writing tips

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Audria007, May 4, 2016.

  1. Audria007

    Audria007 Rookie

    Sep 30, 2011
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    May 4, 2016

    My stepdaughter is starting kindergarden in June and her mother,father and I are a little concerned about her small motor skills. I'm concerned about both small and large but right now we are just working on small. She turned 5 back in December and is still using the full fisted grasp on her writing utensils and when she tried to write it is mostly scribbles. She can make some shapes and the letter H but she has trouble with most others. I teach 2 year olds so that's the age I am more used to but even they don't really use the full fisted grasp anymore. Its usually the Palmer grasp or the 5 finger grasp. I told her mom to have her lace things and to get playdough to help strengthen her muscles. I also told her to let her use scissors only to find out she has never used a pair of scissors. Are there any tips for me.
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Sep 30, 2001
    Likes Received:

    May 4, 2016

    Eating Cheerios. One at a time-pinch between pointer and thumb

    Use tweezers to pick up cotton balls and transfer into and out of a box

    Put a piece of paper with letters written omit on top of a piece of carpet or styrofoam. Give a push pin and poke holes along the lines of the letters

    Light brite or other 'pegboard' sort of activities
    otterpop and Audria007 like this.
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Jun 14, 2013
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    May 4, 2016

    Stringing big beads onto a string would be good too.
  5. beckyeduk8er

    beckyeduk8er Comrade

    Jun 20, 2004
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    May 10, 2016

    We have group that is really struggling with fine motor this year. We do lots of activities with clothes pins (write letters on them to make words, numbers, put the correct number of clothes pin on the paper, etc.) we use beads and pipe cleaners often, clay and golf tees, we do lots of work on the easel and with paper taped to the wall, and we use "pokey pins" a pushpin (with the "little handle") to poke out shapes, letters, words, etc-these are great because they can't fist the pin-here is a great link explaining it http://www.mrsminersmonkeybusiness.com/2012/04/pokey-pin-invention-by-5-yr-old-and.html.

    Dollar tree has some great tweezers right now, we roll the dice and use the tweezer to pick up that many of the items and that is also a fun game.

    Here is a handout our OT gives out before school starts to all incoming kindergarteners.

    Developing Fine Motor Skills

    Fine motor skills are crucial for later academic success.

    Fine motor skills can be defined as small muscle movements: those that occur in the finger, in coordination with the eyes. Teaching fine motor skills is similar to teaching other skills because the instructor must always try to be patient and understanding. Fine motor skills won't develop over-night, but with time and practice. Here are some suggestions for developing fine motor skills, and some activities to use to practice them:

    A. Cutting
    Use a thick black line to guide cutting the following:

    1. A fringe from a piece of paper
    2. Cut off corners of a piece of paper
    3. Cut along curved lines
    4. Cut lines with a variety of angles
    5. Cut figures with curves and angles
    6. Cut clay with blunt scissors
    B. Placing and Pasting

    1. Place a variety of forms (eg. blocks, felt, paper, string, yarn, cereal, cotton) on outlines
    2. Match shapes, color, or pictures to a page and paste them within the outlines
    C. Tracing and Coloring

    1. Use a thick black line if needed
    2. Trace and then color shapes, increasing the size and complexity gradually
    D. Self-Care Skills (not listed in order of difficulty)

    1. Buttoning
    2. Lacing
    3. Tying
    4. Fastening Snaps
    5. Zipping
    6. Carrying
    7. Using a screwdriver
    8. Locking and unlocking a door
    9. Winding a clock
    10. Opening and closing jars
    11. Vacuuming a rug
    12. Rolling out dough or other simple cooking activities
    13. Washing plastic dishes
    14. Sweeping the floor
    15. Dressing
    16. Bathing
    E. Finger Tracing

    1. Many times when a child is unable to do a worksheet, it helps to trace the pattern with his finger before he tries it with a pencil.
    2. Have the child trace a pattern in sand, cornmeal, finger paint, etc. The textures give the child kinesthetic feedback.
    F. Pre-Writing

    1. Dot-to-dot drawings of pictures, objects, shapes, numbers, letters, etc.
    2. Typing exercises
    3. Tile and mosaic work
    4. Folding activities
    5. Fine coloring
    6. Have the child do repetitious strokes (with an increasingly smaller writing tool) similar to those found in manuscript or cursive letters. Emphasize accuracy, spacing and flow or rhythm. Sometimes doing it to music helps.
    G. Writing

    1. Have the child write in the air and in front of his eyes (arm outstretched) with his finger.
    2. To increase his tactile awareness, have him trace over letters on textured surfaces. Have him manipulate 3-dimensional letters when blindfolded.
    3. When a writing tool is introduced, letters which involve similar strokes should be taught first (moving simple to complex). Next, combinations of letters in short words, sentences and finally spontaneous writing. (Remember to use words which are within the child's reading vocabulary).

    Things to remember:

    Upright working surfaces promote fine motor skills. Examples of these are: vertical chalkboards; easels for painting; flannel boards; lite bright; magnet boards (or fridge); windows and mirrors; white boards, etc. Kids can also make sticker pictures; do rubber ink-stamping; use reuseable vinyl stickers to make pictures; complete puzzles with thick knobs; use magna-doodle and etch-a-sketch as well. The benefits for these include: having the child's wrist positioned to develop good thumb movements; they help develop good fine motor muscles; the child is using the arm and shoulder muscles.

    In general, it is more fun to learn while you play. Keep that in mind when teaching fine motor skills. Try to incorporate activities like dress-up to teach zipping and buttons; card creations to practice writing or tracing skills; cutting and pasting to make a creation other than just a plain piece of paper, etc. Be creative and have fun!

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