handwriting

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by 2nd grade teach, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. 2nd grade teach

    2nd grade teach Rookie

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    Jan 20, 2007

    A few of my students really struggle with handwriting. I have given them several hand writing books to work on, but I do not see much improvement. Do you have any ideas?
     
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  3. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    Jan 20, 2007

    Hi!
    I don't know if it will help you, but in my classroom, even the most active boys enjoy handwriting. One day a week, we start the day with handwriting while we listen to classical music. Very calm and relaxed atmosphere. (But then this is my 4th grade class and it is joined handwriting they practise.)
     
  4. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Jan 20, 2007

    I also struggle with handwriting....I do one mini lesson a week but stress the importance of good handwriting everyday....I find that they (first graders) are already into bad habits like poor grip and poor letter formation...and I just can't figure out how to break them of these bad habits.....it drives me crazy!!!!
     
  5. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Jan 20, 2007

    i'm in the same boat with my 3rd grade class and cursive. they just don't understand that the formation of the letters is the critical part. i have some that still can't print properly...actually a lot of my students can't. i don't know if it's their motor skills or what, but sheesh...you'd think by third grade they'd have it. thanks for this post....hopefully it'll help more than one of us! :)

    LC
     
  6. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Jan 20, 2007

    I have a couple of kids in my fourth grade class whose handwriting is awful. One in particular - this student is extremely immature, in more way than one, so I suspect for him it may be delayed motor skills. I'm not sure what to do to help these kids either.
     
  7. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    It is such a hard thing for kids to develop. It seems like I try so hard to teach them the correct strokes but with time each develops their own style. In 1st - 3rd grade my son had the BEST handwriting. I thought it would never change, then WHAM, it went downhill. His poor teachers now, I don't see how they can read anything he writes.
     
  8. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    I keep telling mine that it is important to print letters the correct way otherwsise learning scrpit is going to be very hard (and to a first grader script is a 'cool' grown up thing)!
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jan 20, 2007

    When I taught Kinder we used alot of playdoh to help develop good hand muscles. We also did hand/finger exercises. I had a child who was going to the OT & she suggested putting little toys that could be picked up with tweezers in the sandtable. Guess that's also why Kinders/1st graders do alot of cutting, stringing beads etc.

    I tell my 3rd graders if I can't read it, it's wrong. I've had kids redo their work so that I could read it. When they realize that it's important, they will take more pride in it & it's neater.

    Many of my co-workers don't teach handwriting, they feel that all the kids need to know is how to sign their name, the computer will be there for them to write their reports on!
     
  10. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2007

    I'm struggling with this with my 5th graders! Most of them can't write cursive at all and certainly can't read it. All of our spelling materials are in cursive and they can't read it. Even their printing is horid. Just this week I started getting out basic trace and write sheets to have them do. They liked doing it which surprised me. We'll keep at it.
     
  11. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Jan 21, 2007

    Ah - handwriting and second grade boys. As a boy myself (man, thank you very much!) I struggle with neat handwriting. All the other (female) teachers in my school print like something out of a book - me - not so much. My school does not have a formal handwriting program for 2nd grade. Here's what I do:

    1) I model with all my own writing that it doesn't have to be perfect, BUT you need to be able to read it.
    2) I hold a 'handwriting club' 4 days a week at bus time. While the kids are waiting for their bus to be called, I call back the boys with the worst handwriting to practice.
    3) I use Stationary Studio software to create customized and hopefully meaningful practice for the boys.
    4) If any of their work is REALLY bad - I mean to the point where I simply can not read it, I have them do the work over - this really drives my point home about being able to read it.

    Hope this helps! :D
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 21, 2007

    A couple of boys in our class struggle with good handwriting. One was so bad we got the OT to observe. She informed us that he did NOT have motor skill issues, he just didn't want to work on it. Sure enough, his handwriting has improved tenfold. He told his mom (I'm the aide) that I am STRICT about his writing. Hehe. Mostly I will go behind him on certain things like (homework log or unrushed non deep thinking assignments) and literally erase all letters I don't think conform. He has gotten used to it (although a few others still complain) and knows to redo it. NOW I have students come back and BEAM with pride if they KNOW they did excellent on their work. One or two times I attached our reward dollars. Mostly I write a beaming positive reinforcement phrase, read it to them, and tell them their moms will be SO proud. I also, time permitting, make them redo their homework if I find it to be really sloppy. They are getting SO much better but it requires me to stay on them. I wish they would do it sometimes just because they can, but the truth is without someone being strict, they would go back to sloppy writing. Sigh.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 21, 2007

    Copy the pages from your handwriting book, slip into page protectors and have the kids use wipe off markers to practice their handwritng strokes and letter formation. The plastic protector anc marker create a more 'fluid' feel to handwriting which may carry over later to pencil and paper.
     
  14. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Jan 21, 2007

    I have one student who has bad handwriting just because he doesn't want to put the effort into writing neater. I've seen him write much neater, so if an assignment is really messy, I make him rewrite it during recess. For him, it's just a matter of laziness, and being neat is not important to him. If he misses enough recess time to rewrite it, I'm hoping it will become important.
     
  15. 2nd grade teach

    2nd grade teach Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2007

    Thank you so much for all of your feedback! It is nice to know that I am not the only one that struggles with this issue! Thank you so much for all of your ideas and suggestions!
     
  16. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 23, 2007

    In the younger grades, teach the formation, try to reinforce it, give opportunities to practice, correct their work, BUT also give them daily work that exercises and develops those small muscles! Stuff they LOVE that will help with control - legos, clay, painting with their fingers, building blocks, pattern blockes - the list is almost endless. We do lots and lots of that stuff expecially the first half of the year.
     
  17. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Feb 3, 2007

    I have about half of my class writing illegibly. I'm talking about letter formation, crossing/dotting letters, staying on the lines or not, etc. I am beside myself because I just don't know what to do with 5th graders that can't or won't write neatly. I started taking off neatness points, but I may have to recant. I don't know it'll be worth the grief from parents.
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 3, 2007

    Rather than points off, make them rewrite it. Having to rewrite stuff is a pain. They will get the message.
     
  19. Mizz Lucy

    Mizz Lucy Guest

    Feb 5, 2007

    Reward the kids for good handwriting.
    After 3 good days (not in a row):
    a day off
    write with pen
    eat lunch in the room
    5 minutes extra recess
    sit at the teacher's desk
    gum
    anything!

    Then change it to 4 days, then 5 days, etc.
    I am into paying the consequence for not doing the right thing.
    It works well for me.
     
  20. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Hmm...I'l have to give it some thought. They are required to write in pen, so maybe a day to write in pencil would be a treat. gum is outlawed at our school.
     
  21. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    If its simply getting neater handwriting, then an awesome thing I've discovered is how drawing pictures [art] (not crafts, but actual sketching with charcoal and chalks) has developed my daughters handwriting.

    Because, chalks and charcoal blend and smear easily, in order to keep the colors where they want them they have had to practice picking up and putting down where they want the colors. Plus, they do a lot of simple squiggle techniques to keep the hand moving on the paper.

    But, yes, they also practice handwriting on cursive sheets and dry erase boards.
     
  22. smile24

    smile24 New Member

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    Feb 6, 2007

    It sounds simple, but this has worked for me. I have students identify (by circling or highlighting) the word or letter (depending on age) that they wrote the best on each line. This helps in two ways:
    1. I helps them identify good writing
    2. Motivates them to make best one on the next line better than the best one on this line. (It isn't always about making the perfect letter or word, but making the better letter or word.)
     
  23. EDUK8_ME

    EDUK8_ME Cohort

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    Feb 6, 2007

    My fifth grade son has always had trouble with printing and cursive. The size of his letters are either to big or not big enough. Spacing is also an issue. He also has diagnosed A.D.D.. Knowing that sometimes learning problems like A.D.D. are related to vision problems, we took him to have an extensive vision exam. He did have some muscular trouble with his eyes but at the time we didn't feel that it was significant enough for him to wear glasses. Fast forward two years, now my daughter is complaining about her vision. We take both of them to have the extensive eye exam. Now both have the same muscular problem and we did get the glasses for them. To make a long story short, for some children, maybe their hand writing problems are actually a vision problem. For severe cases maybe suggest to parents that they take their child for an eye exam. School exams would not be extensive enough.
     
  24. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Some of my boys are lefties and have never been trained how to write properly. I know it is different, but don't know how to teach it. I don't know if vision is the issue or not. It's never showed up in other areas including health exams. Something to consider though.
     
  25. bonteach

    bonteach Companion

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    Feb 6, 2007

    I teach cursive to 3rd grade. A few things that work for me:
    Don't skip the tracing. Talk to the students about muscle memory. My grandmother (who was 97 when she passed away 4 years ago) taught me how to write in cursive, the way she was taught. She had me draw ovals on slant over and over again. Now I'm sure her teacher didn't call it muscle memory or OT, but it is, and it works. I have my students do this every once in a while and show them on the board how it helps me write.
    Another thing is I have my students use pen. It is easier to write with and flows and it doesn't break!
    My 2 Cents
     
  26. cybermom4

    cybermom4 New Member

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    Feb 8, 2007

    This takes some time on my part, but I start with thier name. I give (handwritten) stars for each letter that they do well and the letter that doesn't get a star they have to practice. Then I give them a sentence, star the letters that are done well, and the rest they have to practice. Pretty soon, they are evaluating thier own letters and fixing them up to 'look nice'. I tell them what they are writing is important and I know they want me to read it correctly...so...lets make those letters clear! And I give lots of individual praise for thier efforts.
     
  27. teach11

    teach11 Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2007

    another handwriting idea

    another way we have students practice handwriting is to laminate the writing sheet (it can be anything, simple tracing, or practice letters etc.) and have the students trace with dry erase markers. this way you can wipe them off, and there is a template for the kids to follow :)
     
  28. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Mar 11, 2007

    Many first graders still form their printed letters from the bottom up.

    At the beginning of the year I tell them that "puppies and kittens grow UP but letters and numbers grow DOWN."

    Believe it or not, it helps.
     

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