Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: White Butcher Paper

Today we will be inspired by our Intermediate teacher, Maren Milligan, who has a fun tip to share with us about one simple item that can add some flair to your homeschool days in so many ways:

My Favorite Teaching Tool!
My favorite teaching tool is a roll of white butcher paper.  It is relatively inexpensive and the possibilities for learning and creativity are endless.  Here are just some of the things I have done with the paper.  Let these ideas get you on a roll…. :)
1. Math idea:  Sometimes it is a lot easier to do a long division or a big multiplication problem with a marker and big paper.  You have lots of room to think, and lots of room for “scratch work”.  Give it a try on one of those “hard to motivate” days.  Kids like to use white boards for some of the same reasons.  It’s a bit fun, less intimidating, and somehow easier to work with big numerals when you are trying to regroup in subtraction, line up digits in multiplication, or remember steps in division… it really helps!   
2.  Make a treasure map and hide a treasure.  Use pictures or super decriptive sentences.  It’s just plain ole’ fun as well as great, useful writing practice. 
3.  History/Literature:  Use it to draw some of the people we are studying.  Let your child write facts about historical people on the back of them as you, the parent, read to them. 
4. History:  Tear off long sheets and follow or trace a theme in history.  Trace great authors through time.  Trace famous women.  Trace battles that were key to the development of our democracy.  Make a timeline of the heroes we study this year.  Trace the events that lead to our US Constitution.  Trace inventions.  The papers can be easily rolled up and stored away.  Try big markers or crayons… it tends to keep things relaxed vs focusing on precise, beautiful pictures.  

5. Writing:  Write a giant paragraph and add illustrations.   
6. Handwriting:  Practice holding the pencil correctly and writing your name in cursive… super large! Then try medium, then small, then smaller….  Draw big pictures with a loose grip on the crayon, marker or pencil.  It’s easier to use correct hand grips and practice writing with a marker and large paper. 
7. Geography:  Sketch a map.  Do it at your chlld’s level.  Let their drawings represent what they know.  Add features they know to the map and just a few that they don’t know.  Use the giant map more as a “play mat”.  Let dolls, soldiers, army men walk from place to place.  Show the roads in Colonial America, show the rivers, highlight the homes of George Washington, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.  Take the things that are interesting to your child and map them.  It helps to anchor their thoughts onto something pictorial.  (Sounds a bit Singapore, right?  It works!) 
These are just a few ideas to get you started.  I’m sure you can think of much more.  Sometimes just stepping away from binder paper for a day can open up a whole new world.   
Share your ideas with others. I’d love some fresh ideas!

Thank you Maren! These ideas are super-inspiring and easy to do. We hope you will try some of these and comment below to share what your family has done with butcher paper.

Note: A few sources for purchasing rolls of paper online:

- Discount School Supply has several options for rolls of paper.

Uline carries a few types of paper rolls.

Blick carries smaller, easel paper rolls.

Does anyone know of a local source, or another economical online source? Please please comment below and tell us!

SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with any of the above mentioned businesses.


pennymalley said...

Love these ideas! We've used our roll for creating treasure maps, putting up a "Heroes, Inventions, Events that lead to the Constitution" timeline, and of course for drawing fabulous murals of Star Wars Clone Wars episodes. :-)
I will also be using the roll of paper for a table runner at Thanksgiving- Leave markers on the table and have your guests jot down things they are thankful for!

joy said...

I just bought another roll at BWise school supply today. It was about $9 but I consider it a good investment. The kids really have fun with the "big" paper. Joy

Jenny Bischoff said...

Penny, that's a brilliant idea for Thanksgiving. I might have to steal that one from you! Glad you guys are also enjoying the many fun uses of butcher paper.

Jenny Bischoff said...

Thanks Joy! I was wondering if BWise sold it. I really want to support them too, so I hope y'all will get in there and buy some paper! Somewhat off topic, but they also have Singapore place value disks in stock, if anyone is looking for those.