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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

EASY Letter Formation Activity

 
Jeannie over at Kindergarten Lifestyle is having a 'Letter Linky' with many wonderful ideas for helping students with letter identification and letter formation being linked up.
 
So here is one of my ideas that I started this year for my daughter here at home, but will take back to the classroom when my leave runs out (only a few more weeks...eek!)
 
My daughter L-O-V-E-S books of all types, but especially the books we make together. I turn anything and everything into a book for her. I used to cut out pictures of babies faces from catalogues and glue them in a scrap book for her when she was just a baby - she loved looking at other babies faces, and would squeal with delight as we looked through the scrapbooks together. I have stapled her drawings together to make books, and I scribe a story to go along with the pictures. One of her favourites is looking through photo albums. I made many for her as a toddler, with photos of family members and names written on each page. It helped her learn all the family names and develop her language and speech.
 
Recently, I combined some cheap mini photo albums from the dollar shop with flashcards to create write-n-wipe books for her.
 
I love me some write-n-wipe activities!
 
For the uninitiated, write-n-wipe activities see your students using dry erase markers to trace or write on laminated or plastic covered cards. They can then be wiped clean and used again.
 
Despite being LOADS of fun, write-n-wipe cards are great for students that may be struggling to connect with writing in meaningful ways. I never used to allow 'markers' in my kindergarten classroom very much. I have to admit, I am a little 'old school' with many things and liked to see my students using crayons and chublets for term 1 and then move on to pencils to learn writing skills. A few years into my teaching career, and a very special and wonderful colleague, who is beyond brilliant, told me in no uncertain terms, to get over my silly rules and let the marker in to classroom! She explained that using markers was particularly important for struggling students, as little pressure had to be exerted to achieve a good line. Almost 100% of their attention could then be left to focus on the actual formation of the letter, the directionality, shape and slope of the lines. For these students, pencils and crayons can inhibit their learning potential.
 
Well let me just say, I have not looked back. Markers are now my friends! It is more expensive, but well worth the extra few dollars. I throw a set of whiteboard markers into my grocery trolley every couple of weeks to replenish my classroom supply. I love the sort that have a little felt eraser on the top of the lid - ready for the wiping.
 
I do only use markers for certain activities in the classroom, and we have 'pencil only' workbooks, as I have to say... markers in books.....not my thing ;)
 
So... the write-n-wipe books....
 
Start with a little photo album..
 
 
Then, get all those boxes of commercially produced flashcards that you have lying around and have NEVER used (I know you have them too!)
 
 
Then, slide a card into each album pouch..
 
This set that I used had great 'blackline' pictures on the back of each card... If you don't have this on your cards, the coloured side will be just fine... students can trace over the coloured letter or number just as well.
 
 
 
Now... your students can write-n-wipe each page.
 
Not only can you make use of all those flashcards (seriously I have 3 boxes full, and almost tossed them in the recycling bin last year) but by keeping the cards in an album, they will be all nice and tidy, easily transported and require very little set up and pack away effort!
 
 
We do offer a printable letter formation write-n-wipe cards set on TpT and at our website. These ones can be printed, cut and laminated.
 
 
Speaking of laminating... I have a massive but fun filled few days ahead of me.. I have started printed and making ALL the wonderful resources that have linked up to our Little Friendly Ghosts/Spooky linky. I ran out of toner in my printer, but hopefully I can have them finished by the weekend, so I can showcase a few of them here on my blog. It has been wonderful to see all the different resources, and as I go through and visit each store, I am following and learning more about my fellow sellers on TpT and their amazing creativity. Many of the resources are free, so don't miss out, and if you want to join in, please email me and I will send you the graphics!
 


3 comments:

Mrs. Parker said...

Great advice about teaching writing. I discovered this summer that my son was motivated to learn how to form letters if he used a marker. That tool changed his attitude about a needed skill. I am glad I did that. I will be stocking up on photo books and flash cards.

Becca B said...

This is a fabulous idea! Great for math fact flash cards, too!
As a mom, I have used these little photo albums to keep my son's Valentine cards from his classmates. He loved them, but they were strewn all over the house and driving me crazy. Now he has his own little memory book with Valentines and stickers.
I'll have to see what other uses I can come up with, now that you've got me thinking...:)

Indiana said...

What a great idea. I have a student in my grade who needs lots of extra support. At times it's been hard to trying to find activities he can do independently. I seem to have a thing for these cards so it will be good to use them.
Thanks for sharing.