Tag Archive | Word Study

Shower Keyboarding

I wish I could take credit for this idea, but can’t (click the picture to see it in action).  I saw it somewhere about ten years ago and have been using it ever since. I love that it not only teaches kiddos how to use a keyboard, but they can move around the board and practice spelling while doing so! I know that so many kiddos can just do the real thing on a computer, phone, or tablet, but for me it’s about the movement. Below are what I can remember of creating this.

  1. cut a shower curtain in half
  2. measure out 5 equal rows
  3. mark out the keys; the space bar is equivalent to 5 letters & others are equivalent to 2 letter key
  4. outline the keys in chisel point permanent marker
  5. label each key in chisel point permanent marker
  6. store in giant Ziploc bag, after folding flat

If kiddos have to keep their shoes on when using this, make sure they understand that they need to walk on it. If they can go barefoot, they can hop around from key to key and it will still in tact. I’ve used it for kiddos to practice spelling, collaboration skills, Morning Meeting Activity, and for kiddos who need a bit of extra movement in their day.

Two other ideas, that the kiddos brought up today were to also make a calculator to practice facts and a clock to practice time.  For the clock, their arms become the hour hand and their legs become the minute hand.  I’ve done this with hula hoops in the past and they love contorting themselves to tell the correct time!


Digraph Winter Scene

There are five days before Christmas and three days before winter vacation begins. The schedule is off due to holiday assemblies and performances. The energy is electric. I always try to schedule a long-term project that will culminate close to these hectic times. I find that they keep the children calm, engaged, and focused on learning. I tend to schedule projects like creating informative websites, recreating Native American Villages, performing Shakespeare (yes, I read Shakespeare with third graders) or plays so that the culminating project falls near these dates.

Yes, we need to keep the schedule as routine as possible. Yes, we need to keep the routines of what we do: bathrooms, workshop model, arrival, dismissal, etc. just that; routine. However…sometimes children need more. A short – term, or mini project, is perfect for these high energy times. Below is a mini project we worked on to practice the spelling and sorting of digraphs. It allowed the children to work with words while maintaining an intense focus on their creation.

make snow

build snowman
add face, hat, & buttons

sprinkle stars & shine