Helping Emergent Writers With Spacing

Thursday, July 14, 2016
I love teaching writing to new writers.  It's so fun to watch them move through the writing process.   I've been teaching writing FOREVER so I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve.  One of my "tricks" is Spaghetti and Meatball Spaces.

What are those you ask?  Well, I have cute posters that I hang up in my writing center and sheets that I put in their writing folders to help kids learn how to space letters both in words and between words.
It's a fun recipe for success.  (yeah, I went there)

This is a poster that I put in the writing center
 Spaghetti and Meatball Spaces- Great idea!

To begin, I use a stick of spaghetti to show how the letters in a word are right next to each other, but they don't actually touch.  These small spaces are called spaghetti spaces.  We then practice spaghetti spaces by writing our names a few times on white boards.  We squish the letters together, we spread the letters out, we use perfect "spaghetti" spacing.  It's a fun mini-lesson.

This is the sheet that I put in their writing folders.
 Great tool for Correct Spacing

For another mini-lesson, I write a sentence or two with no spaces between the words and I have kids try to read it.  We look for high frequency words, sounds that might make a word, etc.  It's really fun and really tough, but it demonstrates the need for spaces between the words.

Once that the kids understand how important spacing is, I give them their very own Meatball Stick.  They keep this in their writing folders and I have a small basket of them by my small group table.  I show the kids how to place the meatball after a word to help them leave the big (but not too big) space between the words.

 Great idea for leaving spaces when writing!

These Meatball Sticks are super easy to make.  Just take a box of large craft sticks (tongue depressors) and glue a brown pom pom on the end.  The pom pom is the meatball.

Kids love the novelty of using the Meatball Sticks and find them very helpful when they are learning to write.  I can   quickly remind them to use the Meatball Stick and then they are practicing the skill the entire time they are writing.

 Use a "Meatball Stick" to help with leaving spaces when writing

Thanks for stopping by!

New York and Montreal

Tuesday, July 5, 2016
School got out for me on Thursday and I immediately jumped on a plane on Friday.

My sister invited me to be her plus one for a wedding in Montreal.  I spent Friday traveling and Saturday partying.   Not a bad start to a summer vacation!

The wedding was amazing!  White flowers and candles everywhere!  The food was fantastic and the entertainment was superb.

Seal was the surprise entertainment!   
(Are you kidding me?!)

After that we danced to one of Montreal's famous DJs.

Thank goodness for the flip flops that were available.  It's been forever since I've spent any length of time in such spiky heels, let alone danced in heels!

Such a fun night!

The next day we explored the city of Montreal.  My favorite part of the city was Old Montreal.  We spent the day shopping and looking around.

Then it was off to New York City!

We did all of the touristy things from the Statue of Liberty to the Metropolitan Museum.

Now my travels are over and it's "staycation" time in beautiful San Diego.

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