Today will be a simple and short post about staff writing with polar bear erasers! My first graders have been deep in sol-mi preparation. I've been getting them used to finding lines and spaces on the staff, and then figuring out which line or space (3rd line, 4th space, etc.)
Once students were comfortable with that (which took a few lessons of working on the skill for a few minutes), I handed a staff paper to each student, as well as two polar bear erasers, which I found on Oriental Trading.
Then, I had students put one polar bear eraser off to the side, and the other on the second line of the staff (or wherever you want.) I circulated around the room to make sure students were all finding the second line. I gave the students a few more places to find with the first eraser--fourth space, third line, etc. and each time I checked all of the answers to make sure everyone was getting it. If I saw that a student was not correct, I said to him/her, "You have your eraser on the ____________." Can you find the _____________?" and waited to make sure he/she was able to find the correct line or space correctly. This was a great formative assessment, as I was able to provide intervention to students who needed it and give feedback to others who were finding lines and spaces correctly.
After working with one eraser, I had students add their second eraser next to their first eraser. For example, you could have students put their first eraser on the third line and the second eraser on the second line, to the right of the first eraser. The most common mistake was for students to write it backwards, wtih the first eraser on the second line and the second eraser on the third line. I modeled the mistake on the SMART board and then discussed how to fix it. This is a simple and effective way to prepare students for writing on the staff with sol and mi!