To those who use Handwriting without Tears

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by McKennaL, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Sep 23, 2009

    I just went to a seminar introducing the program today. The school I will be LTSing in is going to be using it with Pre-K and K. The current teachers are NOT the singing, "magic c bunny", "tap the lines together", or different voices types. I could easily do it (I like what I hear so far). But being a LTS...i don't make the decisions on curriculum or procedures-necessarily.

    Do you USE the songs, bunny, sticks, voices, manipulatives....?

    How much time do you devote to it a day (Pre-K or K)?

    What problems have you had with it?

    Sucesses?

    Thanks~!
     
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  3. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Sep 23, 2009

    We use it with our K kids and use some of the songs but not the bunny, etc.

    We do it once a week formally and then follow up through the rest of the week with the kids in class as needed.

    Although I understand why she does it this way, I absolutely HATE the fact that she starts with the capital letters. 95% of everything we write is in lower case and I want to start with the lower case letters at the beginning of the year as a result. I really don't care if they know how to form the capitals correctly. I want them to form the lower case letters correctly.
     
  4. dcnuck

    dcnuck Companion

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    Sep 23, 2009

    I had to attend a workshop on using HWWT a couple of years ago and I am glad that our boss did NOT make us implement it. I teach pre k and when we met with the kindergarten teachers for the first at the end of school last year they were adamant about not teaching all caps for names which we the teachers do not do where I worked. It is the parents that do. I just don't understand teaching all caps when they will have to relearn the skill all over and it is a hard habit to break. Just like the previous poster stated---most letters are in lowercase especially when you read. I just hope I never get a job where they expect me to teach that program. I have had maybe two kids in the last five years and I have taught 40 kids each year--two half day classes that needed to use caps fine motor wise.
     
  5. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Sep 23, 2009

    We just started this year with HWT. I have only done some of the capital letters so far. I love the songs that go with it. We are trying it this year and see what happens. I do like it. The problem is I have never been trained in it before, so I am a little uneasy. The OT is the one who pushed for it. She came in the first couple of weeks, but I haven't seen her this week. We do not have any of the manipulatives ourselves. We just use them when the OT comes. I ended up ordering one of the CDs myself to use. If it goes well we will be able to order the manipulatives next year. As far as time I do about 25 minutes in the morning and a little bit at center time. I think it is great, I just wish I was more prepared to teach it.
     
  6. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Sep 24, 2009

    The school I am at uses the workbooks but I have never gotten the training so I have been oblivious to the songs that were part of the program.
     
  7. Miss.W

    Miss.W Companion

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Even though I am not Pre-K or K, our school just adopted this program for handwriting. All the K teachers and myself and another first grade teacher use this program, so far. I just love it and so do my students. Today we did the "Wet, Dry, Try" with the slate boards and I had two kids tell me how much fun it was today. Even though it is first grade, we still use the songs and maniuplatives and the kids LOVE it. I try to avoid playing the songs before we walk in the hallways because otherwise the students are singing them in the hallways. The songs really help the students to understand the program. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.
     
  8. prek176

    prek176 Companion

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    Sep 25, 2009

    I didn't realize that there are songs to go with the program. Are they typically with a Kindergarten program? Looks like I'll have to look around! My kids would love to sing!

    I believe that capital letters are taught first because developmentally they are easier, mostly straight lines. It takes a lot of fine motor control to do the curves. Also, in ABC books the kids are exposed to the capitals and that is often what they see on the alphabet "train" posted in early childhood classrooms.

    It drives me crazy when parents teach the kids to write not realizing that there is a right way and a wrong way. It takes forever, even with the program, to straighten out bad habits. (I have kids that are making letters from the bottom up and making O's starting on the bottom. This is after a good year on the program in K.)Our school always talked about doing a parent workshop on fine motor skills but our staff wears too many hats as it is. (Most are town volunteers as well.)
     
  9. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Could you explain how you did this. The OT was suppose to come in and show me how and do it with the kids this past week, but for some reason she can't make it to my class for awhile. The high school shop class has made us the little chalk boards. They are also making the Big Line, Little Line and curved lines too. :) Did you do the "Wet, Dry, Try" in small groups or as a whole class? What did they use for the wet part, a small sponge? I really don't have a clue how to do it. Any suggestions or advice would be great. I am the only one in my building that is doing HWT this year. The other Kindergarten teachers are in another building. I love this program but I wish I knew what I was doing or had more training.
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2009

    This is our 4th year using HWT. I don't teach prek or k, but 2nd/3rd. There is SUCH BIG IMPROVEMENT using this program!! Most of my second graders who have had the program since Pre-K have the nicest, neatest writing. I am AMAZED because before that, handwriting was an issue. My 3rd graders have had it since K and they also have great writing. They are doing the cursive beautifully!

    And I have always taught older kids, but have NEVER done the magic C bunny or any of that stuff! I am however working with a small group of kids with OT challenges, and am doing the exercises and things with them, because they NEED it! They have done the program for years already and still have major issues... those are the kids who still have tears during handwriting. I do have one boy who has serious, serious OT issues (he's getting a laptop as a second grader, so you can imagine) but he still only writes in capitals with the exception of the vowels now... and even those are light and shakey.

    I will concur about the capital letters with names. I have kids who CONSTANTLY, even in second grade write full caps for their names. It's annoying!! I am going to start circling it and making them redo it.
     
  11. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I have never heard of this program, Handwriting Without Tears. I am very interested in hearing more about it through teachers here who have implemented it.
     
  12. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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  13. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Here is the link:

    http://www.hwtears.com/

    I'd still like to know what teachers here think about it; it sounds really good! I've never been thrilled with the "defined" lines of handwriting for PreKindergarteners.
     
  14. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Thank you Tracy; I guess we were both posting at the same time. :)
     
  15. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I really like it. I just wish I was a little more prepared to teach it.
     
  16. Miss.W

    Miss.W Companion

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I used this whole group and had my students pair up. Since the capital letters are just review and trying to correct any inconsistences, I used the pairs. I draw the letters we are going to do ahead of time on the boards. The boards that come with the program are double-sided so this is how I got away with doing it in partners. You buy a cheap sponge and just cut it up into small parts and break chalk in half. Old shirts, socks, or papers towels work well for the dry part. Students watch as I imitate what they will be doing before they try. On their boards they will already have the capital letter you are working on for that day on their board. You say "smiley face (this is the smiley face in the top left corner, for the students to remember where they start their letters), Big line down, frog jump, little line, little line...and this should be the letter 'F'. While you are saying this, the students should be joining in and taking their wet sponge and tracing over the lines as you say each part. Now you instruct them to do the dry part with their cloth and repeat the instructions for making the letters. The try part is where they take their chalk and trace over the "shadow" that has been left behind because of the prior chalk and water. I then just had the students flip their chalkboards over and give it to their partner. If they did not have the chalkboard their job was to help repeat the directions for making the letter. Let me know if this helps any or what else you may need.
     
  17. Miss.W

    Miss.W Companion

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    Sep 26, 2009

    There are two CD's that are with the program. The "Get Set For School" sing along CD is aimed at Pre-K and K, but I actually use that one the most with my 1st graders right now, as this is the first year for our HWT program. This helps to teach the basics....where do your start the letters, pencil grip, etc. The other CD, "Rock, Rap, Tap, & Learn" is aimed at K and up as it starts to encorporate teaching lowercase letters. What we did is that our elementary school got one copy of each CD and we just burned it onto another CD or our computers so we each had copy. Check out e-bay as there is always people selling HWT materials. Let me know if there is anything else I can help explain.
     
  18. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I'd like for a part of my whiteboard (for displaying topic sentences etc) to have hwt lines. How would I add semi-permanent lines to my board? The only thing I can think of is using electrical tape. Suggestions?? Thanks!
     
  19. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Thank you. Yes that helps a lot. :)
     
  20. Miss.W

    Miss.W Companion

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    Sep 27, 2009

    I believe if you use those thin overhead markers and a regular dry erase as your letters, when you erase with the eraser, only the dry erase letters will come off. The overhead markers (I cannot recall the name) will stay on until washed off with water or spray.
     
  21. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Sep 27, 2009

    I LOVE THE PROGRAM!!! I have been using it now for three years. I use the both the cds, the lines, the slate boards, the roll-a-dough. My aide used the Magic C bunny. I'm not very good with it. We are going into our 3rd week of school. And I haven't actually started using the book yet. We have been practicing holding our pencils, and crayons, using the slate boards, the sticks, and the roll-a-dough. I try to do get two to three 30 min. sessions in a week.
     
  22. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Sep 27, 2009

    vis-a-vis markers
     
  23. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    Sep 27, 2009

    Excellent idea! I'll try using the Vis-a-Vis markers this week! Thanks!!
     
  24. prek176

    prek176 Companion

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    Sep 27, 2009

    Thanks for the info Miss.W ! I'll have to see if our K teacher has the CD and maybe I can make a copy. No money for a new copy!
     

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