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Which letter formation order do you feel the children find easier?

  1. long ladder letters
  2. one-armed robot letters
  3. curly caterpillar letters
  4. zig-zag letters

or

  1. curly caterpillar letters
  2. long ladder letters
  3. one-armed robot letters
  4. zig-zag letters

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That is how I was doing until last year, but then I had to work HW several days during the week. I was considering doing the long ladder letters during the 1st term, the curly caterpillars during the 1st half of the 2nd term, the one armed ones during the 2nd half and finally the zig-zags on the 3rd term. A slower and yet enjoyable pace. What do you think?

Edited by SmileyPR
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I think letter formation is actually very important and too easy to overlook making bad havits hard to break. So I think that is too slow, Im afraid. As literacy coordinator I am trying to encourage the reception team in my school to continue to teach the letter formation/ grapheme as they learn their phonics and to continue to practise this with the letter families AND concentrate on an early handwriting scheme, which although we use Nelson, there are lovely activities in the Penpals F2 manual.

I also like "Write dance " but they do not!

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Hi Susan,

 

Thanks for your orientation, which is very valuable to me. I do introduce how the letters are formed at the same time their sounds are introduced, but I do not use the hw workbooks in that order since they are not in the same order as the letter families (s, a, t vs i, l, t). Some of my children seem to be quite inmature and only become 5 in January, so that is why I was doubting about already giving too much formal handwriting and I have only planned for it on Fridays. There are so many things to work in the other areas that I would not want to give too much emphasis on adult-directed activities or workbooks. We use the Nelson Handwriting Blue Level, books 1 - 3, and I was considering introducing each letter family with activities from the Penpals FS1, which are more similar to Write Dance. I would have to have a look at the Penpals FS2. I have the big book for the children to trace over, but I am not sure if I have the manual. I will check on Monday. I did use some activities from Write Dance, but found it was a bit "disordered". This is why I was considering going back to Penpals.

Edited by SmileyPR
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I think letter formation is actually very important and too easy to overlook making bad havits hard to break. So I think that is too slow, Im afraid. As literacy coordinator I am trying to encourage the reception team in my school to continue to teach the letter formation/ grapheme as they learn their phonics and to continue to practise this with the letter families AND concentrate on an early handwriting scheme, which although we use Nelson, there are lovely activities in the Penpals F2 manual.

I also like "Write dance " but they do not!

 

 

We do just that - do large movements to match the letters as we introduce the phonics then work through the grapheme groups at different paces dependent on children's ability.

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Hi all,

 

HW is a big focus for us - need many more chn achieiving FSP5 for writing - particularly boys!!!

We use the Pen Pals Scheme and literally use it as written. This term, we are doing loads and loads of gross and fine motor skills. By the time we start long ladder family in Term 2, all chn have been 'exposed' to the letters AND have practised lots and lots of fine and gross motor skills - tweezers, different types of scissors - we've just bought the self-opening ones for chn who were struggling (quite a few), opening jam jars, threading, peg boards, sewing, balancing, activities to promote upper-body strength on climbing frame etc, mark-making with water, paint, chalks, hard-bristle brushes on floor and wall and dancing with ribbons to make different shapes. Remember, chn who can't sit still often need MORE play and more outside work in order to strengthen the muscles ready to sit up!

I think that the order of introducing letter families is very very important. It's ok to show letter formation as letters are introduced in L&S, but only the most able pupils will be able to cope with learning the letter formation of these at the rate that they are introduced. I have taught lots of 'more-able' pupils who have been slowed down in the writing process by poor letter formation. Take a few mins to observe your chn who could write their name in Nursery ... are they forming all letters correctly? I'm pretty sure that there'll be a few letters (e = c plus a bit extra, a = o plus an extra line, b = line plus a circle etc.) and most of the capital letters that will be formed incorrectly! If it's not corrected now, they'll go on through the rest of their lives doing it wrong. Was very interesting that colleagues at school also form some letters wrong - and these letters are in their name!

 

Look forward to hearing other views on this!

 

Fluffy Lamb

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