Posts Tagged ‘learning activities’

Engaging, Make-it-yourself Booklets for Young Readers

Posted on August 24th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts looks at a kindergarten teacher resource: Literacy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-BooksLiteracy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-Books by Suzanne Moore
Professional Teaching Resource published by Scholastic





Scholastic’s kindergarten teacher resource Literacy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-Books… is a collection of reproducible mini booklets for PreK and Kindergarten. Grouped into ‘Fall’ Booklets, ‘Winter’ Booklets and ‘Spring’ Booklets, topics include colors, opposites, positional words, size, sequencing and much more.

Booklet formats are fun: shape books, flip books and, like the What’s in My Lunch Bag? booklet, some are 3D.

I particularly like the suggestions for extending the lessons and the variety in the booklet formats.

Literacy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-Books That Help Children Explore Concepts of Print, Build Vocabulary, and Tie Into the Topics You Teach-All Year Long! at Amazon.com

Literacy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-Books That Help Children Explore Concepts of Print, Build Vocabulary, and Tie Into the Topics You Teach-—All Year Long! at Amazon.ca

Do you have a professional resource that you would like to share?



Beginning to Read – Day 5

Posted on August 22nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Day 5 of community centre program, Beginning to Read includes reading How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?Beginning to Read Day 5 included a delightful, rhyming picture book How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague. The children enjoyed lots of laughs as they watched dinosaurs join a carpool, race through a school hallway, have fun at recess and try to behave properly in a classroom. This is a great book to read at this time of year. It provides gentle reminders about appropriate (and inappropriate) classroom behavior. Children love to watch enormous dinosaurs struggle to manage their manners – just as some children struggle in a classroom/school setting.

Day 5 also introduced the “Ot” word family – cot, dot, got, hot, lot, not, pot, rot plus three “tricky words” spot, slot and knot. Our Bingo game today reviewed all of the word families we’ve looked at this week.

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School at Amazon.com

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? at Amazon.ca

Beginning to Read – Day 4

Posted on August 18th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


In today’s Beginning to Read class, we spent some time exploring rhyming. Some of the children have a good concept of rhyming while others are just beginning to understand. We began with eight pictures (king, ring, tree, bee, house, mouse, etc.). The children looked at the pictures and matched the rhymes. We later played an active game and they listened in order to determine whether two words rhymed.

Free printable rhyming wordsHearing rhyming and developing phonemic awareness is a key to reading success. If you would like to print some pictures of rhyming words, follow this link to Storytime Standouts’ free printable rhyming words. For additional information about rhyming and phonemic awareness, click here to check out our Phonemic Awareness page.

At word family printable for homeschool or classroomWe also played a fun game that served as a review of this week’s word families. The children were given three or four cards, each a different color (red, green, etc.). Then, each of the children with a red card stood at the front of the group. The children held the cards up and we ‘read’ the words. Occasionally the children positioned themselves correctly and the three letters formed a word. More often, the children had to rearrange themselves in order to spell a word. In some cases, the letters could be used to spell more than one word (tip,pit / rat,art). The children had lots of laughs with this activity because they ‘read’ silly words before finding the correct word. “TPA” became “PTA” and perhaps “APT” before “PAT” was revealed.

This activity was a review of each of the word families we studied this week. If you would like to print out some word family resources, follow this link to Storytime Standouts’ free word family printables .

Storytime Standouts writes about The Gaggle Sisters River TourToday’s story was The Gaggle Sisters’ River Tour written and illustrated by Chris Jackson. This was a challenging story for some of the children because it includes some relatively difficult vocabulary (hauled, sobbed) and there is a considerable amount of text. I am happy to say that all three groups remained engaged and interested throughout the story.

The Gaggle Sisters River Tour at Amazon.ca

The Gaggle Sisters River Tour at Amazon.com


Beginning to Read – Day 3

Posted on August 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


The children who attended Beginning to Read today thoroughly enjoyed today’s story by William Steig, Pete’s a Pizza

When a sudden rainstorm spoil’s Pete’s plans, he is grumpy and sad. His dad decides that he ought to be made into a pizza! He kneeds Pete and stretches him, covers him with oil and adds tomatoes and cheese. Before long, the pizza is hot and ready to be sliced.

During today’s Beginning to Read class we talked quite alot about opposites. We began with ‘easy’ opposites (hot/cold, wet/dry/ big/small, happy/sad, inside/outside), moved onto slightly more challenging opposites (push/pull, empty/full, night/day, tall/short, true/false) and, finally, tried some ‘difficult’ opposites (warm/cool, always/never, man/woman).

Today’s Word Family was “ed” (Ed, Bed, fed, led, red, Ted). The tricky words were fled, newlywed and shred. We have many word family printables on this website, follow the link for more information.

We also looked for some easy Sight Words. Sight Words are also known as “Instant Word” and sometimes referred to as “Dolch Words.” They are high frequency words that beginning readers are encouraged to memorize (we, my, see, go, and, etc.) For the children who are already reading sight words, this was a reading activity. For the children who are not yet reading sight words, it was a matching activity. If you are interested, you can download sight word lists from our download page.

We played a mixed up alphabet game . Each child had two, three or four cards. Each card read, “I have ___. Who has ___?” The child with “I have A. Who has L?” started us off. The child with “I have L. Who has U?” read his/her card next. Basically, the children were listening for the letter names, checking to see if they had the letter and reading aloud when it was their turn. Very good fun – many of the children would like to play the game again.

Finally, we used Elkonin boxes. The children listened to words and decided whether a letter sound was at the beginning, middle or end of a word. As an example, I asked the children to listen for the /S/ sound. When I said, “Snake,” they should have identified that the /S/ sound was at the beginning of the word. When I said, “Pigs,” they should have noticed that the /S/ sound was at the end of the word. When I said, “Icicle,” they should have noticed that the /S/ sound was in the middle of the word. Note: this is a listening activity – whether the /S/ is made by a “S” or a “C” is unimportant. Children will normally hear the beginning sounds most easily, the middle sounds are the most difficult to hear. Children who learn to hear the sounds and notice when they occur will use this skill when spelling, writing and reading. This is a skill you can work on anytime, anywhere.

Beginning to Read – Day 2

Posted on August 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Today was our second Beginning to Read class and our theme today was “Shoes.” During our storytime, I used felt pieces to tell the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker. This is a traditional story and it has been retold many times. The version that I used was written by Paul Galdone. I explained to the children that, if they visit the library, they might find as many as ten different versions of this story (filed in the Fairy Tale section, J398). If you have a chance, it would be great to find the story at the library and share it with your children. If you can find two different versions, ask them which they prefer. The illustrations and the storytelling will vary. Reading different versions of a familiar story is a great way to encourage your children to think about and compare authors and illustrators.

By the way, in each of the classes, the children responded very enthusiastically to the felt story format. They love watching the story unfold and touching the pieces of felt. Using felt pieces is a great way to encourage children to be creative and invent their own stories.

Today’s word family was the “it” family – bit, fit, hit, pit, sit, split and quit. In today’s class, we made a word family flip book. These easily made books are very helpful for young readers. They help children to notice that “bit”, “fit” and “hit” are related and, once you manage to decode/read “bit”, it is quite easy to decode/read “fit” and “hit”. Today our tricky words were split and quit. Here is a picture of a Dairy Queen Banana Split.

We have many word family printables on this website, follow the link for more information.

Today we also did a page about colours. Some of the children are able to read the words, some are not. Just as a gentle reminder, some of early ‘reading’ is actually memorizing. When children offer to ‘read’ a story that they have heard many time, we may be tempted to dismiss their ‘reading’ as ‘memorizing.’ Keep in mind that we want to encourage reading behaviours (holding a book, turning the pages, etc.) and picture clues are very helpful to young readers. Be sure to celebrate your young reader’s success – even when you suspect that s/he has memorized a story.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Elves and Shoemaker

Elves and Shoemaker theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

Just for fun, here is The Muppet’s version of The Elves and the Shoemaker

The Elves and the Shoemaker at Amazon.com

The Elves and the Shoemaker Book & Cassette at Amazon.ca


Beginning to Read – Day 1

Posted on August 15th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


In our first Beginning to Read class for this week, our theme was ‘the beach.’ We read a story by Marie-Louise Gay titled, Stella Star of the Sea. We talked about Stella and her little brother, Sam. We noticed that Sam is afraid and that Stella is not. We also talked about the fact that Sam asks many, many questions. Sometimes Stella’s answers are correct and sometimes her answers are not. Most of the children were able to make connections between this story and experiences they have had. Many talked about going to the beach and seeing shells or sea stars, some talked about being on boats and seeing killer whales. I think Sam’s hesitance to dive into the water is something we can all relate to.

You might be interested to hear some of the children’s responses to my question, “Why might it be noisy at the beach?” I thought they would answer, “The sound of the waves is loud.” Actually, they mentioned that crabs make quite a bit of noise, sperm whales are also loud. Others mentioned sea gulls. With some prompting, some of the children thought that the waves (caused by boats) are loud.

By the way, we love it when children make connections with the books they read! Whenever possible, try to match books to your child’s experiences; starting school, travelling, going to the dentist, planting a garden, visiting a fire hall.

Also, just a gentle reminder, reading aloud to children continues to be important – even when they begin reading independently. When your child begins to read, make sure that you continue to read books that s/he is not yet able to manage. You will motivate your child to become a better reader!

In today’s class we talked about vowels (A, E, I, O, U, Y). The children learned a little song about vowels. We will use one vowel each day and today’s vowel was “a.” We combined “a” with “t” to make the work “at.” Once we had read “at,” we added b, c, f, h, m, p, r, and s to make words. We also tried some “tough” words: flat, that and splat.

In the 2:15 class and the 4:00 class, we played a game that reinforced today’s word family. The children threw ‘seaweed’ at ‘shark fins’ and then we read the words on the shark fins. The shark fin words were ‘at’, ‘bat’, ‘cat’, ‘fat’, ‘hat’, ‘mat’, ‘pat’, ‘rat’, and ‘sat.’

I will write again tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Also, just a quick note to say that none of our classes are full this week. There are places available at 12:30, 2:15 and 4:00. If you have a friend who is interested, please have them call the Registration Call Centre or stop by Steveston to register. It would be my pleasure to see the last few spaces filled.

Downloads from Marie-Louise Gay’s website
Click here for Stella and Sam stickers, colouring sheets, posters, bookmarks and more

Downloads from this Website

image of PDF icon  The "At" Word Family

Free -at word family printable for young readers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Beach Picture Dictionary

Free printable picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sandcastle

Beach theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Stella, Star of the Sea at Amazon.com

Stella, Star of the Sea at Amazon.ca

5 Ways to Assess Your Child’s Phonemic Awareness (Series)

Posted on July 18th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

The focus of our last few posts has been phonemic awareness, an important element of readiness for reading and spelling. Here are 5 easy ways you can assess your child’s phonemic awareness. Be sure to explore our related posts for additional assessment tools and ways to enhance reading and writing readiness

Check your child's phonemic awareness and readiness for reading and spelling with these questions#1 – Can your child break a word apart by syllable? If you say “carpet” can your child hear and say “car – pet”?

#2 – Can your child mush sounds together (to make a word)? If you say “r – a – t” can your child hear and say “rat”?

#3 – Could your child hear whether two words begin with the same sound? smile and sun vs moon and earth

#4 – When asked to listen for a sound, can your child distinguish whether the sound is at the beginning, middle or end of a word? For example, when asked to listen for the /S/ sound, can your child hear it at the beginning of “skunk”, in the middle of “listen” and at the end of “tents”?

#5 – Could your child tell you the sound at the beginning of a word? Could he say which sound is at the end of a word? And, most difficult of all, could your child correctly identify the sound in the middle of a word?

It is not difficult to understand why a child with above average phonemic awareness will probably be a very good speller. If he or she can hear the sounds in words, he or she is more likely to spell the words correctly. Likewise, a child with above average phonemic awareness will probably be a very good reader.

Here are some free printables that you can use to help your child notice the sounds in words

It is worthwhile to note that these printables can be used before a child is reading or writing or after he/she is a beginning reader.

free phonemic awareness printable Match the Beginning Consonant Sound

image of PDF icon  Match the Ending Consonant Sound

Another way to help children develop phonemic awareness. Matching the ending consonant sound is more difficult than matching the beginning consonant sound.

image of PDF icon  Match the Beginning Consonant Sound

Cut the pictures apart and have children match the initial consonant sound - a great way to support the development of phonemic awareness.

For more ways to help your child develop phonemic awareness, follow this link to visit our Phonemic Awareness page.

9 Fun and Easy Ways to Measure and Develop Phonemic Awareness

Posted on July 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Ways to Measure and Develop Phonemic Awarenss in Young Children

Our recent posts have provided lots of ways to help your child gain phonemic awareness. Here are some informal ways you can assess your child

Keep in mind that phonemic awareness is not pencil-based and does not require letters or even books. Phonemic Awareness is an understanding that words are made up of sounds. We can enhance phonemic awareness by sharing songs and stories that feature rhyming, alliteration and other wordplay but when helping a child to develop phonemic awareness, we should not be having them do worksheets or work with letters. We want to do auditory activities that help children notice sounds and understand words are made up of sounds. As they become more proficient, we help them to understand that they can manipulate those sounds to create different words with different meanings.

  • With his or her eyes closed, ask your child to listen for sounds and talk about them (at home, it could be the sound of the dishwasher or the sound of a garage door opening or someone walking down a hallway. In the classroom, it could be the sound of a window being opened, a stapler being used or a cabinet being closed. What is the sound, where is the noise coming from?
  • Using empty Film Canisters , create a sound matching activity by putting dry rice in two containers, jingle bells in two containers, small pebbles in two containers and leaving two empty. Can your child match the containers based only on the sounds they make?
  • Can your child hear whether two words are the same or different? If you say, “duck” and “duck” or “frog” and “fog” can he/she say if the words are alike or not?
  • Can your child hear whether two words rhyme? If you say, “pig” and “wig” or “black” and “bat” can he/she say that the first pair rhyme, the second pair do not?
  • Could your child think of a rhyming word for “boy” or “hot”?
  • Could your child say how many syllables are in a word like “west” or “under” or “amazing”? Can he/she tap out the number of sounds he/she hears?
  • Could your child add a verse to a song like Willaby Wallaby Woo? This is a fun song that is often sung in group settings. As you go around the circle, the first sound in each child’s name is changed to “W”
  • Willoughby Walliby wee
    An elephant sat on me
    Willoughby Walliby woo
    An elephant sat on you
    Willoughbly Walliby Wham
    An elephant sat on Sam

  • If you said three words to your child, could he/she figure out which word does not rhyme? cat, mat, sun
  • When reading a new rhyming story, could your child predict a word? An example from I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More,
  • So I take some red
    and I paint my… ______!
    Now I ain’t gonna paint no more.

    Aw, what the heck!
    Gonna paint my… ______!
    Now I ain’t gonna paint no more.

    Phonemic Awareness – Hink Pink Riddle Fun Answers

    Posted on July 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Here are the solutions to yesterday’s Hink Pink riddles

    an overweight kitten (fat cat)
    a very large hog (big pig)
    a damp dog (wet pet)
    a large stick (big twig)
    a disappointed father (sad dad)
    being startled by a grizzly (bear scare)
    a turquise sandle (blue shoe)
    how rabbits pay for things (bunny money)
    24 hours without any work (play day)
    mama bear massages her baby (cub rub)
    use one to catch your goldfish (pet net)
    rosy sheets and blankets (red bed)
    rockers at the beach (sand band)

    Hink Pink Riddles at Amazon.com

    Hink Pink Riddles at Amazon.ca

    Supporting Phonemic Awareness: Try Playing Around with Hink Pinks

    Posted on July 15th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Storytime Standouts recommends using Hink Pinks to support the development of phonemic awareness in children



    What do you call a rabbit who tells jokes?

    If you are playing around with Hink Pinks, the answer is a funny bunny.

    Solving and making up Hink Pink riddles will help your child to develop phonemic awareness and, since phonemic awareness is a key to reading success will bolster early reading and spelling.

    So, here are some Hink Pinks for you to try…

    an overweight kitten
    a very large hog
    a damp dog
    a large stick
    a disappointed father
    being startled by a grizzly
    a turquoise sandle
    what rabbits use to pay for things
    24 hours without any work
    mama bear massages her baby
    use one to catch your goldfish
    crimson sheets and blankets
    rockers at the beach

    And here are the solutions

    an overweight kitten (fat cat)
    a very large hog (big pig)
    a damp dog (wet pet)
    a large stick (big twig)
    a disappointed father (sad dad)
    being startled by a grizzly (bear scare)
    a turquise sandle (blue shoe)
    how rabbits pay for things (bunny money)
    24 hours without any work (play day)
    mama bear massages her baby (cub rub)
    use one to catch your goldfish (pet net)
    rosy sheets and blankets (red bed)
    rockers at the beach (sand band)

    Hink Pink Riddles at Amazon.com

    Hink Pink Riddles at Amazon.ca

    Websites Featuring Hink Pinks

    Hink Pinks online

    Trotter Math’s Hink Pinks

    For more ways to help your child develop phonemic awareness, follow this link to visit our Phonemic Awareness page.

    Use Our Free Printable Rhyming Words to Support Phonemic Awareness

    Posted on July 14th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Free Printable Rhyming Words for Homeschool and Classroom

    Phonemic Awareness is a key to reading readiness and hearing rhyming is a measure of it. Use these sets of free printable rhyming words in your classroom or home to develop phonemic awareness and help prepare your child for reading.

    Sound matching and learning about rhyming words will help your child to gain phonemic awareness and phonemic awareness is a key to learning to read. If you are unfamiliar with the term phonemic awareness and/or if you would like to learn more about it, we encourage you to follow this link to our page about phonemic awareness.

    Here are some ways you could use these free rhyming word printables to promote phonemic awareness in children

    1. Print off one set of rhyming word pictures and then cut the pictures apart. Make sure your child knows what each picture is. Talk about what rhyming sounds like. Ask your child to match the words that rhyme .
    (ring, king
    bee, tree
    hat, cat
    )

    2. Use one set of rhyming words to play a rhyming word memory game with your child. Turn all the pictures upside down and take turns trying to patch the pairs.

    3. Make a file folder memory matching game – glue one half of the rhyming pictures to the inside of the file folder and leave the remaining pictures (loose) to be matched. You can make it a self correcting activity by putting a different symbol beside each of the pictures you glued to the folder and use the same symbols on the back of the matching pictures.

    Our early learning printables, including our rhyming word printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need it to access the downloads.


    Click here to view our selection of free printable alphabets and all of our early learning printables.

    Rhyming Word Printable from StorytimeStandouts

    Rhyming Word Printables

    image of PDF icon  Match the Rhyming Words

    24 Pictures of rhyming words (king, ring, bee, tree, hat, cat, mouse, house, bed, red, clock, lock, tire, fire, bear, chair, train, chain, skate, gate, fox, box, frog, dog)

    image of PDF icon  Match the Rhyming Words - Set 2

    24 pictures of rhyming words (whale, sail, hook, book, wig, pig, stamp, lamp, wet, jet, five, hive, hair, stair, fish, dish, flower, tower, clip, hip, moose, goose, ghost, toast)

    Canadian Picturebook Authors and Illustrators – A Patriotic Crossword Puzzle

    Posted on June 26th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Here’s a fun way to celebrate Canada Day – check out our Canadian Picture Book crossword puzzle.

    image of PDF icon  Canadian Picture Book Crossword

    No summer reading club – but I still want the boys to read!

    Posted on June 26th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart



    Ways to encourage summer reading without joining a library programStorytime Standouts recommends Pirateology as a way to encourage summer reading

    When the boys were younger, we always joined out local library’s Summer Reading Club. Each evening we recorded the books we’d read that day and once a week we stopped by the library. In addition to enjoying some great books, the boys were rewarded with stickers, praise and medals.

    We all agreed that this year we won’t sign up for the library’s Summer Reading Club but nonetheless I intend to take them to the library once a week during July and August. Friday, the first day of our summer holiday, we ventured into the main branch and the vast children’s section of our local library. My eldest boy was soon engrossed in a book about World War II. My youngest boy was equally engrossed – he was watching other kids play computer games online.

    With both kids occupied, I scooped up an armload of books – I was determined to find some for my nine year old even if he didn’t want to look. I picked up a little of this and a little of that – some short mystery stories for him to solve (these can be great for reading comprehension because usually, kids have to be read very carefully if they hope to pick up on the critical clues), some ‘how to’ books (do I really want to build electrical circuits and make stuff from paper mache this summer?), Nick magazine and Pirateology.

    We returned home – my eldest son with two books, my youngest with no books and me with twenty-five! My youngest son flipped through my pile of books. He declared all but two books ‘interesting.‘ (YAY)

    Friday night we had a look at Pirateology and yesterday the two boys read each other mysteries and tried to figure out who did it.

    Some children can easily deal with the library environment. They know what they want and how to find it. For some children, there are too many distractions and too many books. As well, we often focus on chapter books and ignore information books. Don’t give up on getting kids to read – stay involved and make suggestions. I’m learning that I will need to cast a wide net if I want to keep both of my kids reading this summer.

    Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter’s Companion at Amazon.com

    Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter’s Companion at Amazon.ca

    Father’s Day Wordsearch Printable

    Posted on June 18th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


    Here is one of our many free PDF printables for children – a Father’s Day Wordsearch PDF. Enjoy!

    image of PDF icon  Father's Day Word Search

    Our early literacy printables, including our Father’s Day Wordsearch are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.


    You will find our selection of free printable alphabets here and all of our early literacy printables here.


    Dazzling Felt Stories, Puppets and an Amazing Feel-Good Opportunity

    Posted on June 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Craftworks offers Dazzling Felt Stories, Puppets and an Amazing Feel-Good Opportunity Last Friday morning, I spent well over an hour exploring a wonderful shop in Vancouver that is both inspiring and uplifting. I rediscovered the delightful items available for purchase at 4th Avenue’s Craftworks.

    Since 1966, 3H Craftworks Society has provided a craft-therapy program for adults with physical disabilities and/or mental health challenges. Member clients gain confidence and self esteem while participating, creating, and socializing with other members of the community. Member clients are renumerated monthly for the projects they complete. Products are then sold through a store at 2208 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In addition, products are available through mail order and via email: [email protected]

    For teachers, the array of colourful and high quality felt board stories and (finger and hand) puppets is absolutely dazzling. What a selection! Parents, grandparents, and friends will find all sorts of beautiful gifts and toys. Don’t miss The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly – she’s absolutely great.

    Be sure to “like” 3H Craftworks: Creations by Artisans with Disabilities on Facebook, check out their Twitter feed as well @craftworkson4th Best of all, investigate their wonderful products for yourself. I guarantee, you will leave with a smile on your face.

    We’ve Just Added Free Printable Summer Writing Paper

    Posted on May 25th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Storytime Standouts offers interlined paper for (almost) every occasion, check out the entire collection by visiting our Interlined Paper page.

    Our early literacy printables, including our interlined paper, are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.


    You will find our selection of free printable alphabets here and all of our early literacy printables here.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids

    Interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Half Interlined Paper

    Plain, half interlined writing paper for beginning writers.


    Free Printable Snowman Writing Paper for Homeschool and ClassroomWinter Interlined Paper for Preschool, Kindergarten, Grade One

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Christmas Tree

    Christmas theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Snowman

    Snow theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Groundhog Day

    Groundhog day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Happy Valentine's Day

    Valentine's Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Valentine's Day Swirling Hearts

    Valentine's Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


    If you appreciate our interlined paper printables, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


    Free Printable Sandcastle Writing Paper for Homeschool and ClassroomSummer Interlined Paper for Preschool, Kindergarten, Grade One

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Canada Day

    Canada theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Camping

    Camping theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - July 4th, Independence Day

    Independence Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Watermelon

    Watermelon, Summer theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sunflower

    Sunflower theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sandcastle

    Beach theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Roadtrip

    Roadtrip theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

    image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Picnic

    Picnic theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


    Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough – Eco-Friendly Fun!

    Posted on May 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Make your own coffee ground playdough

    Recycled Coffee Ground Playdough Recipe

    Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough FunWhen presenting my workshops for teaching professionals, I often include using Fimo Clay and rubber stamps to make paperweights with special messages. While presenting Growing and Learning Green for the Early Childhood Educators of BC on Saturday, the idea of using (used) coffee grounds to make a play-dough-like modelling clay was talked about.



    Earlier today, I stopped by Starbucks and easily obtained a large bag of used coffee grounds for free. Thank you Starbucks!

    Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough in the mixing bowlThis evening I mixed together equal parts coffee and flour. I added 1/2 part salt and made sure the mixture was blended thoroughly. Once I was happy with the mix, I stirred in 1/2 part water.

    If you were doing this, you might use the following:
    3 C slightly damp coffee grounds
    3 C All Purpose flour
    1 1/2 C Table Salt
    1 1/2 C Water

    I did most of the mixing in a bowl and then kneaded it on some parchment paper. The consistency was great and the dough was relatively easy to manage. I rolled it out between two sheets of parchment paper and was able to use a small-ish cookie cutter and a larger biscuit cutter to cut out shapes.

    Homemade Coffee Ground PlaydoughI was not successful when I tried to press a rubber stamp into the mix – bits of coffee seemed to cling to the stamp.

    I have left two pieces of dough out to air dry and will check them in the morning. I froze the rest of the dough so that I can share it at my next Growing and Learning Green workshop.

    Air-dried Coffee ground playdough
    This is a picture of the playdough after air drying for three days. It feels quite solid and is not crumbly. The surface looks almost dusty.
    If you have ideas about ways to reuse coffee grounds – I would love to hear from you!

    8 Days Remaining in the 2011 Get to Know Contest

    Posted on May 13th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Robert Bateman and the Get to Know Contest

    Make some time this week to take a child outdoors. Help your child to discover the natural world and encourage them to write, photograph, or create art about the experience.

    There are just eight days left to get involved in the 2011 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest

    Get to Know Your Wild Neighbors!

    This year, renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman plans to invite Canadian youth to go outside and “get to know” their wild neighbors. In cooperation with national partners Wildlife Habitat Canada, Parks Canada, and the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest encourages young people to develop a deeper appreciation for their neighbors of other species by getting outdoors and creating art, writing, digital photography, and videos. The goal of the contest is to engage the power of art to help youth feel more connected with nature. It’s all about making connections with other environmentally passionate youth, using the creative arts to convey your passion, and having your accomplishments celebrated. Connect…Create …Celebrate!

    2011 has been declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations. In celebration of this important designation, the theme of the 2011 Get to Know Contest is “This is My Forest”. Whether it’s a single tree in a backyard or acres of boreal forest in a national park, the contest offers youth the opportunity to learn about and celebrate their local forest and its inhabitants. Winners will receive all kinds of wild prizes, including cash, an invitation to the week-long Get to Know Art & Nature Camp in Victoria (courtesy of Parks Canada), and the chance to have their entry published in the 2012 Robert Bateman Get to Know Calendar. The contest launches during National Wildlife Week, April 10 – 16, at participating parks, zoos, and museums all across Canada. To learn more and find out how to enter, visit the contest website

    What’s So Great About Play? Discover the Wonder of Free Play

    Posted on April 28th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Storytime Standouts Asks, What's so great about play?

    What sort of skills do children learn when given an opportunity to play by themselves and with others?

    Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning. – Educator and television host, Fred Rogers





    Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning. – Author Diane Ackerman

    Children learn to express themselves artistically and verbally. They also learn ways to create, invent, discover, investigate, explore, imagine, build (and wreck!), construct, move, share and negotiate. Children have opportunities to enjoy a sense of accomplishment, to learn how to join a group and make friends. When playing with others, they learn to participate, communicate, deal with conflict, cooperate and have fun. They become curious and excited, they overcome fears, deal with disappointments (when the castle collapses) and they discover and develop talents. Children become more socially responsible, they may help others with projects and with tidying up. Their intellect develops and they become more confident physically.

    It seems to me that we all need less structure in our days and more time to play. We need time, space and materials. Why not make playtime a priority this weekend? I’m going to and I would love to hear your favorite ways to encourage and support your child’s play.

    15 Tips for Parents and Homeschoolers of Young Readers and Writers

    Posted on April 27th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    15 tips for Parents of Young Readers and Writers from Storytime Standouts

    Raising a child who reads well and loves to pick up a book is a team effort. Parents can support young readers’ and writers’ formal learning by being involved and enthusiastic, providing encouragement and tools. Here are some ways you can help set the stage for reading success.

    Download a free, printable PDF of this information

    image of PDF icon  15 Tips for Supporting Young Readers and Writers

    Storytime Standouts shares tips for parents who want to help children with reading and writing.





      Be a reader and a writer – make sure your children see you reading books for pleasure and information as well as writing letters or making lists.

      Read aloud to your children every day – even once they have learned how to read.  Make it a priority to find great articles and engaging books to share with your family.

      Be flexible.  Read when, where and how it suits your child.  If your child won’t sit still, it is okay to play quietly or color a picture while listening.

      Write silly notes to your children.  Print out  riddles and add them to a  lunch bag or hide them under a pillow.

      • Have Grandma or Grandpa send emails, encourage your child to reply.

      • Try a new recipe, read a map, solve a mystery, check out the comics or learn magic tricks together.  Help your child realize the value of being a good reader.

      • Hook your child with wonderful series books or look for more books by a favourite author or illustrator.


      • Encourage your child to notice and read environmental print (stop signs, entrance,  exit, push and pull signs as well as labels on groceries or names of familiar stores).

      Listen to your children when they read (or when they pretend to read).  Offer lots of encouragement to readers and writers of every age.

      • If possible, have a basket of  books, a well-placed reading light and a comfortable chair inviting young readers to curl up and enjoy a story.

      Keep writing implements; coloured pencils, erasers, rulers and paper handy.  A stapler is also great for children who want to make their own books.

      Visit your public library regularly.  Encourage your children to borrow fiction and non fiction books.

      Get to know your child’s school librarian and make sure the librarian knows your child’s ability and interests.

      Explore your community with your child.  Background experiences help readers to understand.  A child who has been to an aquarium or a farm will make connections when reading about sea creatures or baby piglets.

      Ask for recommendations and suggestions.  Most libraries have lists of book recommendations.  Check with friends and teachers and look at our picture book and chapter book recommendations.   If you need help, send an email. We will gladly give you suggestions.

    For further information, check out our page on early literacy.

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