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Writing in reception?


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Hi I'm Preschool but looking for advice from reception teachers. One of our children who started reception in September is having lots of difficulty with pencil grip, pressure and control. He is just 5 has quickly learnt his letter sounds and is generally 'bright'. However, he is very tiny, about the size of a 3yr old, with tiny wrists and hands. When he was with us he avoided nearly all activities requiring a pencil or pen and would only manage a fist grip. We considered he was not physically strong enough and did not push the pencil thing on him but made finger gym type activities available etc. His Mum is concerned that the Reception teacher is pushing him to write his letters, when he is clearly struggling and is beginning to feel frustrated at not being able to achieve in this area. She has asked me what I think? Personally...leave the pencils alone and concentrate on developing strength but it seems the teacher likes all her class to conform to her way. What has happened to the Unique Child in reception? I know targets need meeting etc but do any teachers out there work differently, have some ideas on what Mum might dare to suggest? Or do u all see writing at this stage in their school development as important? She is concerned that he will loose confidence as he is generally quite able in most other areas. Did we fail him, I ask myself?

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I'm delighted if children come into reception with a positive attitude towards mark-making, and we use all sorts of mark-making tools alongside the finger-gym activities.

It is tricky when an able child has trouble writing because of the 'spiky' assessments it leads to, but that is an adult problem not the child's!

It might help to use soft-leaded pencils that make marks with lighter pressure that the HB ones, either chunky ones or with a pencil grip if hand-writing is a huge focus for the school. Otherwise, keep on going with the finger-gym and the upper body strength, building on the super start you have given him.

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Hi, I have a child in my reception class who sounds similar although not as severe. I'm very wary of correcting him constantly and trying to get him to adapt his grip so that he can apply more pressure, it's tricky though because practise makes perfect so obviously he does need to develop his pencil grip. We have pencil party's where we practise holding a pencil with tripod grip but then put music on and pretend to draw and write in the air. Good for gross motor/shoulder/elbow movements but also working on pencil grip with no writing involved. My class animal checks that everyone is holding their pencil beautifully ready for the pencil party.

 

There are ways of doing it without giving children a negative attitude to writing, is the teacher doing any of this do you think?

 

xxx

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