Sometimes that big shopping trip just can’t be put off any longer. Yesterday was the day. I know my kids need something to keep them occupied when it’s a giant fill-the-cart trip. I know that copywork is usually about the most tedious, boring schoolwork ever, but it’s one thing that requires very little of my attention, so I can focus on little things like expiration dates and sale prices.
To my surprise, this exercise went over really well. I did offer an incentive, the one who created the “best” (note my careful use of weasel words here) list would get to pick out a package of cookies. Beyond that, though, the kids seemed to have fun with the freedom to choose their own words to copy and the time to do a little exploring of their own in the aisles.
We started out with our wonderful clipboards from The Trip Clip. Disclaimer: I am acquainted with the proprietor, but that makes these no less marvelous. These are sturdy kid-sized clipboards with attached 4-color pens, and customizable activities that you can print from the website.
For this trip, I cut a stack of early-writer paper in half to fit the Trip Clips. I told my little students that they could copy any words they could find, on signs, packages, or anywhere else — yes, even in the meat case. I let them know when I was stopping to study prices or pick up several items from one aisle, then alerted them when I was about to get moving again, so they weren’t trying to write and walk at the same time.
To my surprise and delight, even my most reluctant writer put down over twenty words, and not just short ones or easy letters! They read some of the words on their own, and asked me to pronounce the ones they couldn’t (sugar… how am I supposed to explain that spelling, right on the heels of learning to read ‘sh’ words?)
In the end, they all won the cookies — can’t ever have too many cookies in the house, right? 😉 — and I won a great new teaching tool to add to my bag of traveling tricks.