There's Chalk Sock, and Then There's ........Chalk and Sock!

Not to be confused with sock chalk, which is for rock climbing, Chalk and Sock is for kids.

I was first introduced to this activity by a wonderful Grade 1 teacher I had the honour of working beside for a year. I don't know if she invented it or not, but she was such a good teacher that I would pull up my chair during my planning times, just to listen to her.

Since I was only a second year teacher, teaching a grade one/grade two split, I was eager to soak up everything she could teach me. With a very high-needs group, Chalk and Sock was a gift to struggling young writers.

Here's how you do it:

Easy Version:

Pick up 2-4 mini chalk boards from the dollar store and bring from home and equal number of old socks you never want to see again. (There are usually a few suitable divorcees in the laundry.)

Reluctant writers can practice their Words of the Week, or simply the alphabet. It's ideal for students who are still have difficulty with basic letter formation.

Students can work in pairs to practice spelling their Words of the Week. They can take turns dictating and writing, using their agendas or the chart on the wall to check.

Because children love this activity so much, it's easy to get all your students to use this centre. But again, teach the behaviour carefully, or you may have a lot of silliness instead of on-task learning.

Higher Tech Version:

Purchase the expensive little chalk boards available at teacher's stores, and cute little sock mitts. But it really isn't necessary. It's the chalk that is magic.

Return from Chalk and Sock to Literacy Centres


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