Did you have a thundering Thursday? Today my class was AMAZING! I know I had a good group hidden in there somewhere. I am finally clawing and prying and pulling it out. 11 days in and it’s going to be a great year! WE CAN DO THIS!
I got great news today! I found out that my sustaining grant from Pets In The Classroom was approved!! YAY! Now Pinky The Wonder Hamster can get a new ball and new cage liner because she DESPISES the paper stuff I use now. DESPISES it so much she tries to gnaw her way out every day! If you have ever wanted a classroom pet, you should apply for a grant! So easy and you know in two weeks if you’re approved!
Today I am going to share a few techniques that I have found helpful for handwriting. I will admit that I am the worst (yes, the worst…I mean, everyone get in line behind me!) at teaching handwriting. I do not teach it explicitly like I should. At the beginning of the year, I make a promise to myself to explicitly teach each letter. Ah, the best laid plans! Of course by November, I have forgotten my grand promise and relying on handwriting sheets to teach. REALLY?!?! Come on Greg. You know better. Get it together. OK, now that I’ve lectured myself…and yes, I feel dejected because I disappointed myself.
I always start off each year with these amazing chalkboards that my daddy made for me. He made these my first year in Kindergarten. My mommy got the wood from the company she was working for and dad cut them in pieces and sanded them down. Then they were painted with chalkboard paint. Today we used them for the first time this year. I am very proud of how explicitly I taught the letters A-F today. I model how I write the letters one at a time. Does anyone have any great letter formation poems?? I would love to have some great ones! After I model the letter, we do it together. One line at a time. Then the class does the letter by themselves as I monitor and assist those who need extra help. I love this system because I can get a good idea of which letters we need extra focus on and who is going to need a lot of help with handwriting. And let’s be honest folks, the teacher is one of those who is in need of intensive handwriting therapy. I have the WORST teacher handwriting ever. EVER! Research also says that the more friction the kids experience in their handwriting, the better the handwriting is. They need to feel that friction as they form the letters to build their muscle memory. The kids love the chalkboards and I love how effective they are! And they’re cheap! Teachers HEART cheap!
And we get messy!! We LOVE getting messy! I love that there is a cloud of chalk dust lingering in my room after we finish using our chalkboards! In my humble opinion, a mess=great learning!
The second technique that I use for handwriting is felt markers or felt tip pens. I use these makers or pens because of the friction they create. Again I want to build muscle memory! We use the felt tip pins with the brownish handwriting paper a lot of the time because it causes even more friction! I have black, orange, yellow and purple felt tip markers that were funded through a Donor’s Choose project. The kids love using the markers which keeps them engaged with their handwriting!
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