Saturday, October 29, 2016

When Your Little Ones Want to Write Their Names

Wisdom tells us that young learners should be taught to write capital letters first. This is because capital letters are much easier to write than lower case – they all start at the top and they are easier to recognize and form! Thus, I follow this rule when teaching letter writing.

However, I break this rule when it comes to young learners writing their names! In my experience, if a child learns to write his/her name in upper case, much time is spent in Kindergarten trying to break this habit and convert the child to proper case. Ugh! Thus, I teach my early learners to write their names in proper case, even if developmentally it is premature. 

I have a Writing Center every day in my classroom. I vary the writing utensil (crayons, small markers, cut-off colored pencils) and I vary the size and thickness and shape of the writing paper. Here are some writing utensils I like to use …
Notice the skinny but short markers and the broken chalk and crayon. This size is much easier for small hands to control.
I teach my students to trace. This gives them experience forming strokes that might challenge them when writing their name. As part of our Morning Routine, my students complete a tracing activity. As time goes by and their skill increases, I increase the level of challenge of the tracing activities from lines to shapes to letters. Here are samples of my Morning Routine tracing activities…

Here are my students tracing their names…
Meanwhile, I provide my students with opportunities to practice spelling their names using various materials…
And opportunities to decorate the letters of their names
And sensory activities for letter writing practice
All of these activities are intended to help the students:

- Know the letters in their name
- Know the shape of each of these letters
- Be able to draw basic lines and shapes
- Be able to write their name in proper case

Here are some of my friends. They are excited to write their names!
Have fun with your students as they learn to write their names! 


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