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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>4 Year Olds Writing
SunflowerMama 12:08 PM 01-20-2011
So based on an earlier thread I gave my parents a little evaluation to complete. Everything came back great but 2 of the parents (friends) both mentioned they'd like to see more work on writing letters and numbers (upper, lower case, etc.).

I use Mother Goose so we do tracing of letters and I have the kids that can write their names do so on their work but I don't do worksheets or anything like that to enourage writing skills. I'm more of the mindset that by giving them lots of opportunity for free art and drawing time eventually those skills will come with a little bit of direction. I also do a lot of fine motor activities to help with development (beading, small puzzle pieces, drawing shapes, etc.). I know all kids develop at their own rate so I just give them opportunity to practice on blank paper if they like and if they ask for help I'll give it but other than that I just supply the activities and encourage along the way. My main goal was to having them writing their names before kindergarten and would be overly happy for anything beyond that.

Should I be doing more with them to develop their writing??
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DCMomOf3 12:12 PM 01-20-2011
If your parents are asking, it wouldn't hurt to add 5 more minutes a day to it. I made dry-erase cards with their names on it, and have them trace them a few times in the morning. and they have writing paper pads that have a-z pages and numbers. I copy the letter of the week from there and have them practice those as well. I do think it just comes with practice, and it can't hurt to help them develop that skill at 4.
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SunflowerMama 12:21 PM 01-20-2011
Originally Posted by DCMomOf3:
If your parents are asking, it wouldn't hurt to add 5 more minutes a day to it. I made dry-erase cards with their names on it, and have them trace them a few times in the morning. and they have writing paper pads that have a-z pages and numbers. I copy the letter of the week from there and have them practice those as well. I do think it just comes with practice, and it can't hurt to help them develop that skill at 4.
Where did you get the writing paper pads with a-z pages/numbers? I'd love to get each of the older kids one and we could add work in these daily to our schedule. And are the dry erase pads just little dry erase boards and you write their name and then have them trace over it a few times each day?
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momatheart 12:27 PM 01-20-2011
You can just write with a highlighter their name or letters and have them trace the letters.

Have them put their names on EVERYTHING they do.

When writting their names do not write it in all caps. Write it the correct way because kindergarten teachers say that children really struggle when in kindergarten to write their names correctly.
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DCMomOf3 12:27 PM 01-20-2011
I can find them at Walmart by the construction paper packs.

For the dry erase cards I just laminated some table top name plates that i got in the Target dollar section last summer. They are lined with the dots in the middle so the kids can practice doing the correct letter sizing. you could easily make your own though. I learned that white boards they wipe too easily.


http://www.amazon.com/Crayola-Beginn...5559299&sr=8-1
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MG&Lsmom 12:30 PM 01-20-2011
My mom got my DDs these for Christmas. You can use any 8x11 sheet of paper as the background. It goes behind the writing surface.

http://www.crayola.com/products/spla...tivity_center/

I've been using them for tracing shapes, letters, and even for coloring. I have a lot of leftover dry erase markers from my teaching days and they all work. I give them a dry wash cloth to wipe it off. The eraser that comes with it is not very good.
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DCMomOf3 12:37 PM 01-20-2011
Originally Posted by MG&Lsmom:
My mom got my DDs these for Christmas. You can use any 8x11 sheet of paper as the background. It goes behind the writing surface.

http://www.crayola.com/products/spla...tivity_center/

I've been using them for tracing shapes, letters, and even for coloring. I have a lot of leftover dry erase markers from my teaching days and they all work. I give them a dry wash cloth to wipe it off. The eraser that comes with it is not very good.
mismatched socks work too.
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AnythingsPossible 12:45 PM 01-20-2011
I put together a couple of 3 ring binders with the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper that I just printed out on the computer, slip the paper into a clear page protector and give them dry erase markers to trace the letter.

I also print out pages with their names, or any other words they are interested in. They always want to learn how to spell mom, dad, and such. You can also put an area under the letter or word like they do on handwriting worksheets so they can practice on their own, or just let them write wherever they want on the page.

I leave these on the table so they can use them whenever they feel like practicing.
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MissAnn 05:55 PM 01-20-2011
For writing numbers this is what I do....
straight line 1 is fun
Around the block on the choo choo track is 2222-2222 (try to sound like a train)
Around the tree and around the tree, this is how we make a three
Down and over and down some more, this is how we make a 4
Down and around, put a hat on the top and look who we found....a fat old 5!
Around the hoop, the 6 forms a loop
Across the sky and down from heaven....this is how we make a 7
Make an S but don't you wait....come on up and make an 8
A circle and a line, this is how we make a 9
1 and 0 are very best friends, they go everywhere together and their name is 10


For letters....first I hold their hand lightly to write letters......or to do writing prompts. As they learn, I start talking them through the letters....like this.....
e: go straight across then run around the bush
c: make a 1/2 soccer ball
r: make a line down like the rain then make a rainbow


I just make it up as i go.....but whatever I make up.....I say it the same way every time.
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Blackcat31 06:13 AM 01-21-2011
Originally Posted by kareng:
For writing numbers this is what I do....
straight line 1 is fun
Around the block on the choo choo track is 2222-2222 (try to sound like a train)
Around the tree and around the tree, this is how we make a three
Down and over and down some more, this is how we make a 4
Down and around, put a hat on the top and look who we found....a fat old 5!
Around the hoop, the 6 forms a loop
Across the sky and down from heaven....this is how we make a 7
Make an S but don't you wait....come on up and make an 8
A circle and a line, this is how we make a 9
1 and 0 are very best friends, they go everywhere together and their name is 10


For letters....first I hold their hand lightly to write letters......or to do writing prompts. As they learn, I start talking them through the letters....like this.....
e: go straight across then run around the bush
c: make a 1/2 soccer ball
r: make a line down like the rain then make a rainbow


I just make it up as i go.....but whatever I make up.....I say it the same way every time.
Here are some poems for making letters
http://www.littlegiraffes.com/abc_le...tionpoems.html
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MG&Lsmom 06:24 AM 01-21-2011
Handwriting without Tears also has some free printables on their website. Enough that you could probably do most of the program for free.

http://www.hwtears.com/parents/parentextras
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SilverSabre25 06:29 AM 01-21-2011
You could also look into the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum and materials. Handwriting Without Tears

haha, oops, cross-posted with MG&LsMom!

Also, check on Craigslist for Handwriting Without Tears materials--it's a popular homeschool curriculum. I checked and found a couple sets of materials for $20 and for $10. One for $50.
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Crystal 07:18 AM 01-21-2011
I don't use worksheets/tracers, but I do know some children need it. We practice Emergent Writing.

This is a great book that really explains the process of how children learn to write. I highly recommend it:

http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Presch...5625396&sr=1-1
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