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Mark Making And Hand Writing


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Hi I have a little query that I hope you could help me with. I have a few children who have started back this term showing the interest to write their names. In my setting we do provide lots of activities both inside and out that supports and strengthen Gross motor skill. We also provide lots of marking opportunities such as table top painting, gloop etc etc. I feel that as they have shown this interest I should be supporting it and provide support to form the letters correctly so they do not have to re learn when they start school in Jan. However what am concerned about is being told this is not my job and should leave it to school. Obviously i will not be sitting and making them trace all day long but as situation arise. Perhaps you have used some good ways to support these skills.

ANy advice greatfully recieved

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Not your job?!!!!

 

Who would say such a thing?!!!!!!!!!

 

It is your job to support your children at the levels they are at!!

 

I would perhaps see what goes on in reception re making sure that letter formation is done the way the school like it, but when we have children ready to write we just start with their name and sometimes they have a go at writing what their picture is about.

 

We do show them how the letters should be formed but obviously this is not rigid and prescriptive... its fun!

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Yes I agree with the above. Some of our new starters are very able in markingmaking, one child aged 3 can write her name, sounding out all her letters. The letters, however, are all in capitals. If it's not our job to move her on over the next year she will be with us, I don't know whose it is! :o

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We encourage the children from the start to 'write their name'. It may only be a mark but it is so they can identify their own pictures etc. As they get more capable we help them to write the individual letters beginning with the initial letter. Most of them can more or less write their names by the time they leave.

 

We also have sand in builders trays etc so they can have a go at 'writing'

 

Sue

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I agree meeting the childs current interest and developmental levels. If you decide to 'teach' proper letter formation then it is a good idea to check with schools what style they teach ie: cursive or not. :o (although this may prove difficult if you are a feeder to one or more primary schools).

 

Keeping it fun, small step appraoch, careful not to undermine / squash their enthusiasm to make marks compared to the 'need to do it right' (balanced approach).

 

However, has the child/children asked you, "teach me to write", do they want your intervention at this time? Are you absolutely sure whether your intervention will spur them on, or will it put them off?

 

I wonder, if a child is 'writing' in a self taught style, ie: natural self progression, and then they are 'taught' by a teacher when they get to school another style, do they feel they are having to re-learn or does it feel like they are learning for the first time, as in adult directed 'way to do it' ? Yet, if a preschool teacher intervenes at this stage, 'teaches' how to form the letters, then as the child gets to school another teacher teaches a different way to form letters, this to me, I would think would make the child feel more like he/she has to re-learn. Does that make sense.?

 

In the childs mind/experience, which is best; moving on once from self directed to adult directed, or moving from self directed to adult directed then experiencing another adult direction at school?

 

With this in mind, when I had children forming letters and names at preschool, I just really praised their achievements, emphasised the benefits of the written mark ie: "I know this is your picture now because I can read your name, well done" (however it was written). And basically promoted sense of achievement in the child. I left the 'formal' task of teaching how to write for when they got to school.

 

For example; I was listening to Micheal Rosen on TV this morning, he said that if a 4 yr old is writing capitals, don't worry, the child will eventually need to use capitals so it doesn't matter if they are aware of them before lower case, the important thing is to support the childs interest in the 'written' word, whatever style, at this age it isn't too important.

 

I don't think the child will be learning the 'wrong' way if they mark make how they want to at this age, it's not like they will be doing it consistently the same way for the whole year prior to attending school, their interest focus may change within a few weeks/months and they may stop writing altogether for a while. What I do think though is that the child is 'learning' transitional skills towards;

1/ a joy of the written word.

2/ the physical skills / dexterity required for writing.

3/ the 'flow' of their mark making.

4/ mark making has a purpose.

 

If it become a 'taught' experience they may find that

1/If they have to concentrate too much on 'moving the pencil in the right direction' this will impact on the tension in which they hold the pencil.

2/ The physical skill is more intense (achy hands)

3/ The flow is stop, concentrating on how (to write) rather than what (want to convey).

4/ the purpose of their mark making is to present it correctly

 

I remember being really frustrated when writing my dissertation that I had to concentrate on 'grammer' rather than what I was actually saying. ie: An additional focus turned my 'creativity' into a 'task'. ( I handled this as an adult, but will a young child really interested in writing still enjoy it if it becomes a task).

 

Once we expect cildren to form letters in a certain way their writing becomes judged on formation rather than purpose. The end product rather than motivation to communicate.

 

 

Peggy

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One thing that I find really helpful is Penpals for Foundation Stage. It is a good accompaniment for all the other things that you are already doing and it has a lovely cd too. The idea is to pick up the programme where the child is at. It starts with gross motor and the children use the music to move in a straight line across the room, then a wavy one........ Later my children particularly like listening to the seaside music and making wave shapes on paper with a big pen, paintbrush etc and also in the gloop in the tuff spot. There's a great star type soundtrack and the children have to make large sweeping movements and small ones. The boys in particular have been gripped as there is no right or wrong. It builds their coordination, concentration and its great fun.

(I'm not on commission honest!)

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Handwriting-Founda...7068&sr=1-5

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Thank you all for your feedback. I definitely will check with my feeder schools but it is good to know that you feel it is ok to enhance letter formation at appropriate times.

 

Peggy your comment really got me thinking and pondering and I can see your point of view, thanks. :o:(:(

I wonder, if a child is 'writing' in a self taught style, ie: natural self progression, and then they are 'taught' by a teacher when they get to school another style, do they feel they are having to re-learn or does it feel like they are learning for the first time, as in adult directed 'way to do it' ? Yet, if a preschool teacher intervenes at this stage, 'teaches' how to form the letters, then as the child gets to school another teacher teaches a different way to form letters, this to me, I would think would make the child feel more like he/she has to re-learn. Does that make sense.?

 

LJW the CD sounds great will check it out thanks xD

Do you know where i could access some fresh ideas for mark making??

 

Thanks again to you all. :(

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Our headteacher has said that he will give £100 to classes who have innovative ways to raise standards in boys writing in particular............does anyone have any ideas how to best spend this money and what works well? (I'm in a FSU)

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Our headteacher has said that he will give £100 to classes who have innovative ways to raise standards in boys writing in particular............does anyone have any ideas how to best spend this money and what works well? (I'm in a FSU)

 

 

 

When you say writing do you mean handwriting or the whole package?

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It's the whole thing Marion. I did wonder whether to invest some in Write Dance but my colleague isn't sure if it will appeal to boys, also I'm not sure of cost and content.

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We use Big Writing throughout the school and start off in nursery and reception with Big Talk which has had a tremendous impact on the content of the children's writing.

I use write dance but am leaning more towards the Penpals for Handwriting materials alongside all the normal gross and fine motor activities I'm sure you already use.

Good phonics instruction and word bands for ambitious vocabulary for spelling.

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Hi Marion do you need to have an interactive white board for the pen pals for writing as we do not have one? Where could I look for the big writing you mentioned? Just going to have a look at the link that was posted earlier for amazon.

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There is software but I couldn't afford it as I paid for Penpals myself. I bought the F1&2 teacher handbooks. F1 comes with a music CD to use with the activities in the book to support grossand fine motor development and also reinforce the letters.

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I put a massive list of markmaking in the resources section if you do a search....

Hi i am interested in mark making and writing in foundation stage as well. was looking in the resouces but cant seem to find it. What catergory is it under. Thanks 0258 :o

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Hi i am interested in mark making and writing in foundation stage as well. was looking in the resouces but cant seem to find it. What catergory is it under. Thanks 0258 xD

 

 

You can find it HERE

1ST IN THE LIST :o

 

Peggy

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