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  #1  
Old 01-20-2011, 12:08 PM
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Default 4 Year Olds Writing

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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Old 01-20-2011, 12:12 PM
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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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Old 01-20-2011, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DCMomOf3 View Post
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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Old 01-20-2011, 12:27 PM
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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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Old 01-20-2011, 12:27 PM
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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

Last edited by DCMomOf3; 01-20-2011 at 12:51 PM. Reason: added link/picture
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2011, 12:30 PM
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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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Old 01-20-2011, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MG&Lsmom View Post
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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Old 01-20-2011, 12:45 PM
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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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Old 01-20-2011, 01:37 PM
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We also use MGT. I too had some parents tell me that they wanted to see more worksheets that promoted writing. I explained to them that at this age worksheets were not fun and would not teach them anything.

You are correct that just giving them a crayon or writing tool of any kind will help them learn control and in time they will be able to use the tool better to accomplish writing letters and numbers. I used to attach a little note to their drawings that said: for now these drawings look like a lot of lines and circles, but one day they will become letters and numbers.....


To make the parents happy, I started printing out reproducible from a website and giving them to the kids 2 times a week. I tell the parents that I will not force it and if they choose not to do it then they can take it home to do with mom and dad. Guess what always goes home with mom and dad....yup the worksheets....

I also teach zoo-phonics, fantastic program and the kids love it. Movement in everything you do with zoo phonics..... The parents were amazed by it that they kind of stopped bugging about the writing their names and worksheets.
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:43 PM
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We work on writing our letters (upper and lower case) on lined writing paper as well. I also have a large square tupperware dish half filled with salt to trace the letters with their fingers. They are really eager to do their letter sheets with the understanding that they can trace in salt afterwards!
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:02 PM
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If you are teaching letters, please use the correct format like in these worksheets. (This is a great site BTW)
http://www.first-school.ws/t/alpha1/a.htm

http://www.first-school.ws/theme/alphabetp2.htm#a

Mainly top to bottom - letter K is especially difficult for PreSchoolers.
http://www.first-school.ws/t/alpha1/k.htm

Also proper hold of a pencil/crayon/marker is critical. http://www.drawyourworld.com/grip.html

A bit of colored sand in a jelly roll cookie pan is fun to draw letters in as well.

It irks me a bit when parents depend on care givers to do everything though. Parents should at least teach their children to write their first name with the first letter being capital and the rest lower case.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvt77 View Post
I also teach zoo-phonics, fantastic program and the kids love it. Movement in everything you do with zoo phonics..... The parents were amazed by it that they kind of stopped bugging about the writing their names and worksheets.
I just checked out zoo-phonics and it looks great! Did you get the set online or used from someone. It looks a little pricey...$300 for the preschool starter set.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:12 PM
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Well there is a link that sends you to a parent site...its actually the home kit part of zoo phonics. The sets are a little smaller and not as expensive.
At first I gagged at the price, but when I saw the results, I actually could not put a price on it..... go to the zoo phonics website and click on parents, it will redirect you to another zoo phonics website that is meant for parents.

I am attending a workshop this spring and am hoping to be able to teach the full program by fall.
My DCK love zoo phonics.....I sound like an infomercial
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:55 PM
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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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Old 01-21-2011, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaddidle Care View Post
It irks me a bit when parents depend on care givers to do everything though. Parents should at least teach their children to write their first name with the first letter being capital and the rest lower case.

I agree too. I teach soccer to 3 and 4 yr olds and I'm shocked at the amount of kids who can't even tell you what letter their name starts with. Another thing is that why should I have to do everything, why can't parents sit at night for 10 min. and teach their children. My dd is in grade 1, every night we sit and read in her book that she brings home from school, its my responsibility not someone elses.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kareng View Post
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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Old 01-21-2011, 06:24 AM
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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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Old 01-21-2011, 06:29 AM
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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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Old 01-21-2011, 07:18 AM
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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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Old 01-21-2011, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnythingsPossible View Post
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 do this too except no binder. I work about 10 minutes a day 3 days a week for some alphabet activities but I don't really emphasize it. I explaion to the parents that I run a developmental program vs a scholastic one.
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