So I teach McGraw Hill Treasures too - my basal is the 2011 edition! As I was looking through blogs tonight I stumbled upon a lesson to use when teaching contractions, I LOVE the cute poem/anchor chart from the Inspired Apple...gotta add that to my list of charts to make! And BTW, love the freebie activities Abby - I will find a way to do them for sure.
Abby suggested *jazz hands* when presenting her contractions lesson and that makes me grin, when I teach contractions I don't pull out the jazz hands, I put on my boxing gloves (thanks to my former teammate Brenda C.). In true 'L. L. Cool J' fashion, I play the classic "I'm Gonna Knock You Out" loud and proud...just the chorus though (the verses have cursing!). I explain that an apostrophe is a big bully, he knocks out letters - just like a boxer. Then we spend some time locating contractions and then uppercutting, making smashing sounds, and identifiying those missing/knocked out letters. In the case of won't = will not, that bully of an apostrophe even goes so far as to rearrange the remaining letters! JEESH! Oh, and FYI I taught 5th grade for 2 years and both years the students still didn't associate will not with won't, they thought will not became willn't - cracks me up!!
Kids love to sing the song, especially since it says "Mama, says knock you out!" Ha...moms get a kick out of this lesson, they've told me so. The kids sing the song and really make a connection to the boxing and knocked out letters that occur when a contraction is formed.
So...whether jazz hands or boxing gloves, good luck with teaching those tricky contractions!!