and it made me excited to get going on my new school year! Next week, I plan to be in my classroom to begin some serious organization!

What are you doing this summer?

Oh, my! I was so worried that I would have nothing to post in the summer on my little blog and I am ending up posting daily or sometimes more than once a day! Yikes!

So......I am linking up with Vicky at Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After and some other fun bloggers to discuss what we have been doing this summer!

 I  have been LOVING the Daily 5 study that I have been involved in this summer! I actually finished the book this weekend and am now ready to go back and re-read the important parts. We just returned from a quick trip to Michigan which is where I finished the last chapter. Here I am enjoying the great outdoors with my Daily 5 book! 

All of you who live on or near large bodies of water ARE SO LUCKY! We spent 5 days next to Lake Michigan and I could not get enough of the views! As you know I live in the middle of corn and soybean country and even though our views can be pretty, I am jealous of those of you who just have to look out your back door to see this beauty!

I did get the opportunity to enjoy some PEOPLE beauty, too! Here are pictures of my beautiful mother and my lovely daughter! It was so much fun to spend some time with them!

The other thing that I have been doing with my time is working in my garden - both at school and at home. I love to spend time with my flowers! They have been in survival mode, though, this summer because of the drought we are experiencing. I feel guilty watering them when our corn and soybean plants are so thirsty.....
I also have been revising some of my older TPT products and creating some new ones. This is what the top of my work table looks like right now! I really am organized and the table will look totally different when I get to it this week! :)  I brought my file drawers home to work on, but haven't done a thing on them yet! They, too, will look better after I have spent some time with them!

I would love to hear what you have been doing with your time! Write your comments here or link up on Vicki's blog! We are lucky to have these summer weeks to catch up on everything that we put off doing during the school year!  Click on Vicky's blog image below to read some fun stories of what some other teacher bloggers are doing!

Stay cool and enjoy these last few weeks of summer!

Freebies Linky party!

Kreative in Kinder is hosting a freebie linky party! There are a ton of links to free products here! Click on the pot of gold to take you to Krystal's linky party!
I am linking up my dog freebie which is shown here:

Facebook Finds!

I thought that I would start to post a few "finds" on my Facebook page that are not on my blog. I posted the first one today and will post more as I find them! Here is the link to my Facebook page for the first one (It is a freebie!)  and don't forget to "like" me if you would like to get updates! AND as soon as I figure out how to add a Facebook button on my blog, I will do that, too!
Have a wonderful day!

Another Book Study! Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl

I  found another book study and it sounds like a good one! It is based on the book Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl. The book explores ways to make learning meaningful in creative and meaningful ways. I haven't purchased the book yet, so am not sure if I am going to officially be a part of the study because the study starts today - July 15! But the book sounds awesome and I plan to order it this week! Click the image of the book to go to the first post from TM3!

Great links for Daily 5 printables

Here are some great links for Daily 5 printables! Click on the pictures and they will take you to their blog or their TPT store! Thank you all you wonderful teachers!


I have to say that as I continue reading this book and this new way of teaching for me, I am SOOOOOO excited!!! Here I am, going into my 18th year of teaching kindergarten and learning new ways to teach! Woo hoo!

I love teaching kids the right way to sit when they read. EEKK (elbows to elbows, knees to knees) is such a fun way to teach this concept - why didn't I think of this before? Mary from Sharing Kindergarten gave some fun ideas for making this type of reading fun which I am DEFINITELY going to implement. She said that she tells her students that as long as they are EEKK, they can be lying on their tummies, backs, or whatever way makes them feel comfortable. I like this; as long as they are quiet and engaged, what difference does it make what part of their body is touching the floor?

When reading to someone, it is suggested that one partner have a "check mark" to use when it is time to Check for Understanding. I like this idea because it gives the child who is not reading a job and a job keeps a child focused. So I guess I will be creating some kind of cute check mark and a cute container in which to store them!

A very interesting quote in the book is this: "Michael Grinder has helped us understand that the loudest voice in the room is the one that regulates the noise level." You know who that is, right? It is us - the teachers! That quote hit me like a firecracker! Here I am sitting at the reading table teaching a small group, using my normal voice, and expecting the rest of the class to use a voice quieter than mine??? One thing I often say is "Remember.....if I can hear your voice, you are talking too loud." Well, if my students can hear MY voice and they are NOT in my guided reading group, am I talking too loud? Of course and I plan to change this when school starts!

Once again, the book tells us to model, model, model - both incorrect and correct behavior. Our students are so little and we expect so much from them. They are certainly up to our expectations, but if we do not model those expectations, then many are destined to fail. The Sisters write that they take 20 days to teach expected behaviors. For kindergarten, I think it might take more than 20 days, but as long as they are learning and improving, I am not concerned if I get the routine going within those 20 days!

"Do you need coaching or time?" When students are reading to someone, they are taught to ask this question. I remember many days during our guided reading sessions when a child would be trying to figure out a word and someone else would say the word before they had a chance to say it. Teaching kids to ask this question first is an awesome way to give those kids who want to figure out a word more time as well as give a child a way out if they just cannot do it. The Sisters have a great strategy for kids to use when they are asked to coach;
1.  Ask: What strategy have you used?
2.  Go back and reread.
3. Skip the word and go back. 
4.  Chunk sounds together.
5.  What word could fit here?
6.  Look at the pictures - the word is right here.
7.  I am going to sound this word out with you.
8.  I am going to tell you the word.

Do you see where "I am going to tell you the word" is located? It is at the very end! This is such a nice way to give struggling students some time and the higher level student a chance to "be the teacher." Great idea!! Another WOO HOO!


 I think this will one of the favorite parts of Daily 5 for my kinders. I have an older Mac laptop and an eMac in my classroom that I think I will use for stories. I also have a TON of storybooks and cassettes. Unfortunately once my cassette player gives out, that might be the end of my cassette stash! I am still debating how to use headphones!

Here is a picture of Martha's chart. Click on the picture to take you to her TPT store for the free download! Thank you Marsha!

Marsha also shared this link. I actually have used this before and it is pretty good. It is called Storyline online. Click the link and it will take you there. Then go to Marsha's blog where she has more ideas for gathering stories that children can listen to! She also has a great anchor chart with expectations for behavior during this part of the Daily 5. The nice thing about this part of the Daily 5 is the ability to differentiate. We will have to talk a lot about how to listen and follow along with the words. Marsha asked the question about reading response sheets. I DO plan to use these. I think it gives students a chance to show what they liked about the book as well as what they learned.


Thank you!

From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you for such wonderful and kind comments about the passing of my faithful friend, Sadie. Your comments show me that this world of teacher blogging is so much more than pictures and words. It is real people sharing real life stories. I will be making one more post today and then plan to take a short one week break doing NON school related activities before I get back into my classroom and start preparing for the new school year! I hope all of you take a few days for yourself, too! I will be posting my reflections of Chapter 5 of the Daily 5 later today! Take care, my friends!

A Loyal and Faithful Friend

I lost a good friend yesterday. Her nose was cold, but her heart was warm and her name was Sadie. Even though this post is not filled with teaching ideas and tips, our journey with Sadie DID originate in the teacher's lounge 12 years ago....

When I walked into the teacher's lounge 12 years ago, it was lunch time and as we who are teachers know, our lunch times are NOT filled with peaceful drinks of lemonade and yummy bites of salad! Instead they are filled with hurried bites of whatever we throw into our lunch bags in the morning and a rush to get to the copy machine before the teacher who needs to print 100 copies of a 4 page test that she will be giving in 15 minutes! So........... when I sat down that day to drink my tomato soup in a can, the last thing I was thinking of was getting a dog!

When Sadie came to us, my kids were in the throes of little league, swim meets, sleep overs, and long division! My husband and I resisted their pleas of "P-L-E-A-S-E, can we get a dog?" for many years. We DID have a pet- a wonderful, long haired, female Calico cat named Bitsy. Honestly, we were content to just have Bitsy. She was a sweet and loving companion; especially to my daughter. And besides, she was an adult cat and therefore would not welcome another animal; especially one that drooled and had a loud bark! But kids know how to break down barriers and for many months, my kids started to slowly chip away at my resistance. In fact, they even convinced me to check out our local animal shelter a few Saturday afternoons AND we even signed papers to bring home a pet the next day. But when the kids approached my husband with the idea, he put his foot down and despite the protests, we called the Humane shelter and removed our name from the list.

So..... back to lunch. As I was drinking my soup, I overheard a conversation from one of our third grade teachers about a dog that they had found running in their neighborhood the day before. She said that the dog had the sweetest personality, but she looked a mess - scraggly, filthy, matted fur and teeth that looked like they had been through too much. The dog had no collar and since it was late, they kept her at their house for the night. The next morning, her husband took the dog to the animal shelter and she was commenting about what might happen to that sweet little dog. Well, you know the ending to this part of the story........ The kids and I went to the animal shelter the next day and adopted that sweet, scraggly, little white dog. We knew this little dog was for us because despite her bedraggled appearance, she looked us in the eye and seemed to say "Take me home. I love you already!"

It took us awhile to find a vet who would look at her and groomer who would make her look pretty, but we did. She had to have extensive dental work, a cancerous growth removed, and basic medical procedures. But she persevered through all these treatments and came out a champion! Did she love our cat, Bitsy? No, no, no! They never got along. They never became friends. They tolerated each other and Sadie was the Alpha in the relationship. Cats are masters at hiding and Bitsy found some really nice places she could go to get away from Sadie!

Through the years, Sadie continued to worm her way into our hearts. Despite the many aggravations she caused, she always let us know that she loved us. When my kids were little, she was at their heels always. It is because of Sadie that I know of an animal called a "vole!" She delighted in being "doggy" and digging up the back yard looking for these little creatures. This old picture of my kids and Sadie shows a muddy snout and muddy paws; probably done after a back yard digging event. You can tell from my son and daughter's faces that they thought it was funny. And I have to say, I must have thought so, too; otherwise, why would I have taken this picture?

As the kids grew up and started to move away from home, I became the constant in Sadie's life. It was me who was always there and she knew it. I became her focal point. She waited for me at the front door to come home from school. She greeted me each day with a wagging tail and a big, doggy smile. She loved to take walks and seemed to dance every time we went on one. When I would be on the floor suffering through sit-ups and leg exercises, she was my trainer and sat next to me until I finished. She slept next to me on the floor every night and she sat under my desk chair when I was working in the evenings.

Sadie had an intense attachment to our family. When my kids moved away and I took on an after school tutoring job, she was alone a lot. It caused behavioral issues with her that had to be treated with meds to relax her. We also had a wonderful friend named Melanie, who would give Sadie a break by giving her a late morning walk while I was at school. It didn't take too long for Melanie to fall in love with Sadie with either!

When we received the dire diagnosis in January of liver disease, the vet recommended euthanasia. I asked if we could hold off on this decision for awhile. Sadie had two wonderful vets who supported our delay and were our constant support throughout these 7 months. They kept telling me that Sadie would let us know when it was time....... As I write this, my heart continues to be filled with pain and my mind keeps asking "Did she tell me that it was time or did I just imagine it?" After all, she was still eating and drinking and she still got up to say hello to my husband in the evening. But these last few weeks, her behavior changed. Her food intake was down to 1/2 can of food a day. She slept all day barely raising her head when I went to pet her. When she laid under my chair, she whimpered. When it was time for our dear cat, Bitsy to go, I waited too long. She was skin and bones when the time came. I did not want that to happen to Sadie. Making a pet suffer because of my inability to make the hard choice could not be an option....

So we said good-bye to our friend yesterday. Our vet told us that she had never known a pet to love their family as much as Sadie loved us. But it was Sadie who brought us love and that love will be missed.   As this classic Vulcan saying says "You are and always will be, my friend....." Rest in peace, Sadie.......

Chapter 4 of Daily 5 READ TO SELF

My first thoughts about asking a 5 year to read to self for more than 5 minutes is "IT CAN'T BE DONE!"  But after reading the experiences of other kindergarten teachers who have students who HAVE accomplished this feat, I am becoming a believer!

As with any new experience in kindergarten, reading to self needs to be taught. Krissy Miner from Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business wrote that she did not start the process until November and it was not fully in process until January. Whew! That relaxes me! It takes so long for my little kinders to get rolling with our schedule and truthfully, it isn't until the middle of October before they have a good feel for how school works! That said, though, I do intend to initiate the process the first few weeks of school. I thought that we would have "Good Book Time." In order for my students to find a good fit book, they need to be aware of the choices in the classroom. So I intend to SLOWLY introduce book categories and then allow the children some time to just explore. It really is not important to me if they are reading books that are at their level right away. I just want them to feel excited about spending some time with books. As the days and weeks progress and they become more competent with their reading skills, we will begin the process of how to pick a Good Fit book.

I LOVE, LOVE "3 Ways to Read a Book" and we will start that process right away.
Here are the 3 ways:
1.  Read and talk about the pictures (I love the idea of teaching kids that you are reading even when you are just looking at the pictures! As you know, I firmly believe that pictures/illustrations are the beginning foundation for reading and writing!)
2.  Read the words. (There are always 1 or 2 kiddos that come to school being able to read.  Most kiddos that come to school reading LOVE to read, so this will probably end up being one of their favorite parts of the day!)
3.  Retell a previously read book. (Kids love to retell stories, so I know they will enjoy this part of Read to self. We will have to practice and model proper noise levels, though, so that this does not become a distraction to others.)

I still am in the thinking process of how to arrange my classroom. I won't be able to get into it until the first of August, so all my planning must be done on paper right now. I want my library to have a warm, cozy feeling and I want my books easy to locate and return when finished.  There are so many awesome ideas floating around from other wonderful teachers. What I need to do now is take an afternoon with pen and paper and record ideas I like and then refine them into something that will work for me!

Make sure that you click on the image above to read Krissy's awesome thoughts on the Daily 5 as well as the other teachers who have linked up for this chapter.

Until next time!

Pirates, Princesses, and Me!

I am not sure if any of you have purchased TPT packets from me, but if you have, I want you to know that I am revising a few of them.  I hope that if you DID purchase one of these packages that you go back and re-download them!  Click on the image to take you to the product BUT if you already purchased it, go to MY PURCHASES and there should be a button there to re-download it! Happy Sunday!

Huge Giveaway from Peace, Love, and Learning

As I perusing Blogland today, I came across this HUGE giveaway from Peace, Love, and Learning! If you are interested, you have to work fast, though,  because the winner will be announced TOMORROW, July 8 which only gives you TODAY to enter, but thought I would share anyway! Plus you get the opportunity to explore some other really great blogs!

Drawing and writing

Because of the high heat lately, I admit that once the afternoon comes, I am inside my house with the air conditioning on! That's okay, though, because I can always find something to keep me busy! There is so much that I want to do to prepare for the beginning of school and my brain is already preparing the layout of my classroom. I just received my copy of "In Pictures and In Words" by Katie Wood Ray and my mind is going crazy with new ideas! AND if you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I am a firm believer in creating illustrations for writing projects AND my philosophy of draw/create/write is being solidified as I read Ms Ray's book. In her book, Ray writes "Teaching into illustrations asks teachers to understand that when children illustrate, they prewrite (or predraw, perhaps), draft, revise, and edit just as they do when they write, and to value this process equally in this parallel content." That is SO TRUE! When children draw and create FIRST, they are learning to be critical thinkers and editors of their own work! Just like we must crawl before we walk, children must draw before they write! Yea! Validation! :)

When most children enter kindergarten, they already have the skills necessary to hold a pencil. Most know the differences between crayons, markers, and pencils and most have held scissors in their hands and know their purpose. (Thank you, Pre-K teachers!) But, what I have found in my 17 years of teaching kindergarten is that most kiddos really have no idea where to start when they want to draw a picture. The ideas in their heads do not always match the ideas that they put on paper. So at the beginning of the school year, I have a discussion with my kiddos about shapes.  We do quite a bit of "shape searching" around the classroom and school grounds. We take clipboards and pencils with us as we begin to look at the world with new eyes. We notice that the trunk of a tree is a rectangle shape and the leaves above it are a cloud shape. We notice that the leaves of a flower are simply a smile and a frown shape touching. We see that the buildings around us are squares and rectangles and triangles.

I know there is discussion between allowing children the freedom to create as they see fit and giving them some guidance as to what steps it takes to draw. I am in the middle ring of these discussions. I think it is important for students to be allowed to show their uniqueness in what they draw and create, but I also believe it is important for children to have some foundational knowledge as to how to simply begin. In my 17 years of teaching kindergarten, I have found that my kiddos KNOW what they want to draw, but do not necessarily know how to get there. Isn't that what happens when we teach them to read? If we did not teach our kiddos foundational reading principals, would they learn to read? If we did not teach the steps to unlocking words, would they pick it up on their own? I have to say that most would struggle with learning to read without our help. I believe the same holds true with drawing.  So just as I give my students tools for learning to read and do math, I give them tools for creation of a picture. I show them the steps that they can use to create a picture.  Must they follow these steps exactly? Absolutely not! But I do encourage them to follow the steps for awhile; especially at the beginning of the year. Once they start seeing that drawing is just using basic shapes and lines, they start creating pictures that are much better than mine! Because I want them to have experience and practice with other tools than a pencil, I encourage my kiddos to draw their shapes upon colored construction paper, cut out the shapes, and then glue onto white paper. They then use their crayons to add detail to their picture. (If I have a student who just wants to draw and color their picture, I allow them to do this! Following the steps by drawing and coloring is always as option in my classroom.) As this experience progresses through the year, we begin the gradual process of adding words to our pictures; first with labeling, then with sentences. This is such a fun process to watch unfold throughout the year! Drawing, cutting, and writing - hurray!

Here are a few of my Draw, Cut, Write packets. The first one is a freebie. I also bundled PETS, FARM, AND FOREST ANIMALS together. Most of my products involve some kind of drawing and creating; these are just the new ones.  Click on the pictures to take you there!

Whew! This was a long post! Thanks for staying with me! :)