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Handwriting In Reception Class


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Just wondering how other people manage to cover this in their timetable. Do you teach handwriting as a whole class, in small groups, on a one-to-one? We teach children the cursive script which can be a nightmare at times - especially teaching f, k, z. I would like to squeeze in more small group or 1 to 1 sessions at least 3 times a week or even better daily but don't know how to fit it in. The parents are very supportive and help their child at home.

 

Just to say we have tracing patterns and letter cards out alot as an independent activity, but I think it is important children get teacher input on a 1 to 1 to make sure they are holding the pencil properly, and forming letters the right way from the start

Thanks

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Hi Emily,

Wow - you were up and working early this morning! Hope you're having an early night to compensate. Anyway, back to your query.

We have introduced cursive script this year throughout school, starting in Reception Class. Like you, I am finding it difficult to fit in small group work. As we introduce each new letter sound, we also cover letter formation as a class (although I have split the class into two ability groups so therefore am only working with 15 children at a time). Last week I introduced a system whereby my TA works with a small group every morning and afternoon for 10 minutes whilst I take the register. This seemed to work well. She works with the same group morning and afternoon, and a different group each day. The more able children work on large sheets of paper with felt tipped pens, marker pens etc. and the less able work with coloured sand trays, textured carpet etc. We also use the "buddy back" system, which the children seem to enjoy.

I also got a nice rescource off Sparkle Box which introduces the idea of "Ground, Grass, Sky". A laminated sheet which helps the children to understand that some letters sit on the grass, some go underground and some reach for the sky. There is also an alphabet strip to accommpany this which I am keeping in my writing area.

I would be very interested to know where you got your cursive script tracing resources from - I have looked everywhere but couldn't find any just right for Reception age children.

Hope this is of some help.

 

Joan :o

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I introduced continuous cursive to my January reception class last year and was quite disappointed with the results as for the first time ever I was unable to score anyone on the "holds a pencil effectively and forms most letters correctly" profile point. They could form the letters when in a supervised/ guided handwriting activity but were struggling to write emergently or otherwise.

 

I will need to do the same again with my next class in January and wonder what I could do to improve things?

I used the ground/grass/sky sheet and the children responded well to it. As my class will be very small, I intend to make some more and use them much more for individual work as previously I used it mainly for demonstration purposes although the children did have some opportunities to use it themselves.

 

I notice that the parallel class teacher is not joining any of the letters at all, even within the children's names which I was doing as I had done this previously at another school with a different script.

Are you teaching each letter as a single form without any joining?

How do you make sure the children recognise the printed and handwritten form of each letter? Do you differentiate them?

 

There is a programme called "Handwriting for Windows" which I think would enable lots of resources to be easily made but I am reluctant to invest in that myself.

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We have certain letters for the children to practise when they come in in the morning as the first thing they do... so it doubles really nicely as a settling activity... and the ones that finish sooner come and join us on the carpet for morning session.

 

To start with all the children were given the same letters, and I'd have a recording of how to form the letter looping constantly on the IWB, so then if either or the TA don't make it round to see every child, then they can still look at the IWB to check how the letter should be formed.

 

Later on in the year, it's pretty easy to target certain children with certain letters... it just means nipping round all there places before they come in and putting the letter you want them to practise in their place.

 

Once everyone has finished and joined us on the carpet, we usually review the formation of the letter(s) and maybe air-write it a couple of times before moving into a quick phonics sessions.

 

Obviously the ones who aren't ready to write/hold a pencil have a fine-motor game to play, shaving foam or sahara sand in a tray in their place etc. Once they get into the routine, it's really easy for me and my TA to move around and work with those children that need some help, whilst the rest make their way to the carpet.

 

Hope that helps.

 

~ Porl

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Hi Emily,

Wow - you were up and working early this morning! Hope you're having an early night to compensate. Anyway, back to your query.

We have introduced cursive script this year throughout school, starting in Reception Class. Like you, I am finding it difficult to fit in small group work. As we introduce each new letter sound, we also cover letter formation as a class (although I have split the class into two ability groups so therefore am only working with 15 children at a time). Last week I introduced a system whereby my TA works with a small group every morning and afternoon for 10 minutes whilst I take the register. This seemed to work well. She works with the same group morning and afternoon, and a different group each day. The more able children work on large sheets of paper with felt tipped pens, marker pens etc. and the less able work with coloured sand trays, textured carpet etc. We also use the "buddy back" system, which the children seem to enjoy.

I also got a nice rescource off Sparkle Box which introduces the idea of "Ground, Grass, Sky". A laminated sheet which helps the children to understand that some letters sit on the grass, some go underground and some reach for the sky. There is also an alphabet strip to accommpany this which I am keeping in my writing area.

I would be very interested to know where you got your cursive script tracing resources from - I have looked everywhere but couldn't find any just right for Reception age children.

Hope this is of some help.

 

Joan :o

 

Thanks for your reply. I like the idea of the more able writing on large sheets of paper and the less able mark making and the way in which you organise your groups with your TA.

 

Many thanks

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I introduced continuous cursive to my January reception class last year and was quite disappointed with the results as for the first time ever I was unable to score anyone on the "holds a pencil effectively and forms most letters correctly" profile point. They could form the letters when in a supervised/ guided handwriting activity but were struggling to write emergently or otherwise.

 

I will need to do the same again with my next class in January and wonder what I could do to improve things?

I used the ground/grass/sky sheet and the children responded well to it. As my class will be very small, I intend to make some more and use them much more for individual work as previously I used it mainly for demonstration purposes although the children did have some opportunities to use it themselves.

 

I notice that the parallel class teacher is not joining any of the letters at all, even within the children's names which I was doing as I had done this previously at another school with a different script.

Are you teaching each letter as a single form without any joining?

How do you make sure the children recognise the printed and handwritten form of each letter? Do you differentiate them?

 

There is a programme called "Handwriting for Windows" which I think would enable lots of resources to be easily made but I am reluctant to invest in that myself.

 

Hi Susan,

 

going to look up these ground/grass/sky sheets, they sound useful. I teach the letters in the cursive script without the joins to begin with until I am confident they can form nearly all the letters properly.However, for sounds like 'ee' and 'oo' they are joined together -so for instance if a child is called 'Reece' I will teach hime to form the 'ee' joined from the start. I think it is quite hard to differentiate the printed and handwritten form at times - I just explain to the kids that for example the letter 'a' can look different in different ways. I deal with the differentiation when it crops up - say in my big book on the carpet.

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Thanks Emily

That's not too hard when the printed letters and joined letters are much the same but we use the continuous cursive where the letters all start on the line so all letters look really different in handwritten or printed form. I told the children that one set was for writing and the others were for reading but I'm sure I concentrated too much on the reading as they failed to use the cursive form when writing independently. Not sure how to overcome this, what have others found?

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we introduced continuous cursive and do handwriting everyday as a class and in groups we also have wipe clean cursive boards which the children love doing, we do not join until the children can for the majority of letters correctly like susan.

 

the children find it a challenge but a little often seems to do the trick. we have some rhymes/ saying that go with out letters i will look them out if anyone is interested.

 

they all start with - up the lead in line to the magic dot and then things like over like a railway tunnel and flick

 

hope this helps someone

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we like you tried it this way but found it had a big impact on them in year one and now teach it from sept, we don't always see them using it in free writing in foundation, but they are more able to transfer it into there free writing when they reach year one seems to be less stressful for them.

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Im very reassured by those comments, thanks.

 

I get the January intake ie the younger children in the year group and they are part time for for the first half term so they have very little time in school.

 

I used the ground, grass, sky sheets very successfully as demos and children all were doing rainbow letters beautifully but then couldnt transfer anything and I felt that they needed to have a better understanding of the printed letter shape before adding the lead ins but policy is to use cursive in reception and as the temporary teacher I dont have much clout!

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Hi all

very worried about handwriting at the moment as the powers that be have decided today that after half term my Reception class should stop writing altogether and concentrate on handwriting patterns they then want us to begin teaching cursive writing after christmas. We have already started teaching the children pre cursive letters as part of our phonic session so am worried that this will now confuse the children.

Also does anyone out there teach handwriting as part of phonics or do you keep the two separate?

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Its good practise mottie to teach the letter formation as you teach each letter/ sound correspondence. I would carry on doing that but remove any guided writing activities and replace with handwriting patterns.

Good luck.

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Do people make up their own handwriting patterns or use a scheme? I make up my own but would love to know if there is better way to ensure progression of skills. For example, start with dashes and then move on to drawing circle shapes? What do other people do?

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I went on an excellent course that showed us some handwriting patterns which I will try and remember to look out later and see if I can put them on the computer. It was suggested that you use these patterns to "colour" in spaces within a large picture, much in the same way as you would traditionally colour in.

I have introduced the patterns in sand and then transferred to paper by making a master where I have indicated to the children which pattern I want them to put in each area. The first pattern builds up to make a star too and I have used large sheets of paper and coloured chalks for collaborative backgrounds for fireworks and Christmas.

so sequence is ---, left to right, l , top to bottom (although with continuous cursive I put the leader in too), + and then * (with 8 points so + and diagonals).

 

Finger painting over spiral outlines also make simple effective fireworks at this time of year.

 

Hope that helps and makes sense!

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  • 3 months later...

Susan- Did you ever find those handwriting patterns at all? I would be interested to see them (as I have just started a new post on handwriting) . Is it something you could e-mail? Thanks. Bethie

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