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Learning To Write


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Hi just for research purposes can you tell me how you remember being taught to write.Was it by copying or were you taught as we teach the children now with lots of emphasis on motor skills etc.

Thank you louise

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Hi, My memory only goes back to about age 6-7 yrs.( mid 60's) I remember enjoying copying letter formation from the blackboard. I remember specifically the letter a, every letter was joined to the next with a "tail" which had to be written very formally, very straight, like a forward slash.

I think I enjoyed it because I remember liking the pattern which was created by, for example writting aaaaaaa ....(hard to show with this font). I enjoyed writing and took great care in presenting my letters in the correct size ie the a was half the size of the straight line for a b or d ( if you know what I mean). I thought at the time that my writing was very neat and quite formal in it's presentation, which in my mind made it "posh", don't ask me why :o

 

I was only talking to my daughter the other day about the way we were taught to write, she was taught (mid 80's) a rather more fancy cursive style with a curvy f and g.

 

It does seem that the original style and method that was taught sticks in the memory. However, my handwriting now is very less formal than when I was taught, I think this is because I have used flip charts and whiteboards as a tutor and my writing is more in the style of "print" rather than joined up. It is legible but if I write a long essay it tends to become large and untidy. That's why I stick to the computor. xD

 

Good luck with your research.

 

Peggy

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I too remember copying off blackboard and letters having to be formed with correct amount above and below line as well as joined together. (Again mid 60s)

 

Curiously my writing always looked identical to my mothers and I never remember her trying to teach me to write. In fact we often had problems working out who had written what!

 

And my son, taught late 80's, with yet a different approach of 'joined-up' from the very start at 4 (he never was taught to print seperate letters) now has his writing very similar to mine just a couple of letters formed differently, and i definitely had nothing to do with this as he was a very stubborn independant minded child!!! (You know the ones - I can do on my own...go away)

 

Inge

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I started school at age 4 in 1967 and can remember copying teacher's writing. We all sat together with teacher at the front and copied what she was writing - and I loved it!!! We didn't join our letters, however my sons were taught to join from the outset.

We were taught "proper" writing in the juniors and again we all sat facing the board and copied lines of writng, old fashioned cursive writing that had all of the loops and swirls. I still write like that now!!

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To be brutally honest, I cannot remember being taught to write, as I also can't remember being taught to read !! Blame it on my extreme age - I believe I sat next to Methuselah (!! Joke ??)

 

However, I do remember being taught joined up, and experimenting with different slants - backwards -illegible!, Forwards - messy!, thus - straight up and down - boring but readable.

 

Not much help, but hey...

 

Sue :)

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Hi

 

Can't remember much about learning to write, other than having my hand tapped with a ruler frequently by the headteacher for holding my pencil incorrectly. Remember it was quite formal- all of us sat at tables, book at correct angle. This was in infant school mid 70' s. My favourite memory was of those breakthrough folders (little words and the green stand)and thinking that because was such a lovely, important word!!!!!!!!!!

Least favourite memory of reading was those really awful reading cards increasing in difficulty that you had to read individually to the teacher at her desk. Remember the colours brown, pink, turquiose!!!!!

 

We did find my partners book from when he was in reception (1973). He was copy writing long sentences in a book and drawing a picture to with his caption. The language in the sentences seems very adult for a 4/ 5 year old. Later in the book (Summer term) he is writing his own sentences- cvered in red pen and comments such as keep your sentence straight.

 

love Lisa

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Later in the book (Summer term) he is writing his own sentences- cvered in red pen and comments such as keep your sentence straight.

44336[/snapback]

 

Blimey!!!

As with others, I have scant memories of learning to write but I do recall practising cursive writing at junior school by copying from the CHALK board (those were the days!!) :o

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Hi

 

Sounds like a child prodigy (I know otherwise!!!). Have to say the sentences that he was writing independently were almost the same as those that he wrote the rest of the year!! Along the lines of "I went to .... to play with...." My favorite page has that type of sentence with a carefully drawn picture which he has then coloured over in big jagged black lines (oh the despair)

 

love Lisa

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Gosh, what a tricky question asked initially.

 

I don't remember being taught either to read or to write. I remember (aged five - so that would have been 1960) writing "the Queen rode on a howdah" in my news book! And I remember the picture I drew of the elephant bearing our monarch. That must have been the year when the Queen made a state visit to India! I kept my news book in a plastic bag (we had damp in the classroom) together with my "Janet and John" reader and my sums book. I also remember, about the same time, telling my mum, jokingly, how to spell "toilet" - "toy"+"let"="toilet". She did not think it amusing. I also remember, later that school year, having moved house and changed schools, showing another child that it was not a disaster that she had written an "a" instead of a "d". I showed her how to change an "a" to a "d" (we didn't have erasers).

 

My eldest child mastered writing very early (she was an early reader). At age just two she drew a more than vaguely recognisable rabbit, so she clearly had well-developed fine-motor skills. By age three, she "signed" all her pictures with her name (correct letter formation, because I'd shown her how). At age four and a half (after one term, part-time at school) she wrote, unaided, "Roodolph The Red nosed Rain deer Had a veruy shiny Nose" (some of this was in joined-up writing). I know this because the picture (dated December 1991) is still on my kitchen wall. My experience with her was that she had good fine motor skills (developed through play at home), had a love of the written word (she enjoyed books from when she was four months old!) and had a "use for writing". I'm absolutely certain that her desire to write came from her enjoyment of books, of reading, of having fun with words. At age five and a bit, she started writing for "pure pleasure" - diaries, convoluted stories, letters. All of these I have kept.

 

I think, from my experience, that it is having a use for writing that matters most. It does seem that writing just happens when a child has a need for it and has the necessary skills for it are there.

 

Diane

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All I can remember is of filling my book with lines of patterns. zigzags, loops and curves, but when I actually wrote is lost to the mists of time. We had water play in our classroom and a sand pit outside. I think we did loads of painting too and do you remember the glue? Brown liquid stuff from a bottle with a red speader on the lid, but I might just be remembering the good bits. In infants we sat in small groups of mixed ability, I know this because my friends were always ahead of me on the colour cards. I actually had fun (I think) :D

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no Sue dont feel stupid, it was late!! Think it proves punctuation matters never mind the learning to write! :o

 

I only remember learning to write cursive---Marion Richards style---and graduating to an Osmiroid fountain pen when I could do it "properly".

I also remember panicking when I was told in top infants that we would have to write a story the next day.

 

I dont really remember learning to read although I do know my mum taught me at home as I was struggling with word lists at school and not making progress. I also know that phonics made no sense to me so I did not read or write phonetically.

 

My own son didnt master the differences between capitals and small letters until he was taught to join. I think that was something to do with being computer literate from an early age----capitals on keyboard and little letters on screen so why does it make any difference??? he was writing from the moment he could read semi fluently so I am sure that the reading and writing process are bound together, you need to be able to read what you have written and have some visual memory of letters shapes or whole words. The physical process of writing is of course also important and if that can be made automatic so that the child can think of the content (the what) rather the process (the how) then writing becomes easier and more productive. Good verbal language skills, to know what to write also helps!

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Thank you so much everyone. I didn't think i would get so many replies.So do you think then that in todays climate of teaching that copying is as important to learning to write, or doyou think that we should emphasise on process rather than outcome of writing?

 

 

Love Louise

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Thank you so much everyone. I didn't think i would get so many replies.So do you think then that in todays climate of teaching that copying is as important to learning to write, or doyou think that we should emphasise on process rather than outcome of writing?

Love Louise

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I think it depends on the learner. Like everything else "educational" children are individuals and have different styles of learning across different subjects. Their is a physical skill to writing so these need to be in place before attempting writing-otherwise frustration will pervail. I agree with Diane that it needs to have a purpose, within the childs context and not an adults, I also agree with susan that good verbal language skills are essential. I also think that children need to have good imaginations. A child could be an "expert" writer, know all his/her alphabet- upper and lower case, have good letter formation, know the "name" and phonetic sound of each letter etc etc, but if they haven't developed understanding of why we need to write ( not just because mum or teacher say's we have to) then what is the point. I also believe that the development of Imagination and creative skills are important so that when they are faced with the beginning of the sentence " Once upon a time.........." and a blank sheet, they are able to write a story.

I think we should have less focus on "writing" and more focus on all the other physical, intellectual, creative, verbal skills whilst children are under 7 yrs. I say start teaching writing when they are 6 or 7, like the Europeans.

I do think that hearing and listening to good stories is a sound foundation to verbal, listening, creative, imagination and eventually writing skills.

 

How long into the future will we need "writing" skills, everything will be through visual or verbal communication...and in many, many decades we may even develop telepathic skills...now there's a thought.

 

Peggy

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Providing the physical skills are in place or being developed, there can be a place for copy writing-for children to copy what the teacher / adult has scribed for them and is meaningful. There is a place for the adult to model writing skills for the children and for the children to have opportunities to write for themselves, as we all know! Some children find "have a go" writing tasks difficult and I am sure that this impeedes their progress. Marking needs to be sensitevely approached--the pages of red corrections can be very demoralising!

 

Oh and Ive just remembered, I used to love finger painting at an easel so presumably I was being given opportunities to develop my fine motor skills and we used to do a lot of finger rhymes!

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