Watch, Think, and Color- An alternative to showing a movie in the classroom or a great center activity

It’s genius I tell you! Absolute Genius! Do you have Power Point on your computer? Yes?!? Me too! Then you are all set to have your students engaged in solving math problems for 20 minutes and you are not giving direct instruction!!!!


I am not a lazy teacher, nor am I encouraging anyone to be lazy. BUT there are times you cannot do direct instruction. For example:

  • Small group time
  • Helping a child with the math test they bombed (bless)
  • Giving a running record reading test
  • Out of the room for an IEP meeting (substitute for 30 minutes)
  • Weeping quietly in the corner (not really), but we have all had a moment where we put in a Magic School Bus video because the day was getting the better of us.

When you use one of Autumn’s activities, you are hands-free and not saying any words. Does that ever happen in the classroom and include the words academically engaging??? It does now with Watch, Think, and Color activities from the Primary Techie!


OK so here are some tips.

1. Do the first 5 slides with the kids on your first time doing this. For this activity I gave them a 100’s chart and a candy corn to help them mark their answer.

2. Show them how you do not color in the square all the way. Sloppy is fine. If they have extra time during a slide they can color in more neatly, but seriously sloppy is best.

Slide1 3. Explain the they need to listen for the “chime”. This tells them to stop coloring and look up! If they don’t look up they will miss out on time to solve the next problem.

4. Adjust the time for transitions: I liked 13 seconds. Fast paced, but doable. You can go longer, but the more time they have “extra” means goofing off and chatting. At 13 seconds they were silent.


4. Explain that once you press the go button, you won’t be pausing, stopping it, or listening to anyone beg you to pause or stop the slide show. This is a REAL shocker to any children being raised at home like pampered pooches. They are used to the world stopping for them and they are used to making the classroom run at their pace if at all possible.

5. Allow them time at the end to color in neatly and add details.  This is ESSENTIAL. A picture goes from a messy-mess into a masterpiece with about 4 minutes of tidy coloring.


The picture above is after 4 minutes. Before it was…. well a wreck. He thought it was awful, but then once all the black squares were filled in and touching the picture appeared.

6. Get ready to be amazed at:

  • The intensity and the effort your student exhibit
  • The time you have to do a small groups or do something pressing
  • Student stamina increase
  • Critical thinking skills become sharper
  • The screams of delight when you tell them you have another WTC (Watch, Think, and Color) for them to do!

Slide3 Here is my next purchase! This will be for an intervention center!


Big hugs and kisses and happy teaching sweet friends!


  1. This looks amazing! I love this as an alternative to TV time :) thanks for sharing!

  2. I have several of these, and I love them. Most importantly, my students love them! Thanks for the tips, too!

    1. Nicole, do your kids cheer. Mine freak out when I tell them we are going to do a WTC!!!

  3. I use these all the time and they are a HUGE hit! Highly recommended.

  4. This is SO genius! I wish I had this years ago. What a great resource!!


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