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Letter formation

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by xinciv, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    How do you teach letter formation in Reception? Our children really struggle to form correctly. We teach formation when introducing sounds in phonics and encourage the children when writing as well as using chalk boards and bottles of water outside. I am considering going back to using a pencil in an exercise book.
    Thank you
  2. We have laminated sheets of paper with letters on them. The children use whiteboard markers to trace the letters, then rub them off when they are finished. We have lots of different coloured markers and they have a lot of fun making different patterns .
    You could also use things like playdough letters, writing letters in sand but we always make sure we have examples of letters so that they can copy them correctly
  3. Sounds as if you are doing lots to encourage children to use fine and gross motor skills to experiment with writing letters, anything that encourages large movements from the shoulder (ball games, large scale painting etc) and fine movements manipulating small objects (pincers and tweezers to pick up beads, rice, cubes etc, threading and 'sewing' ) are going to help children develop the control and strength they will need.Once they have those established and you want to teach good letter formation there is really no substitute for getting them sitting at a correct height table, comfortable on a chair with both feet on the ground, paper slightly at an angle, depending on handedness, with a sharpened pencil and an adult supporting.I have actually done handwriting lessons in reception, starting on the carpet modelling a letter group then sending children to the tables and talking them through the formation as they work, strictly at the speed and as I direct them, cruising round and picking up good examples to praise, giving special pencils to children who were working really carefully. A TA would sit with the ones who needed extra support. The children worked on lined guide paper. The whole lesson aspect, and ethos of quiet work and listening was gradually introduced as a special different time of day, and use of the guide paper was introduced with just one small piece first until theynhad mastered how to use it. They loved it! Old fashioned me!
  4. Thank you for your replies. I think we do most interactive multi-sensory activities and the children have good pencil grip and fine motor control. Our problem seems to be the actual formation. I do agree that sitting with a pencil and paper at a table is the way to go. I will revert back.
  5. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    We do a short session every day either on small WBs or at tables. Lots of emphasis on modelling.
  6. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    We are doing Rainbow Writing at the moment - have A3 photocopies of each letter (from Lesley Clark - I think her name is - the originals have the letter as a picture eg elephant for e - so we talk about where we start,then up round his ears and round his trunk) - these are on the easel, chldren encouraged to use thick marker pens in bright colours to keep going over and over the letter. We teach them in the 4 families which does help distinguish b and d for example. Daily exercises for gross/fine motor - using Penpals for Writing CD rom. Lots of praise - "that's the way a teacher does it!" makes the children feel really proud and spurs them on. We have always done alot of things to promote fine motor skills and added to that the talk/modelling/really getting them to look carefully helps such alot - oh and I often make mistakes and the children are keen to point out what I've done wrong! Daily practice is so important.

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