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I started teaching phonics with my class this week and alongside learning the sounds we also teach letter formation. Although I had noticed it before, starting phonics has really hightened my awareness that many of my children are just not ready for letter formation yet. I have children who are grasping their pencil right at the top and others who don't even look like they have done any mark making before. I have decided that I am not going to worry too much about writing yet but just concentrate on learning the sounds but I would like some suggestions of good activities to develop these skills. I know about using things like cornflour etc but is there anything else? Are there any good pre writing sheets or activites that will motivate them.

 

The good thing ( i THINK!) is I am being observed next week in phonics and it will be good that a member of SMT will actually see where our children actually start from and then maybe they will appreciate how hard we work with them and how much progress they make by the end of the year!

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During phonics we do writing in the air getting the children to do really big letters getting smaller to writing on their hand and even on their fingernail (using their finger rather than a pen) SMT seem to love this as you have all children involved and when you ask them to write the letter large they can stand up and see how big they can make it which the children really seem to love aswell

You could get them writing with chalk thick/thin pens highlighters paint glue mud etc

Also playdough is great for strengthening hand muscles

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It is good practise to use the model---look, say, write so I would still attempt to do some letter formation if you are in F2 but you could concentrate on air writing etc and tracing on the carpet etc to help embed the letter form.

 

We use rainbow writing and give the children a largish letter outline with the starting point clearly marked and work with them in groups to trace within the shape and then use coloured pencils.

 

This does not mean that they do not do all the other handwriting development type activities!l

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Thanks everybody we do do 'magic' finger in the air writing aswell before we put pen to whiteboard. I think I should do lots of small group activites to develop their skills and still get the whiteboards out for those that are ready.

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Thanks everybody we do do 'magic' finger in the air writing aswell before we put pen to whiteboard. I think I should do lots of small group activites to develop their skills and still get the whiteboards out for those that are ready.

 

 

One of Alistair's ideas that works really well is to use light sabres or twinkly fairy wands to write the letters in the air using both arms outstretched (crossing mid line )

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One of Alistair's ideas that works really well is to use light sabres or twinkly fairy wands to write the letters in the air using both arms outstretched (crossing mid line )

 

 

Gosh, that wold be sure to give me a headache, big time-- But Ive often thought we needed sparklers!

 

I often use both hands together though with a pointy finger to encourage crossing the midline and it does seem easier for the children to make the correct sequence of movements.

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What do you mean, crossing the midline? I've never heard this term before and all I can think is that it might be to do with the tails on letters going below the line?

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my daughter has been told her son's setting has 'serious concerns' about his abilities, because he cannot yet draw a square, rectangle, circle or star, 'even if they give him templates to draw round'. He was three last week...................as I regard myself as a lady, i won't tell you what i suggested she tell the staff at this particular setting!

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Its all about brain based learning!

 

Crossing the midline is all about connecting the left and right hand sides of the brain. The midline is roughly speaking the line that would cut you in half from top to bottom and by using both hands together as opposed to just one the shape is more easily drawn across this line rather than at the side if using one hand.

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my daughter has been told her son's setting has 'serious concerns' about his abilities, because he cannot yet draw a square, rectangle, circle or star, 'even if they give him templates to draw round'. He was three last week...................as I regard myself as a lady, i won't tell you what i suggested she tell the staff at this particular setting!

 

 

Oh dear! :o

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my daughter has been told her son's setting has 'serious concerns' about his abilities, because he cannot yet draw a square, rectangle, circle or star, 'even if they give him templates to draw round'. He was three last week...................as I regard myself as a lady, i won't tell you what i suggested she tell the staff at this particular setting!

 

At 3 years of age? Are they nuts? :o

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Gosh, that wold be sure to give me a headache, big time-- But Ive often thought we needed sparklers!

 

I often use both hands together though with a pointy finger to encourage crossing the midline and it does seem easier for the children to make the correct sequence of movements.

 

Take out the batteries :o

 

although Alistair and a sparkly fairy wand is a sight worth seeing xD

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my daughter has been told her son's setting has 'serious concerns' about his abilities, because he cannot yet draw a square, rectangle, circle or star, 'even if they give him templates to draw round'. He was three last week...................as I regard myself as a lady, i won't tell you what i suggested she tell the staff at this particular setting!

Beggars belief :o

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I started teaching phonics with my class this week and alongside learning the sounds we also teach letter formation. Although I had noticed it before, starting phonics has really hightened my awareness that many of my children are just not ready for letter formation yet. I have children who are grasping their pencil right at the top and others who don't even look like they have done any mark making before. I have decided that I am not going to worry too much about writing yet but just concentrate on learning the sounds but I would like some suggestions of good activities to develop these skills. I know about using things like cornflour etc but is there anything else? Are there any good pre writing sheets or activites that will motivate them.

 

The good thing ( i THINK!) is I am being observed next week in phonics and it will be good that a member of SMT will actually see where our children actually start from and then maybe they will appreciate how hard we work with them and how much progress they make by the end of the year!

 

Don't forget that fine motor activities will also be crucial, as well as mark making activities, i.e. things like threading and placing pegs on boards. Often it's an inability to use the finger muscles in the right way, as much as it is an inability to make the letter shapes. From what you say about their holding the pencils properly, that would seem to be the case. Do you have pencil grips for them, these can really help too?

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Goodness I have 5 year olds in my class who can't do that. What would the staff be recommending for them, the SEN register? Occupation health appointments? As far as I'm concerned this is just them being typical boys!

 

Its all about brain based learning!

 

Crossing the midline is all about connecting the left and right hand sides of the brain. The midline is roughly speaking the line that would cut you in half from top to bottom and by using both hands together as opposed to just one the shape is more easily drawn across this line rather than at the side if using one hand.

 

 

Ah so when you say both hands together you mean you actually join the hands together and draw just one outline of the letter? I was thinking of drawing seperate letters with each hand but at the same time and thought it sounded a little strange.

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