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  #1  
Old 03-18-2009, 10:03 AM
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"Fat" pencils vs "Thin/Everyday" pencils

What are your thoughts? What pencils do your preschoolers use? I'm really hating the fat pencils...they are so huge for my little ones to hold and normally, kids use the everyday pencils around the home, so why not use them at school?
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2009, 11:00 AM
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Comically, in my mixed age group the bigger children love the fat pencils and the regular pencils are the choice of the preschoolers. I am not sure why. When my middle schooler son is the classroom, even he chooses a fat pencil. Crack me up.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:03 AM
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tracykaliski tracykaliski is offline
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We use thin pencils and we also have the handwriting without tears pencils (basically golf pencils with erasers on them).
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:25 PM
mrgrinch09 mrgrinch09 is offline
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We put both kinds out and the kids decide which they like the best.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:45 PM
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vbubbles1874 vbubbles1874 is offline
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I use the fat pencils for my lefties and beginning writers. I have taken them out of the pencil can and switched to the everyday pencils. I had the same problem as Waprovider; my older writers wanted to use the fat pencils. They thought it was cool!!!
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vbubbles1874 View Post
I use the fat pencils for my lefties and beginning writers.
May I ask why for the lefties?
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2009, 08:22 PM
dcnuck dcnuck is offline
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I have always used the regular size pencils and regular size crayons. It just does not make sense to me for four year olds with small hands to put something so big in their hand and try and teach them how to write. Also if a child is struggling I use the short pencils like the previous poster stated. Then they have to use the pinchy fingers grip instead of trying to fist it.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:18 AM
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I have both in my pre-k classroom and let the students choose. When I am working with them in small group activities, I give them the size that works best for that particular child. I have observed that some children who are having trouble with the correct pencil grip do better with the fat pencil while some do better with the regular one - depends on the child.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:31 PM
sarzacsmom sarzacsmom is offline
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I start my kids out with writing (basic forms needed to make letters) with the fatter markers becaue their fine motor is so weak. Then when we start writing our letters and names we use the chubby pencils. I ahve had some issues with the pencil being so long that it is hard for the chidlren with smaller hands to hold, not because of the diameter but the length puts the end (eraser) past the center of gravity and they dont'have enough wrist control to hold it in place. So I broke the pencils in half. Easy fix. In a few weeks I willt ry th em with regular pencils.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherSandra View Post
What are your thoughts? What pencils do your preschoolers use? I'm really hating the fat pencils...they are so huge for my little ones to hold and normally, kids use the everyday pencils around the home, so why not use them at school?
I used to be a firm believer in the skinny pencils because the children's hands are so small, the big pencils looked like tree trunks in their tiny little hands and seemed so awkward. I used to use only the golf pencils (short, no eraser, like from Ikea or keeping golf scores). Anyway, we recently had a training in our district given by our Occupational Therapists and they presented an hour long presentation on why our youngest students need the fat or "chubby" pencils. They explained that the muscles in their hands are not fully developed and they don't always have proper pencil grip or dominant hands established so therefore the big pencils are best for them. They explained that the little pencils actually encourage poor pencil grasp and letter formation in young children (5 years and under). Therefore, our district has now mandated only chubby pencils and crayons in pre-k and when they get to kinder if they have proper grasp and good fine motor skills they can move to regular pencils. The OT's showed examples of writing from children who used chubby vs. fat pencils and surprisingly the children who used the chubby pencils did better. The one thing I do want to do is get somebody with a wood saw to cut those big ole chubby pencils in half because they are too long and some of our kids hold them at the top like paintbrushes.

There are lots of different opinions on this topic but I figure OT's went to school to study this type of thing so I guess I will listen to them
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