This is a wonderful time of the year for magic. There is something about the darkest days that has always inspired us to wonder and imagine. Some people have Santa Claus, a magical figure who grants wishes. In my class I used to tell my students that a wizard would come to our class over the winter break if we made 100 stars and pinned them around the room. Then I asked them what they thought the wizard looked like saying that I'd never seen him or her so maybe they could help me figure out. 

How to draw a wizard: from beginnerswork.com

Everyone had a different idea, but they almost always look like the child who painted the magical being and had lots of personality! Everyone followed a basic example and these were the wonderful results in my Pre-K class in two different years. I drew a circle for the head with pencil, so that they began with placement and proportion, but they did the rest. When the black paint dried we colored with craypas and added glitter for extra magic!  

Wizard lesson from DRAW! Castles and Dragons at TPT

for more ideas visit beginnerswork.com



Good for small hands, and fun for everyone.
Visit beginnerswork.com for more torn paper how to...

PS This activity comes with a warning hide your books and recipes as tearing paper is a skill beginners like to practice!


What with the holidays and clear winter skies, now is the perfect time to learn to draw a star... so as my gift to you here are three star lessons for your beginners, available as a free epacket at TPT

 These are wishing stars made by students, cut out of painted paper and secretly glittered by their teachers over winter vacation. The paper ribbons express their most wonderful wish. When the children arrive back from vacation each one gets to have a brain storming session with the whole class in which we discuss how to make this wish come true. For example "I wish to be an astronaut" well, in conversation we figure out that this beginner has to got to college, even graduate school for starters..." 
It is very evocative and every wish can come true eventually. 
Logic, planning and hard work are powerful magic when seen in the light of these stars!

Great fun for all... and you get to model problem solving for them.

Some ways to use stars...

Star dot to dot... always a big surprise. Don't tell them...

 Star practice train small or big hands to draw a five pointed star.
 Practice with a different color crayon each go round.
Use crayons for this activity, for the best results. No erasing just better next time...

 Good to use pencil for this in case erasing is necessary.

Please send the results... I'd love to see your stars.

Notable Book...

My first picture book
Silkii A Mermaid's Tale 
has been chosen as a notable children's book in the 
Dec/Jan issue of  

Silkii a brave young mermaid explores the air above her lagoon and becomes friends with a butterfly.  Even though Silkii and the butterfly are from very different worlds, they find ways to spend a lovely summer playing on the lagoon between the air and the water. In the end they say good bye when the butterfly must migrate south and the mermaid must hibernate for the winter.

Silkii is an engaging story about friendship and the cycles of life. Throughout the story the butterfly's life cycle is illustrated on the facing  pages.


                                 Silkii is perfect for teaching lifecycles. 

             It is a great followup to Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpiller.

                      To see Silkii the classroom go to beginnerswork.com

Silkii A Mermaids Tale 
is available at
                              beginnerswork books and LULU.com