4 year olds and writing activities

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by MuckeyBusiness, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Apr 26, 2010

    So i'm in this new classroom and we do worksheets... which I hate with a passion! Since i've never worked with 4 year olds what are some fun activities that I can do so I can get the worksheets out of my classroom!
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Apr 26, 2010

    I love mat man. and Handwriting with out tears program.

    Other things to work on are social skills. How to play together, how to ask a question.

    Play dough. Forming it to shape letters.
    Letter sorts.
    Spelling name with magnetic letters.
    Dobbing over their name with paint.
    Sorting letters and numbers
    Sorting different objects
    playing with shapes
    making AB patterns
     
  4. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Apr 26, 2010

    but what activities can get them writing just like they would on the worksheets but not in worksheet form
     
  5. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Do they have to be writing? I'm not a believer in having them writing until proper handwriting is taught. It's to hard to fix the improper formations and grips.

    I would say using the play dough to make letters, dobbing their names, and using magnetic letters to spell their names is a writing activity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    other things you could do is use cloths pin to pick up objects and drop them into a cup, hide things in strengthing putty, spin tops....
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    if they have to be writing I would have them draw a picture (using pencil first) then color it in using at least three colors. Once they have finished it, you have them tell you about it and write it on the bottom of the page.
     
  8. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    You could do weekly (or more often) journals where they draw either about something they want to or you want them to respond to and then dictate to you or try invented spelling themselves when they are ready.

    My kids love using clipboards - they can be scientists and draw animals we have or plants outside or whatever - draw, dictate and write.

    What about paper and pencils, etc. in the dramatic play area for them to "write" shopping lists.

    I have slips of paper they write their names on to sign in every morning.

    Writing their names on the backs of their papers.

    Draw and then dictate/write about something they built.

    Rainbow write their names or copy shapes with many different colors.

    I don't think the point is really that they can write - it is a combination of fine motor skills and the ability or at least the understanding to represent ideas with either drawings or words.
     
  9. msj

    msj Companion

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    Apr 27, 2010

    I have my preK kids write books. I read Already Ready and it changed the way I teach writing. It is tough starting, but by now, their books are wonderful. We do class books, wall stories, and individual books. I still do the magnetic letters, rainbow names, yellow brick road names, etc. for basic instruction (mostly names), but general writing is done with books, which by the way, they love "reading" to the class.
     
  10. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    One day last week, I put all the children's name cards (with their pictures attached) on the table and had them choose a friend to write a letter to. (As each child chose one, I removed it from the table to make sure 1 child didn't receive 12 letters and some received none). The children wrote the child's name, their own name and then drew a picture. I also had some work cards out (with pics on them) for them to use if they wanted (cat, flower, dog, friend, etc.) I had all sorts of writing materials (crayons, pencils, markers, different size and types of paper, and envelopes). The children really seemed to enjoy this activity and were excited to give it to their friend.
     
  11. EDUK8_ME

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    Apr 27, 2010

    How about drawing on mini chalk boards or dry erase boards. Lacing cards are also good for fine motor development.
     
  12. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Apr 28, 2010

    Write with index fingers- or whole hands- in shaving cream or finger paint- put hair gel or paint in ziplock bags and write on "magic slates" (we tried this with shaving cream but they didn't last as long). My 4's ave often loved tracing around or in stencils- I've often used the leftover "outline" pieces from die-cuts.
     
  13. Mrs Ski

    Mrs Ski Companion

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    clarnet, please tell me more about your magic slate.
     
  14. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Apr 28, 2010

    I think the key here is to understand what writing is for 3/4's. At this age writing consists of teaching pre-writing skills, and has little to do with printing words. The ideas of the PP's are great. The idea of pre-writing is to improve the fine muscle development of the fingers, which will lead to more ability to write.

    Anything you can do to develop the finger muscles is great. Here are some ideas:
    Playdough
    drawing/coloring
    Like PP said, clothes pins to pick up--stawberry stem removers work too, and are a little easier to squeeze.
    Squeeze clothes pins and put them onto the lip of cans.
    Easel painting
    Picking up buttons, small items
    Sorting small items

    You get the idea. If your curriculum says writing skills, these are all acceptable and developmentaly appropriate.
     
  15. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Worksheets are not developmentaly appropriate for 3/4. A worksheet is really an exam to see what they have learned. We in ECE call them drill and kill sheets. If you want them out of your classroom, just stop using them.
     

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