Teaching a child to write his name?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by justamama, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. justamama

    justamama Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2005

    Ok, my son just started Kindergarten 2 1/2 weeks ago. I was under the impression that my child would learn how to spell his name in Kindergarten. Boy, was I wrong. My son's teacher informed me that he was the only one in his class who didn't know how to spell his name and that I would have to show him how to do this. I was so ashamed and embarrassed that I didn't teach him how before school started. But I remember when I was in Kindergarten years ago, that is when we learned how to write our names. Now I'm afraid my son will be behind the others, we couldn't afford to send him to preschool but we made too much to be on any programs. Do you have any suggestions on how to get him started? I printed out some papers to start him out, but he only has a 20 min attention span and then he wants to go play. What do I do? Do you think he will be behind in school? Sorry if I sound stupid!! :sorry:
     
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  3. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    What's his name? Can you put it to music? My daughter, Lizzy, learned to sing her name to the tune of Bingo:

    There was a girl and she was 4 and Lizzy was her name-o.
    L I Z Z Y
    L I Z Z Y
    L I Z Z Y
    And Lizzy was her name-o.

    Or, try the tune to Twinkle, Twinkle, or a simple chant. My two learned to spell their sister's name by chanting " N A T A L I E, That's how you spell Natalie." Of course, all of this is only oral, but it's a start.

    For printing practice, I'd write his name with a yellow marker and have him trace it with a pencil. I wouldn't push too hard, but I would require that he does this at least twice a day. Another fun thing is to put a little salt in a meat tray and trace his name in it with a finger. You can go first, he can follow along in your path when you're done. You can do the same with shaving cream on the tub wall, with finger paint, or with a stick in some mud.

    As you're reading to him, point out letters that you see in his name. Do the same if you drive past a big sign ("Look, John, that sign says JCPenney...do you see the J, like in your name??), or while you are in the grocery store, whatever. Go on a hunt through a magazine for a certain letter of his name. Change the letter daily. Write the letters on index cards, spread them around the room and play a game (Hop to the C, now crawl to the A, now tiptoe to the L, etc.).

    I've also had great success with giving kids magnadoodles, or dry erase boards. They love using them, and that motivates them to try harder.
    good luck!
    Kim
     
  4. justamama

    justamama Rookie

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    Thank you, those are all good ideas! My son's name is Carlos, he knows how to spell it but he can't write it on paper yet. I have been working with him each night for about 20 minutes, it just feels like I'm getting no where. He wants me to write his name, and he copies it. But when I tell him to write his name without me writing it first, he has no clue. I guess it will just take time, I was just upset that his teacher isn't helping him out more??
     
  5. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Aug 23, 2005

    Some of the things we do to practice writing our names:

    Practicing writing it in shaving cream and sand

    I have the children rainbow write their names. They trace their name with about 6 different colored crayons.

    I write each letter of their name on a index card and mix them up. I ask the child to put their name together.
     
  6. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Aug 23, 2005

    Also, try writing his name in the carpet with his finger.
    I used to help a child with words by doing rainbow writing. Get a big sheet of paper, construction paper, have him pick a color and write his name. Pick other colors, you can keep picking colors until he thinks his rainbow is done. Just keep going over and over the same letters. Make sure you are saying them out loud.

    sidewalk chalk or paint (1/4 cup cornstarch to 1/4 cup water and some food coloring and you have paint!!)

    Just like the above with salt trays...use a sandbox if he has one to write his name with finger or stick.


    Do not make him print on lines or in lines yet. Get his basic spelling and letter formation down first.

    Hope this helps!!! It'll come keep practicing...just don't make him sick of it in the process!!!
     
  7. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Aug 23, 2005

    I was going to suggest rainbow writing, also. The kids enjoy that! I would send home rainbow writing packets with the students as homework. I start out with the name written in yellow marker. I place a black dot on each letter where he needs to start the stroke. He starts with one color and writes the whole name. Then, he would take another color and write the whole name again... and so on. I usually had 4 colors for the kids to use for rainbow writing.

    It's important to be teaching him the right strokes when he's writing, too... Make sure he knows that letters start at the top. (A lot of kids want to start at the bottom.) Make a dot where the starting point is... It also helps some kids to have an arrow showing them which way to go from there. When I did rainbow writing with my students, I talked them through it. For Carlos, this is what I would say...

    C - Over, around and open
    a - over, around, and down
    r - down, up and over
    l - d-o-w-n
    o - over, around and close
    s - over, around and back

    I have the kids say it with me as they are making the strokes. This way they remember where to start and which way to go.
     
  8. justamama

    justamama Rookie

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    Yes! I noticed that my younger son, who is in special needs preschool, is able to trace his name better than my older son. They use a lot of shaving cream in the preschoolers class. Also he does that over, around, close when he is spelling his name. I was suprised! I wish I could have sent my older son to preschool, but we just couldn't afford it. I will try all the tips that you guys have sent to me! Thank you so much!
     
  9. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Do you know what handwriting program the school uses? I would find that out. Ask the teacher to send home some of the program pages for the letters in his name. Also, ask her if she can make a name card. With Capital letter for first letter then all lower case. If she laminates it and leaves room underneath your son can copy the letters above using a vis-a-viz marker (or what ever those things are called).
     
  10. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Jeannie always wants to start writing below the line!

    Mama, I learned with my 19 year old when he went to K that K isn't the fun, easy class it used to be. Sigh....
     
  11. mccwen

    mccwen Comrade

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    There have been a lot of great ideas posted so I won't add to that, but I just wanted to reassure you that you have no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed. (I hope the teacher didn't make you feel that way!) I always have several students who do not know how to write their names. Last year I had a boy who did not know his colors. He wasn't ready. Before he started K he had no interest in learning. His mom said that once he started school, he wanted to read everyday and practice his name.

    You are obviously a very caring and involved parent who wants to help your son the best you can. Keep working with him at home and things will be fine for him. Kindergarten is not what it used to be. Basically it's pre-1st-1st. Gone are the days of just learning how to color, cut, and paste. I'm sure, with your support, your son will have great year!
     
  12. justamama

    justamama Rookie

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    Gosh, Thank you for all the comments and suggestions. I feel a lot better knowing that my son isn't the only one who doesn't know how to spell his name yet. I will continue working with him, and I know he will soon grasp it!
     
  13. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I'm surprised actually that the teacher isn't working on the correct way to write names. A lot of kindergarteners come in writing in all capital letters. Or not using the handwriting program the school uses. Ask the teacher when she plans on working on their last names or if that is something they have to learn at home too.
     
  14. Mrs. L

    Mrs. L Rookie

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    Try writing your son's name in large letters, then have him put small sticker circles on the letters. It's a little time consuming, but children usually love doing this. Also making his name using playdough is helpful.. You could make the letters first, then have him make the letters using his name tag as a reference. Using bread dough to form letters, and then baking them is fun too! Good Luck!
     
  15. RRLL

    RRLL Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2005

    Tell his teacher that whatever the student's needs are, she gets paid to meet them!
     
  16. justamama

    justamama Rookie

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    I know! My main concern is that he will be behind the other kids. I guess I'm just stressing out too early. We did work on his name last night for about 30 minutes. Its seems like we are getting nowhere, but I'm gonna keep on trying. I just don't want to burn him out and then he won't even want to try at all.
     
  17. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    30 mins seems like a long time to me. I would try 10 to 15 mins.
     
  18. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    It's going to take a lot of practice and time. Don't get discouraged and more importantly, don't let him get discouraged. Give him LOTS of positive guidance. I would have him work on it every night for about 10-15 minutes at a time. My son loves to trace his name using a laminated name plate and a dry erase marker. Saves paper, and you can reuse it over and over. I also make sure I teach all of my preschool kids the correct way to write it. I have seen many parents teach their kids in all capitals and it drives me bananas when I see it. I just don't think they really know and think all caps would be easier, but it's not because then the kid has to learn it all over again.

    You can also have him use playdough to form the letters first. You can also check out Handwriting Without Tears. Their products you can even get examples from and make your own.

    I know what you mean about being the middle class that always gets screwed over on things. We wont be able to send my son to preschool either (out of my home at least-I run an in-home preschool) because the cost is too high, but we never qualify for grants or anything. I stinks!

    When I was in K I didn't have to know how to write my name either. I'm glad I became an educator or else I probably wouldn't know either when it comes time for my son to go to K that there is so much to be expected. It's not all about milk and cookies anymore.
     
  19. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I love the Handwriting with out tears program! Leap frog letters. Of course my friend and I have had along time joke about giving each other frogs for x-mas and birthdays.
     
  20. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I LOVE leapfrog learning materials. My son has the new leapfrog leap pad plus writing. He's got one with letter tracing and loves it! He has learned so much from it already and other leapfrog toys he's gotten. I would recommend those materials to anyone. And DON'T pay attention to the age labels. They mean well, but my 3 year old has the leap pad for 4-8 year olds and does fine. Go with what your child could do and his ability to be challenged, not just his age.
     
  21. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I actually was talking about the Handwriting with out tears program. When we worked on like N we would say straight line down, leap frog back up. Maybe it was just our school that does that.

    I have never used leapfrog materials. But maybe I'll have to look into them if I ever have my own children.
     

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