Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Hey Kinder Friends,
As the school year approaches, I am starting to think about the essential items that I need to have on hand in order to be prepared for the year. Over the years I have noticed that the children that come to me need a lot of help in the area of handwriting. In the past, I have been able to get by with simple lessons and materials but over the last few years I have been faced with some serious handwriting challenges. For the past several years I have noticed a huge increase in the children that either wear or need glasses. Last year one third of my class either wore them or needed to wear them and didn't. In addition to that, I have also noticed that the children entering my classroom either cannot write yet or very little and if they do write their letter formation is poor. And I also know we have no formal curriculum for handwriting. Furthermore, this year I am faced with another challenge. Last year our prek at my school was cut and the children were sent to another school. The problem is many of the parents decided to keep their children home instead. So this year my classroom will more likely be filled with children who may not have had the benefit of a prek teacher or program.
Based on the needs of my class last year I needed several different things when considering each lesson. Some children needed large print, some needed very focused and repeated instruction and some just needed a little practice.
With the slide show I was able to focus on a particular letter each day or week and revisit a particular letter as needed. I was able to save the original slide show, delete the slides I did not need that week and keep the ones I would be working on. We focused on letter formation for about ten minutes per day and it was needed. It did not take long for the kids to catch on. The blue dot in each slide shows the proper path of motion for each letter. When I made my personal slide shows I made 3 copies of each slide so we could see the path of motion 3 times.
After the slide show focus lesson we all had plenty of opportunities to practice what we learned. We had fun with it. We went from weak handwriting to strong handwriting. I had to eventually create some large print handwriting pages for a few of my students who struggled.
Providing the larger format for practice really helped my strugglers. These would also be great in plastic sleeves with dry erase because they are large enough for the width of the marker. These pages can be found in the Handwriting Practice above.
I almost forgot my favorite part... One of my favorite teaching tools is my presentation pointer. I was able to walk around the room with it in my hand advancing the slides and pointing where needed from anywhere in the room. I found this on Amazon and would not want to start the year without it! So with a few basic tools on hand I feel ready to conquer and handwriting challenges I face and I know we will have fun doing it!