Writing Letters

I have been reading about many parents of preschool children, especially SAHM, that want to teach their child to write letters.  It got me thinking, maybe we should address that here.

First, in the classroom, make sure that the letters that you write or are posted on the wall are appropriate.  DO NOT hang up alphabet lines in which the letters are written in cursive.  I mean, it’s great for second or third grade, but on in preschools.

That being said, stay away from other alphabet lines except for standard BLOCK LETTERS.  Yeah, I know, it looks boring, but it is this simple lettering that the children need in order to be exposed and be prepared to write.

When you label your shelves, and please label your shelves with pictures AND words, make sure you print in lower case letters.  Look in a book.   Is everything written in capitals?  NO!  They need to learn to recognize and write the LOWER CASE letters first.  Introduce the capital letters on an as needed basis: first letter in proper names, names of cities and states and countries, etc…

Then we go into what order do we work on the letters?  DO NOT go in alphabetical order.  Sure, it seems to make sense.  Get them started in the order the letters go in the alphabet.  However, there is a much better method with true scientific research behind it:

start with: cadgqoes

Why?  Well, we teach the c first, then, to make an a, you make a c and a short line down.  To make a d you make a c with a big line down.  Do you see how this works?  Continue through to the s.

Next we go to the straight lined letters: xvwyzk

Again, one leads to the next.  These ones are a lot of straight lines, but they are lines in different directions and it can get complicated.  Remember children need to be able to cross pathways in their brain before they can draw a horizontal line.  Some of them have JUST mastered this task.  Letter writing is so much more complicated. than a horizontal line.

Finally, we teach the pairs:lh tf ij bp rn mu

Do I need to explain how each of these go together?  The h is an l with a bump.  The f is a t with a little hill at the top.  The b and p are the same, the line just starts at different points.  Then the r n m and u kind of all go together.

There is great proof that method is a huge success.  It is the way to teach children to learn to write.  It is the way that, when used correctly, the children just fall into the learning.  It makes it so easy for them.


Claire said...

I totally agree with teaching children to write letters in groups. I think it is also worth explicitly teaching children that ALL lower case letters start at the top, except d and e. That seems to help them to form letters correctly too.

Jenni said...

Yes, thank you for adding that. Start at the top. It's the small details that we ignore that really have a huge impact on their skills later as they advance in their writing skills.