One thing we did manage to get around to was to start our Spider KWL chart from my Colorful Spiders unit. Have you seen the super cute KWL charts floating around Pinterest? I always wondered how teachers managed to created these charts and I've discovered the secret!
Here's how I do my KWL in class:
Much cuter isn't it? And now we can keep it on display and eventually add the "L" part once we finish up our Spiders unit!
We also managed to fit in a little bit of work station rotations:
Play dough stations - word families and spelling words.
Stamping stations - stamping words with digraphs.
Hot Dot station - love that I have cards that range from "reading readiness" to "blends/digraphs" to "vowel dipthongs" so I can just switch out the cards for each group!
I was chatting with a friend on FB earlier about activities to help develop fine motor skills for handwriting. After discussing the merits of torn paper crafts, hole punches, playdough, beads and small golf pencils, I threw out "monkey bars". She had never heard of monkey bars helping with handwriting and so I thought maybe some of you haven't either. This is one of my first suggestions to parents for things they need to try at home to help improve handwriting. Often time I'm asked for worksheets for the children to trace, but I usually won't send any of those home because I find that children will learn to form letters incorrectly if they are just tracing them without actual instruction. So instead I give parents this advice: "Let them rip up your junk mail into small pieces, buy them some play dough, and make them PLAY ON THE MONKEY BARS!"
Here is a great blog article on the benefits of monkey bars. I love how he describes the necessary development of the muscles involved in writing!check it out...then when you decide you absolutely must have an extra 10 minutes of recess for your own sanity you can use the excuse that you are "improving their handwriting"!
I am off to snuggle up with a warm blankie and lots of lamination! Have a great night!