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Sock and Chalk - A Tip From My Teaching Friend Louie

Motivating Learners to Write


Sock and Chalk

Sock and Chalk

Getting Them to Write

Well, you've heard of Chalk and Talk but Sock and Chalk is a much more effective method to engage all students in the writing process.

What You Need:

  1. A mini chalk board for each student
  2. A sock for each student
  3. A piece of chalk for each student
Most of these items can be purchased quite economically at a dollar store.

Getting Started:
Provide each child with a mini chalk board, a piece of chalk and a sock. Review the rules of use. When not in use, the chalk is always kept in the sock. Let the students know where and how to store their mini chalkboards.

What to Do:
Children love to write on chalkboards, therefore before you even begin the lesson, you have engaged learners ready to go. Decide on what activity you are working on, I'll go with the example of printing the letter S. Each child prints the letter S on the mini chalkboard. They then show you the chalkboard, it a quick glance, you can see who needs additional help. Next, let's say you tell the class that you are going to say a word and the children will print the letter that the word begins with. For example: "Bird", the students then print the letter 'b' and hold up their chalkboards for you to see. The sock is used to erase what they've done and to put the chalk into once they're all done.

This is the easy part! Make sure you have a class list in front of you. If you're checking sound symbol correspondence, letter formation, punctuation formation etc. you simply mark a dash on the student who doesn't get it right. This will provide you with valuable information that you can address with those students later.

Ideas for Sock and Chalk

  • The sound the child hears at the beginning of a word you call.
  • How many syllables are in a given word
  • The letter of the ending sound of a given word.
  • Quickie math facts.
  • Punctuation endings, for instance you give a sentence out loud that ends in an exclamation mark, question mark or period and they will put the ending on their chalkboard.
  • Antonyms or Synomyms, you say the word up and the child writes the word down(antonyms) or high(synomym).
  • Spelling tests.
  • Shape review, call out a shape and the child makes it.
  • Odd or even, call out a number and the child writes odd or even.
  • Object count, hold up 6 fingers and the child makes a 6.
  • Ordinal numbers, point to a spot in line and a row and the children print third, second etc.
  • Name a fruit or vegetable and the children will print V or F for classification
  • Draw a pattern on the board and ask the student what comes next.
  • Say 2 numbers and ask the student to put down what comes in between (3 and 5)
The possibilities are endless! My friend Louie assures me that this tip is a winner and she's used it for a few years now.

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