Today, I would like to acknowledge the Yuggera people as the Traditional Owners of the beautiful land I am standing on today. From the mountains to the river, I open my heart and my eyes as I walk this land, listening, learning and caring for Country. I want to extend this respect to Elders; past, present and emerging and to all First Nations peoples reading this post today. We are all remembered here.
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If you are a foundation to year 2 teacher and you are about to teach a lesson or unit of work on shapes, then make sure you check out this blog post first! These highly engaging fully customisable Canva templates, will not only get your kids learning about shapes in a new and exciting way and keep them engaged, but will also create connections to learning and build a place of belonging and love of learning within your classroom and home.
As teachers, we are all so very time poor and the thought of creating personalised teaching resources is not something that we are all keen for, because we know it requires extra time and extra effort to do. But as we know all too well, the overwhelming benefits of creating personalised teaching resources. The fact that we are not just creating a resource that we laminate and the kids used once and then that's it. These templates are something that not only teach our students and children a new skill and share knowledge but they also create a space where our students and children know they belong, they feel connected, and see themselves in the resources that they using for THEIR education.
"When we connect, we belong and when we belong, we learn." Miss Gibbs 2023
So what are these three teacher templates that I used to teach about shapes?
1. Shapes Hunt Checklist
Well the first one is one that is going to set you up for the next two and that is a shapes hunt checklist
So, what is the Shapes Hunt Checklist? Well great question! This is a checklist that I have made for you and your students and children to tick off each of the shapes as they discover new shapes in their local area. Just recently, when I did this lesson with Miss 4, we went outside, had a walk and a look around talking about how we live and learn Yuggera country.
We used the AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia to identify where we were on the map and where people in our family live and are from, deepening her connections and understanding to Country and understanding of geographical concepts at an age appropriate level.
From here, we then went out into the garden and we talked about how some of the things that we have in our garden, such as certain plants and animals on Yuggera Country, may not be the same as other First Nations Countries and places that we visit, such as in different states when we go to visit family.
After this, we then used our Shapes Hunt Checklist to go into find particular shapes that were on the checklist in our area and tick them off as we found each one. For example; when Miss 4 went outside, one of the things that she said looked like a star was the cinnamon myrtle flowers in our yard. You can see in the picture below.
I took a picture of Miss 4 looking for each of the shapes and once she found the shape, let her take a photo of what she had found, ready to insert into our Poppy Personalised Picture Book.
2. Poppy Personalised Picture Book - Today I See... Shapes
Once we had all of our pictures and we brought our photographs together, we talked about the different shapes that we had found in the yard. Then we opened the Poppy Personalised Picture Book - Today I See... Shapes Canva Template and we dragged and dropped the photographs that we took on our shape hunt into our template. Once all of the images were uploaded into Canva we put them in their correct place in the book template and then we previewed the book and read it together.
Doing this together really helped Miss 4 to consolidate her learning, as she was not only outside finding all of the shapes, but then when we came inside she was actually matching them to the correct space and shape that is shown in the book.
We did go on to pay a bit extra to have our book professionally print as a hard copy through Canva (I have inserted some pictures of what it looks like for you to see the final product). We were super impressed with it and I really couldn't believe how wonderful it turned out! This is something that we are going to do a lot more of because it has just been so beneficial, with Miss 4 being such a massive part of the creation process this book really does take pride of place in our home and her heart. The repetitive text makes it so easy for her to read along independently with only changing a few words that are supported by images that are meaningful to her. This book has been a feature nearly every night and is something she adores sharing it with all of her family and friends when they come to visit.
Creating a Poppy Personalised Picture Book - Today I See... Shapes Canva Template would be so much fun to do with an entire class and would be such a beneficial activity to build Classroom culture and a place of belonging for our students. Just having them play a role of being the main character in a book like this, is something that will make them feel represented and give them pride that they've been able to do this together. With of course the added bonus of enhanced engagement and improving their literacy skills.
We also added in our Acknowledgement of Country, which of course is at the front of the book and easy for you to edit and work with your children or students to create your own meaningful Acknowledgement to Elders, past, present and emerging for the First Nations land you are teaching / learning / living on.
Please know, that you do not have to get a hard copy of this book to use this resource in your classroom or with your kids. You can simply just use the preview version in Canva and read it as a whole class on the interactive whiteboard or at home on the computer or iPad, those are 2 more really wonderfully accessible ways to be able view and share this resource with our little learners.
Another way that you can display and share your Poppy Personalised Picture Book - Today I See... Shapes Canva Template is to also download the book as a PDF. From here you can then flick through it on an iPad or print it off at school or at home and bind or put in a folder. All of the options are great and give you great variety on how to use this incredible resource, it's totally up to you! My personal preference is of course the professional print, I just love the hard covers and also the fact that it turns into an actual picture book, really gives the kids that pride and that feeling of 'well look what we've made!'.
And just as a side note, you may see the background is very colourful. This background is one that I inserted for Miss 4's book and it is actually one of her paintings from Kindy, which I think is a really beautiful way to again celebrate our kids and our students. It's also something that is really easy to do, just by taking a photo of the artwork and dragging and dropping it into the Canva template as a background.
3. Personalised Shapes Posters
After we made our book, we then went on to make our posters. It's super simple to do because your photos are already uploaded into Canva all you need to do is click and drag them into the correct place on the poster, and you're done and ready to print!
I have included a short and sweet little video above for you to see how easy it is to personalise the posters using my template.
Personally, I really love getting my children and students to do this themselves, because it consolidates and learning it it shows me that they are able to match up the shapes with the correct word by placing them on the correct page.
Once we finish doing this, we downloaded it as a PDF and we printed them off onto A4 pieces of paper and then the displayed them around the room.
All of these resources are available for download in my Unlimited Library Teacher Membership so if you are a member of the Unlimited Library already then make sure you head over and start downloading these templates. If you would like to join the Unlimited Library Teacher Membership then I will include the link below for you to join us!
I hope you love these resources as much as we do. I will also add here an affiliate link for you to get free trial of Canva pro. If you are not a member already then you can take advantage of that and get a free trial for yourself. Alternatively, if you are teacher and you are going to use Canva for educational purposes only, then head over to the Canva for education page and you can fill out a form to become verified and actually get Canva for free.
As you know, I thoroughly believe that sharing is caring! With that, if you have any ideas about how you are going to use these resources in your classroom or at home, or what makes you excited to begin personalising your little ones learning. I would absolutely love for you to share with us in the comments or share this blog post with a friend who might also be interested.
Thank you so much for sharing your time with me today and as always happy embedding!
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Thank you so much for spending your time with me today, I know how valuable your time is so it really does mean the world that you've chosen to spend it with me.
Thank you again and as always happy embedding!