Writing that kids will see

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by pabef, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    I have been trying to help my teachers realize that when they are writing their students names on name plates for desk or cubbies or putting their names on bulletin boards, that they should write as though the children are reading. After all, we are trying for name recognition. I have some teachers that try to write cutsie or print crazy fonts off the computer. Their response is that they do not want things to look boring. I also had a teacher that did a class book using the Dr, Suess book "In a People House" for inspiration. When she wrote the children's responses to what was in their house she used the ampersand (spelling?) instead of the word "and" . The kids had colored the pages and she had laminated them and put the book together before she showed it to me. Luckily when she laminated it, glue bled through on some of the pages making the words unreadable. I had her rewrite the sentences on paper and place over the other sentences and relaminate. She said I was being too picky. I tried to tell her that she would be sending the book home with each student to read with their parents and when they are sight reading they need to see things written correctly. What do you think?
     
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  3. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Just like when we model behaviors, our writing and reading has to beyond reproach.* Hopefully it will be modeled!!!* I agree with you.* I am sorry that she didn't it.* Keep trying.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I have no early childhood experience except the mommy variety.

    But what you're saying makes incredible sense.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'm with Alice. My early childhood experience comes from being a mommy, but what you're saying makes total sense to me. After all, repitition is important, and if you're trying for name and letter recognition, the font/print should be consistent and easily recognizable.
     
  6. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    I will go with a compromise on this one...I think it is really important for kids to see letters that they can read (meaning no cursive), but I also think that it is important for kids to see different fonts and learn to discern similar letters among different fonts...similarly, I teach my kids to recognize "fancy a, g and t" since they are what they would most likely see in a story book...I will agree, though that she should NEVER use an ampersand in a story (although there's nothing wrong with teaching the kids what it means!)
     
  7. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    I totally agree with you. There needs to be consistency in the form of the letters when the kids see writing. You can't control what types of fonts they see in books, magazines, etc.., but you can control the actual writing that goes on in the classroom.

    Stick to your guns. Stay on them to do it right.
     
  8. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    I agree with you 100% pabef!
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    If you are the director, you should have control about the teaching. How to print words should be presented in a developmentaly appropriate manner. Printing in the style the public school uses is usually the one the preschools choose to use. You might present a whole literacy training for the staff.

    As the director, I have certain standards for the curriculum, and appropriate printing on children's material is one of them.
     
  10. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Yep. This is one of my pet peeves. The writing should be properly modeled for the children.

    And I don't think you mentioned this, but I also dislike it when adults write a child's name in all capital letters. Or (even worse), random capital letters mixed in with lowercase.
     
  11. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    This is a bit off topic, but we're currently reviewing new reading series for our elementary. One of the samples comes with take-home books for lower elementary grades. The font uses absolutely no capital letters! Not on names, beginning of sentences, etc. We have to assume that there is a reason for this, but we can't think of one...
     
  12. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I agree that the writing should be in plain font, but it should use a variety of fonts for different projects (still plain and readable, of course). However, I would never make a teacher redo something that they took the initiative to work on with the kids. I would have a discussion of environmental print and developmentally appropriate practices for teachingt reading at the next staff meeting and discuss the font issue there.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You aren't choosing that series, are you?:eek:
    I think your outlook is educationally sound...I don't think I'd ever tell my administrator that they were being too 'picky', especially if the work I was showing was done in a haphazard manner (glue bleeding through, difficult font...) I do agree with the other posters here that having different easy to read (sans serif) fonts are a good idea-Teacher handwriting should always be neat, legible and spelled correctly (EEK- misspellings by teachers on display on BBs!!) I'm sure you could find some published article on environmental print, font choices and early literacy to support your views that you could share with your staff so they know that you aren't being 'picky' but that what you are asking is developmentally appropriate...
     
  14. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    I always use the Comic Sans font in my classroom for name cards, labels, class books, etc. When I handwrite these things, I try my darndest to write neatly and clearly. Perhaps, as director, you could address this in a staff meeting, but I would be upset if you made me redo something I did on my own.
     
  15. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    The handwriting that we use in our classroom that the children see looks like this:

    Manuscript

    When I'm printing something out on the computer that the children will see then I mostly use the Futura font. Except for the lower case i and j.
    :woot:
     
  16. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    I agree that it is important to model proper printing. Having said that, if you made me re-do something that I made on my own, I'd be FURIOUS.

    Next time, I suggest you remind the teacher the importance of modeling proper printing, but remember that symbols ARE a part of printing! Children will see the @ sign, ampersand, dollar sign, etc. eventually. Why not expose them to it? And I do sometimes write in cursive in front of my kids. Two years ago, I had a child who wanted to learn how to write her name in cursive. She did a great job writing her first and last name.

    I think you're micromanaging a bit. Tell the teacher, remind the teacher, or bring it up in a meeting.
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Furious? If it wasn't quality, or aligned with what the center needs, there's only one person to be furious with. Sorry-can't agree here!

    But what if the child goes to a school that learns a different form of cursive?
     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Ha! NO!
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Does that imply that the first draft of anything, regardless of how poorly done it is, of how many errors it contains, is fine??

    Sorry, I disagree with you on this. Anything that lacks professionalism should not be given to kids from teachers. If the teacher can't see that, it's the job of the principal or director to ensure that only quality materials go out.
     
  20. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I think everybody who said they'd be furious missed several key points in the op. First, the director wants only approprate materials to go out. It's her job to ensure that happens. Regardless of how much time a teacher spends on something, if it's not appropriate, then it shouldn't go out. There's only one person to blame for the "wasted" time, and that is the teacher who created something that wasn't up to the center's standards.

    Second, the OP mentioned that the product was damaged in the laminating proccess, and she insisted that the teacher not only fix it, but fix it in an appropriate manner. I see nothing wrong with that.

    Third, from the OP, it sounds as if the teachers are bordering on insubordination. The director has a duty to do her job, as the teachers have a duty to do theirs. If the teachers don't like the way the director runs the place, then they have the option of leaving, but I don't know of any job that will allow employess to intentionally and repeatedly go against the wishes of the boss.

    In short, even though I'm not a preschool teacher, I'm in total agreement with this director. She has every right to insist that the quality of work her teachers produce is up to standard and alligned with the philosphy of the center she's running.
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    And anything that the parents will see (as OP stated it would be seen) acts as a form of parent communication and adverstising. I usually ensure that what the parents see is either developmentally appropriate or professional looking-this was neither.

    Perhaps the lesson is that the program needs to talk to each other before they make something so that they can make quality choices and not laminate drafts? That seems like it would have been an answer. Draft making is not the same a final making. Only finals should be released to public.
     
  22. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    :yeahthat:
     
  23. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    I did pull up some articles for my staff about print rich environment. Oddly enough this was a timely topic. The teacher is question did a new year's bulleting board and put the children's names up. She had written in a cutsie manner and one of the children argued that their name was not spelled correctly because they did not recognize the letters. On the subject of the book. I did not make her redo the book becuase of the ampersand - although I felt like I should have - I did it because the laminator was too hot and the glue bled causing the sentences to be unreadable. I agree with other posters that anything we send home is a reflection of what we are teaching our children. Parents notice improper grammer, mispellings etc. and feel like that is a reflection of a teacher's teaching abilites. Also we are trying to teach children to recognize words. I will continue to proof items that go home to parents and ask teachers to correct things as needed.
     
  24. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I have worked for programs that require a signature from the director before being made public.
     
  25. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I have one of those programs. Saves the problems.
     
  26. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I am here with you.
     
  27. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    I work very hard to print everything I write the same way the I teach the children to wirte their letters. I have foudn it very hard to find a font onthe computer that makes lower case A the way we teach the to write it and not like this a. But there are a few and If I am making labels on the ocmptuer I use only them. If there is something that comes up with af ont they don't recognize then I explain it.
     
  28. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I have a similar problem with fonts - if hte font has an appropriate lower case "A" then I find that the capital "I" is incorrect. I know we can download teacher fonts from websites, but I'm not allowed to add anything to my classroom computer without board of ed approval, and when I asked, I was told no.

    SO, I sometimes switch fonts in the middle of a document - usually doing most things in Century Gothic, but if there is a capital I that needs doing, switching just for that letter. I can't remember which font I've found, but there is a similar style to Century Gothic (but the a is wrong!), that has the right capital I.

    Can you tell I am REALLY detail oriented!?
    Kim
     
  29. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Capital J is hard here too-no hat.
     
  30. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I don't think I would worry about the words printed off the comupter--as that is what the child will encounter in other print. I would just make sure anything the teacher writes is correct. And, always put their name on the upper LEFT side of the paper--so they can begin to learn to read from left to right.
     
  31. Sabby12s

    Sabby12s Companion

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    I wouldn't let subpar work be sent home to a parent either. If it was sloppy and made my kid thats one thing. If its sloppy and made by a teacher? Nope. Try again.
     
  32. Mommateach

    Mommateach Rookie

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    I think that the name tags or pages with names should look like the print that the kids are used to or are learning about. I just have mommy experience in early childhood though. I know my son would have been bothered by different print on his name.

    I know this is a preschool board, but I did want to mention something about the phonics worksheets from my son's kindergarten class. In my son's class they had these phonics worksheets to practice the letters sounds, actions and penmanship of the letters. On the top left-hand corner of the sheet they had in big black bold print the letters/sounds that the sheet was about. That particular print in the left-hand corner did not match up with the actual letters that the children were suppose to write. In the bottom right-hand corner the children were suppose to write with D'nealian type of penmanship the letters. For example in the left corner there would be a lower case i like this i in big black bold print, but the children were suppose to write the i like a backwards j. I thought that was confusing!

    I think what happened was that somewhere along the line some person decided to cut and paste two different phonics books from the same program to make the worksheets. I'm pretty sure that the program has a manuscript version and a D'nealian type curly version.
     
  33. duribe100

    duribe100 Rookie

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    I use classroom fonts that I have bought. They work very well in my class. Recommended!
     

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