Kindergarten Handwriting

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Unregistered, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Aug 28, 2003

    Just how fast should a kindergarten teacher go with teaching handwriting to kindergarten? This is my first year to teach K and some of my students do well with this, while others don't know how to hold a pencil. The other teacher jumped right in and started having them to write on line paper. How can they do this if they don't know how to form letters at all? Any advice would be wonderful! Thanks
     
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  3. Seich30

    Seich30 Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2003

    I don't think it is appropriate for them to write on lined paper to begin with, they need to focus on forming the letters correctly first. I would train proper grip and capital first letter--rest lowercase with name to right from the start. They should be able to do lined paper by end of K, I would think.
     
  4. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Aug 28, 2003

    Thanks. I don't use the lined paper myself. I don't feel that they have developed the motor skills needed for it.
     
  5. miss karen

    miss karen Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2003

    I usually have the students trace over dotted letters, make letters using play doh, form letters in sand, trace letters in the air,etc. Children will get frustated if they feel that they can't get the printing on lined paper right. Same with holding a pencil, try to practice as a group rather than pointing it out to a child who is trying to write, this can also lead to frustration.

    Have fun! ;)
     
  6. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Aug 28, 2003

    We use highlighters to have them copy over.
     
  7. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Aug 28, 2003

    I have taught kindergarten for 8 years. I have the children trace the dotted letters as we learn each letter. They can then turn the paper over and try to write the letter on the back. As I teach each letter, we write the ones we have done on the back for practice. I do not introduce lined paper until after Jan. The children can practice writing their name by writing it on all their worksheets etc. I start with capital letters and then in Jan. change to capitals and lower case letters. At a center you can leave out paper and pencils and have the students practice their writing by playing postoffice or writing letters to people.I teach a new letter each week and review the other ones as we go along. chalk boards are great for practicing their letters.
     
  8. Lanie

    Lanie Cohort

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    Sep 1, 2003

    I use both unlined and lined paper. Over 90% of my class went to preschool at our school, so they already know how to form many of the letters. I model everything I do on the board as if there were lines. For example, my top line and middle dotted line are always blue and the bottom line is always red. The reading series we use starts the kids learning a letter a day for 26 days. No sounds, just letter recognition at the beginning. I have tried using the reproducibles that have lines for practice writing and those that just have a box. The kids have a much easier time writing using the dotted line as a guide. However, this may not be the way you teach, so you have to do what is comfortable to you and your students.

    We teach lowercase and capital at the same time because of so many similarities in letter formation. We use D'Nealian.

    I have about three students in my class who haven't the slightest idea how to grasp a pencil. I use a device that another teacher showed me using two rubber bands, ribbon and a bead. This helps the child hold their pencil in place. Let me know if you are interested in seeing what this looks like. Register and send me a private message and I can e-mail you a picture of it. It's very simple to make.
     
  9. marinermj116

    marinermj116 Guest

    Sep 3, 2003

    That's what I do too. I like it better than dot letters because it gives the kids thick line to trace and it's easier to see their handwriting vs. the dots.

    I wouldn't use lined paper until Feb. or March. Letter formation is the most important thing to focus on in the beginning of the year.
     
  10. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Sep 5, 2003

    My daughter has been in kindergarten since July (year round school) and from day one her teacher had all the students use lined paper and write their name using capital and lower case letters. My daughter knew how to write her name using caps (she was in preschool) but never used lower case. I can't believe how offended I was when her teacher sent home her beautiful written name (all in caps) with red marker correcting her (the first week!). It is so different being the parent than the teacher!
     
  11. Seich30

    Seich30 Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2003

    That is hard. I know when I first started teaching pre-k I taught all my kids to write in caps, because I thought it was easier (which it is). I realized that I wasn't really helping the child, since they were going to have to write in lowercase in K, so I stopped. I still focus more on them recognizing the uppercase letter in Pre-K, but do exposed them to both.
     
  12. mccwen

    mccwen Comrade

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    Sep 9, 2003

    That's terrible! I always write my student's names in lowercase letters (except of course the first letter) on their desks and around the room, but I do not correct them if they've learned to write their name in all caps. Later in the year when we practice writing first and last names, then I'll have the kids practice writing with lower case letters if they've been writing in all caps. I would also never correct their writing in that manor anyway- any effort concerning writing with that age group deserves a thumbs up!
     
  13. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Sep 9, 2003

    My daughter is now writing her name "correctly." I am trying not to be too critical of her teacher's methods, it could be me one day!
     
  14. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Sep 10, 2003

    handwriting

    It is refreshing to see that other teachers aren't forcing letters written perfectly on the lines. Where I work I am frowned upon if the students aren't writing on lines from day one. It is hard to work in a school that is so pushy. The other K teacher corrects with lots of red pen from day one. I also see lots of sad faces on papers it is very discouraging for the children. On the other hand, her high expectations always seem to have her children writing very well by first grade. I'm still not sure if I could put so much pressure on them from the beginning.
     
  15. hillsidefogo

    hillsidefogo Companion

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    Sep 11, 2003

    I'm a K teacher and I would never put a sad face on a child's paper or mark it up with red pen. I always look at the effort a child makes, one child might have poorly formed letters but put a lot of effort into making them, that child deserves praise just as much as a child who has 'perfect' printing. Even with children who don't make a good effort I try to find something to praise and it seems to encourage them to try harder. I always encourage my children to be a 'detective' and try to find a letter that needs to be fixed. They love this and it gives them a fun way to fix mistakes.

    I don't use regular lined paper but I do make up printing sheets using a big font size(78 or 48) and a wonderful font program called "Fonts for Teachers". It allows me to put large printing(About 1 inch letters) and lines on a sheet for the children. I can also put dot-arrow printing or just dot printing. I find that the children are quite capable of printing at that size. As the year progresses, I gradually use smaller font sizes.
     
  16. MrsBarnes73

    MrsBarnes73 Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2003

    I may be wrong with what I did, but it worked. I taught a Kindergarten Readiness program this past summer, and we had the children sign in each day upon arrival. We provided the children a paper with their name in the Comic Sans font (preferred by my agency), then underneath had a space available where we had the child's name in dotted form to trace the letters. We then had space at the bottom to allow the children to attempt to write the letters in their name on their own. This section was unlined.
    As the children progressed past their first name, we then added their last name to the sheet. I can proudly say that a majority of the children did well and proceeded to their last names. We did make sure that a staff member was available to help the children in the process and it was successful!
    I also had a few children that asked me to write words down for them to copy. They did this either on a blank sheet of paper, or in the journal that was provided for them.
     
  17. kristi7123

    kristi7123 Guest

    Sep 11, 2003

    Frog Street Press makes great lined paper that I still use in the first nine weeks of 1st. Lined white paper is used in the last six week of 1st and I am in an accelerated 1st grade. I wouldn't give them the lined except for "fun" writing. Abeka makes a great handwriting curriculum also. My suggestion is to draw a house with above the dashed line (A) (where caps go) to be the bedroom. Below the dash is the kitchen and below that is the basement. Start caps at the roof of the bedroom and lower case with tails (j) go in the basement, keep your (a's) for example in the kitchen. This has worked for me for the years I have taught 1st, I am no expert, but my kids have the best handwriting I have ever seen. (Not partial or anything).
     
  18. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Nov 3, 2003

    My daughter who only attended preschool 2 days a week half days, is having a very difficult time keeping up with her counterparts with writing. Hey I'm 38 and I am having a hard time forming the letters to perfection. The way her teacher expects her to write it. It is so frustrating to me that we decided to keep our child home instead of sending her to preschool at an early age. In my state preschool is not a prerequiste to kindergarten and kindergarten is not a prerequiste to first grade. I thought I was doing the right thing by teaching colors, shapes how to spell and write her name (to the best of her ability) My daughter's class not only is expected to write on 3 lines with perfection. They are forming sentances which contain letters they haven't even been taught yet. Thanks for letting me vent!!!!
     
  19. mccwen

    mccwen Comrade

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    Nov 3, 2003

    That's ridiculous. Writing on the three lines (let alone perfectly) is completely developmentally inappropriate for a preschooler. Teaching her colors, shapes, writing her name, and counting are exactly what you should be doing with her.

    Our literacy program has the kids writing on lined paper from the beginning but the only thing they actually write on the lined paper on their own is their name. All letter writing practice on the lines is traced. At this point in the year I'm not picky at all about how the kids are writing on the lines as long as they're trying. Onced we've gone over most of the letters then I'll expect them to try to write them on the lined paper appropriately.
     

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