Creative Learning

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When I started teaching back in 1969, computers were unheard of, there was no air conditioning, and the front wall of my classroom was covered with black slate chalk boards. It has been a challenging journey navigating through the changes that never cease.

I always tried to incorporate hands on learning in my classroom. We did crafts, had a painting easel, and did lots of cut and paste art work. One year my class had a hot house, raised their own Marigolds and replanted them around the school ground. Then we collected the seeds and saved them for the following year. We watched the mutations from cross-pollination.

As children start back to school, I wonder what Covid-19 and teaching for the test has done to their creativity. I am glad to see them back in the classroom even with the mask precautions. There are things you just can’t learn by virtual learning. It is essential that we don’t forget the importance of hands on learning and playing together.

Days growing shorter

School buses rumble at dawn

Kids can’t wait to learn


Photo; Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Frank Tassone asked us to write a back to school haibun. I am thankful my teaching days are log past!

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Some Pig!

My Fourth graders enjoyed the story of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I wanted to tie in Reading with our study of Animals and I thought of a great way to make that happen. Wilbur, being such a lovable pig, was perfect for our project. I wanted to create the part of the story where Mr. Zuckerman took Wilbur to the State Fair, and Charlotte comes along and becomes his promoter.

I used my table saw to rip out some two inch slats from a piece of a poplar tree, which I used to build a crate. Chicken wire was shaped into a pig to put in the crate. In order to have a web I used a piece of plywood to make a high back. This worked well for both the backdrop and the yarn web.

The children loved covering Wilbur with Paper Mache. After putting on several layers, we left the pig dry. I bought a couple of cans of pink spray paint and we covered Wilbur in with a good coat of paint. He turned out to be a very cute pig.

Wilber came alive

Tweaking children’s curious minds

Spider’s web saves him


“Some Pig” // talk of the State Fair

Friendship lessons learned by all

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

This week I read Joanna’s (Gabychops) great post on author E.B.White’s Charlotte’s Web and a couple of others. It took me back to my teaching days many years ago. I want to give a shout out to you to check out her wonderful site Nature Tales.

You can read more stories of the hands on learning we did, when I taught elementary school, on Amazon Kindle “Teacher Tales” or email me for a free pdf. copy of my 74 page book.

Teachers Change the World

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Autumn leaves change colors

Students begin new school year

Retired teachers smile

Parents  take a long deep breath

New challenges await all


Teachers Change the World

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Photos of my students: Dwight L. Roth

This flashback is for Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge. He asked us to write a poem that included autumn/Labor Day/ School. This is a project I had my students do many years ago. They had to make a bird nest and put a real egg in it. Then they had to find a spot on the school ground where they thought it would be safe. At the end of the week we checked to see how many survived. Fun times before “teaching the test days!”

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You can read more of my stories on Amazon Kindle.