As it is now December, I should be concentrating on making gifts for family and friends, and shepherding the girls through making their gifts, as well, but something about being required to work on a deadline just makes me...rebel.
And so that's why, even though my To-Do list for yesterday read, partially, "take girls to gymnastics, buy coffee creamer, answer student emails, grade Project #5 rough drafts, START KATIE'S QUILT," I instead, while loading the dishwasher (for the second time that day), had a brilliant idea for making some wipe-off handwriting/vocab sheets for some of the books that the girls have been especially into lately.
And after I finished loading the dishwasher, instead of getting out the template for cutting out the pieces to Katie's quilt, I dragged out an old handwriting tablet and the laminator and immediately made ten or so wipe-off handwriting/vocab sheets.
To do this, you just need a child's handwriting tablet, a nice fat marker, and a laminator. Children's handwriting tablets are larger than your typical notebook paper, so if you're using a laminator designed for that particular width, you will need to trim your paper before you begin.
On the left side of each line on the tablet, write a vocabulary word yourself in your best printing (ugh). Make two pages of vocabulary words, because you might as well make your handwriting page double-sided. I themed mine based on the books the girls and I have been reading over and over lately--Little House in the Big Woods, with words like "Ma," "Pa," "Laura," "Mary," and "Minnesota;" Bambi, with words like "Bambi," "Mother," "Father," "Faline," "Gobo," and "Old Prince;" The Nutcracker, with words like "Tchaikovsky," "Clara," "Nutcracker," and "Sugarplum Fairy," and "The Night Before Christmas," with the names of all the reindeer, of course (it's "Donder," not "Donner"--did you know?).
Line up two pages neatly back-to-back, and then laminate them. Because I've organized most of the girls' paper-based activities into a file folder box, I stapled a file folder into a pocket, and stapled an envelope on the front of the pocket to hold a dry-erase marker and a flannel cloth for wiping off the marker.
And then, the next morning while you're reading the newspaper and drinking a nice, big mug of coffee, your girls can practice reading their pages:
Using a dry-erase marker, they can trace over your words:
They can copy your words: And when they're done, they can wipe the marker off with their little flannel cloth:
Because this is how I enable myself to drink an entire cup of coffee in peace.