write contractions down on caps and then have students create sentences with the contractions they chose. Then have the rest of the class identify what the contraction in each sentence is and what two words make up the contraction.
Short vowels: "Shake it" short vowel sounds song. It's a great way to get those kinesthetic learners learning and moving. While students sing the song, they shake the body part that goes with the vowel. There are also pictures included for visual learners.