Saturday, October 24, 2009

Writing Practice

Students usually love to write but school is generally their first experience with persistent writing exercises. Girls usually are more adept because they have built up the fine motor muscles in their hand by being more inclined to write daily. Boys would rather throw a ball or stick so they have built up their large muscles.
I would do art projects with all children using paper punches to build up muscles in the hand. (See the art technique called "pointillism")
We would learn how to write each letter of the alphabet as we leaned letter recognition and letter sounds. One thing I learned was that you don't have to use up the whole tree resource providing lots of paper and practice for students. I found that about 5 times was sufficient. Otherwise they would make a mistake and practice it over and over again until the mistake became a habit.
We learned about numbers too. One of the misconceptions that beginning students have is the difference between letters and numbers. In kindergarten we had poems that went with each to help students remember how to make them. We made books with a page for each number. After learning to write the number students would draw p ictures to illustrate the quantity or number concept. (e.g. six balls or 9 candy canes)

Below is the poem for each number:

1. One is fun!
2. Around and back on a railroad track. ( Care has to be taken here to explain the position. Most beginning students want to draw the "railroad track", the bottom or base of the two, directly under the right side of the curved beginning. We would check to make sure that an object dropped from the two's 'nose" ( the beginning of the curved line on top) would fall directly on its "toes' ( the beginning of the straight line at the bottom). We would practice dropping a clothespin from our nose and watch its vertical drop to our toes.
3. Around like me
Around like me
That's the way to make a three.
(We would talk about how the top and bottom should be equal so it has a "waist" ) .
4. Go down and over
And duwn some more
That's the way to make a four.

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