Monday, January 10, 2011

Makeshift Monday: Going Vertical with Easel Writing

I began Makeshift Monday potss last week and thought I would keep them up.

Today: Easel Writing!

Before Christmas, when the house was in an advanced state of disarray due to the usual clutter as well as rearranging things to make room for a Christmas tree and seasonal decor, I recognized that the kids had been doing too much at-the-table "work" during learning times.  Well, being a big believer in moving to learn, I immediately suggested some hallway games, but Luke wanted to write.  So, I decided the least we could was capitalize on the benefits of doing vertical work.  (When young children work on a flat or horizontal surface, they tend to straighten or flex their wrists, which interferes with proper use of the small muscles of the hand. By using vertical surfaces, proper positioning of the shoulder and arm is encouraged.)

So, the kids took turns doing Mommy-made challenges, using the chalkboard and whiteboard sides of an easel.  (Using chalk gives their fingers and hands more resistance and, thus more sensory "feedback" than using whiteboard markers.  This can help with pre-writing and writing, but it can also provide "too much" sensory input/challenge at times.  Thus, my conscious effort to keep Luke and Nina trading sides.)

Nina enjoyed making downward strokes to elongate the letters of her name on the chalkboard side of our easel, as well as trying to draw lines to match the letters "m", "a" and "t" with sketches of objects starting with those letters on the whiteboard side

Meanwhile Luke sped through CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) and VCC word-to-sketch matching on both sides of the easel, before choosing to make a challenge for me to do --albeit with mixed upper and lower-case letters) on his preferred side - the whiteboard.  (He doesn't like the dustiness of chalk.)

And so we all focused on vertical time on learning -- even if it was makeshift and in the middle of our kitchen floor -- giving our shoulder, arm and hand muscles a good workout while making some headway with basic reading and writing.

What makeshift lessons have you been doing lately?


Related Posts with Thumbnails