Teaching kids to put spaces between words!

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by libbster, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. libbster

    libbster Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2005

    I was wondering if anybody had any ideas about how to teach kids to put spaces between their words. I've been using the tried and true 'finger space between each word' and have been modelling on the board. Are there any other techniques I could be using to encourage this? I am teaching year one/two so I have some kids who are very confident and some who are very much making the transition between writing phases.
     
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  3. School Savvy

    School Savvy Rookie

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    Spacing

    The most frequent method seems to be the finger space.I have known teachers whe use a pencil space,using a second pencil to place after the word.I wonder if the child could practice saying the word as it is completed and taught that the space is made after each word.This would have the additional effect of repetition of reading the word as it is written,How about a combination of reading the word and inserting a narrow cardboard strip after the repetition to keep the space.I think the reading of the word is important so that the child understands that the spacing is not only mechanical but is necessary to give meaning.Frequent modelling by the teacher is also good so that the child sees that the meaning is lost when the words are not separated.
     
  4. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    I have seen people use a decorated craft stick as a spacer. The kids learn to lay this down (similar to the second pencil technique) after each word is completed. Pretty soon, kids are making the space without needing to use a spacer.
     
  5. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    I use the craft stick idea (I also got tired of the "don't forget your finger spaces"). It works well and most of the time it doesn't take very long before they are putting the spaces w/o the stick.
     
  6. Loneil115

    Loneil115 Rookie

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    This goes into the upper grades as well. During my student teaching (4th Grade) I had many students that ran the words right next to each other. I have been trying to come up with a way to avoid this in my new classroom without embarassing anyone. Maybe just a short mini-lesson that would leave everyone accountable. Is there any other trick that is not as large a s a craft stick? That is a little large when you reach this level for spacing?
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    A straw might work.
     
  8. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    How about a spaghetti noodle or linguini (uncooked, of course!) :D
     
  9. Loneil115

    Loneil115 Rookie

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    Thats a great idea! Maybe the linguini or fettucini or even the straw. I love when I get suggestions because it makes me think outside of whatever box that I am in. Maybe I will look for coffee stirs. Those would be about the right thickness also. Thanks you!
     
  10. luvmykids

    luvmykids Companion

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    I used the craft sticks last year in first grade. I let them decorate their spacers and they really enjoyed using them. As some became confident about their writing and no longer needed the spacers, they used the sticks as book marks.
     
  11. mccwen

    mccwen Comrade

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  12. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    I taught K - I made finger spacers out of popcicle sticks and kept them in a can. The kids got a finger spacer during writing time and it helped them remember. Most of the time, I left the use of them optional - When we were working on spacing, I would make sure everyone had one. I like the popcicle size because it left just the right sized space for their writing.

    I had some sparkly red paint, and I dabbed some on the end then outlined with a permanent marker and added knuckles. The kids loved them. ;) In fact, I had trouble finding some examples that weren't dirty from being used so much! (And none of them had any "sparklies" left on the fingernail!)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. ~Darlene~

    ~Darlene~ Rookie

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    A K teacher at my school used clothespins decorated as astronauts (hence space-man)
     
  14. skelley

    skelley Rookie

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    I also use the spaceman craft sticks and I really make a big deal about introducing him to the kids at first. They love it. Also, when kids are copying items from the board, they frequently have trouble remembering to space. What I do is take a yellow dry erase marker and color in the spaces so that they will stand out to them. It really made a difference. :)
     
  15. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Another thing I just remembered - In my mini-lesson each day, I would focus on a skill that I noticed the kids needed to work on. Then, I would choose 3-5 kids who demonstrated that skill to share their writing with the class. So, if I wanted to focus on spacing that day, I would point out how "Samantha" put spaces between her words... and how it made it much easier to read, etc. I would ask "Samantha" how she remembered to put spaces, or how she knew where to put space, etc. -- Anything that might help another student. It was different than seeing me model correct spacing.
     
  16. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    What a cute idea Amanda! I love the finger sticks! I have used sticky notes- cut them down to size or (if you have money), buy the stickies that are already cut to smaller, narrow sizes.
     
  17. libbster

    libbster Rookie

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    Thanks for all the advice! I've got loads of paddle pop sticks I can use in the classroom that would be just right! I'll especially try to encourage the 'reading each word as you go.'
     
  18. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    In first grade we see the same problem. We do a morning message EVERY day. After I have "taught" finger spaces, I will put 2 small words together that they know and see if anyone can correct the mistake. I think its just doing it over and over and over and over.............
     
  19. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Amanda,
    Mine goes along with yours...when I taught first and we did 2 DOL sentences. If the students bring up the spacing I would. It was a GREAT way for them to see it and then a volunteer would come up and fix it!!!!

    My kids would use just about anything the could get their hands on when we were writing. They would use their fingers...those got in the way, pencil if they only had one in their desk..didin't work. So many would ask if they could use a crayon or a eraser topper.
     
  20. isabeth

    isabeth New Member

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    Jul 14, 2005

    Don’t use finger space method for lefties...

    I do not recommend using the finger space method. Particularly for left handed students. When left handed students are writing and they place their right hand finger in front of the pencil to create a finger space, they are inevitably going to have to contort their positioning to see over their right hand finger to write the next word/letter. Try it – if you are not left-handed, place a pencil in your left hand and put your right hand finger next to the tip of the pencil. It is difficult to see where to being the next work without looking around the pencil. This is especially difficult for little ones who are trying to adjust to using their left hand in a right-handed world.

    I found a great suggestion – have the kids visualize a circle or ‘O’ shaped between each word to create the spacing. You can also have them draw a circle then go back to erase the circle after the writing is done. It may take a while for the visualization to work so the drawing helps as well. I like the ideas about the popsicle stick too – great idea!

    I am left-handed and I recently did an action research on the topic of teaching writing (& cutting) to left-handed students. It was fascinating and something that many teachers do not think about in the classroom when they are teaching. I found an excellent video that I highly recommend – lots of wonderful ideas. :)
    Left-Handed Children: A guide for teachers and parents.
    It can be purchased from: http://www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk
     
  21. ESL-K-Teacher

    ESL-K-Teacher Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2005

    Last year I used plain craft sticks for my left-handed students and the right-handed ones used their fingers but I really like the idea of decorating the spacers. I will make some for next year since it's a wonderful idea. Thanks !
     

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