Thursday, October 11, 2012

Handwriting Practice

So, I've been wanting to update for a while, now, but things have honestly been crazy between getting a new student, losing another student, and testing SLO's, mClass and Dibbels and CogAt, and soon Aims Web... the poor kids barely have time to learn. So it REALLY shocked me this week, when my kids were using some free time to play with play dough and cookie cutter letters. One student first sorted the letters by color. Then she randomly put a few together to make a spelling word, and spelled it out. I was SO surprised, that I HAD to snap a picture of it RIGHT then :D It was so exciting!! :D

We are practicing how to sound out letters as much as possible when reading.. it'll help us with the Dibbels down the road. And how much fun is it to spell words out with cookie cutters? :D I was SO glad to find these in my garage last weekend!
We have also been working on handwriting for this research project I have to do for class. It turns out to be a weakness for everybody, and Handwriting without Tears is great, but the sayings are kinda boring. So I tried to design a fun handwriting intervention (with fun letter rhymes!). It started with modeling how to write the letter on either a chalkboard or dry erase board. The student had to trace the letter with their fingers (which would automatically erase it) and we did that a few times. Then the student traced the letter with the chalk or dry erase marker a few times. After that, I let them free-hand the letter with only verbal prompting.

Then I had them practice the worksheet using dry erase marker. Have you ever slipped worksheets inside the front sleeve of a three ring notebook? My co-teacher last year taught me this trick and it is SO genius! So I have them do the worksheet with my help using the dry erase markers. Then we take out the worksheet, and they do the whole thing independently with a pencil. I don't know about the kids, but I LOVED IT! I'm considering scanning them so share with everyone! But it's so simple, you could make them yourself in 2 minutes. I created most of these at breakfast duty.
Each page had a top row of the target letter highlighted for the student to trace. The middle and bottom rows had plain boxes. The middle row boxes contained starting points, but the bottom row squares were blank to promote independence. You can tell it got a little harder at the end! But it was great practice! 

**If anyone has any handwriting practice tips, please leave a comment and share them! I love getting ideas from other teachers!


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