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Monday, September 16, 2013

How do you know when your students are ready to write?

How do you know when your students are ready to write?
Teachers are in such a hurry to have students begin writing their names that they forget to develop their fine and small motor skills.
When your students write lines, check to see if their lines are firm and dark or light and wiggly.
If they are firm and dark, your students are ready to begin writing; but if they are light and wiggly and it seems as though they lack control, they need more time.
You can even look as the way they grasp their pencil to determine this also.
The student’s picture below shows very good fine and small motor control, although the student is three years old, based on her coloring and line control, she would be ready to begin writing. Notice the lines on the outside of the picture; you can see a lowercase t and an uppercase E and F, the student has also demonstrated an interest in writing.
                                                          

I have provided few activities that you can use in your classroom to help your students develop their fine and small motor development.
Put cotton balls in one tub in your Sensory Center with a pair of thongs, have students pick up the cotton balls using the thongs to transfer the cotton balls from one tub to the other.  (Use different size cotton balls.)
Give students pieces of newspaper and have them tear it, you can either have them tear out pictures or just have a table for tearing paper.  After they have torn up the paper, use the pieces to make a newspaper collage.
Have students make stuff shapes; staple the outer part of the shape then have students crumble up newspaper to stuff inside the shapes. Make sure you put tap on the staples so the students won’t get poked.
Your Manipulative Center is full of items that will also help your students develop these skills.
Once you think your students are ready to write, try giving them a tracing sheet to see if their motor control has gotten better, I try to give students sheets with lines that represent the letters they will be writing. I have provided a few examples below.

If you prefer not to use tracing sheet like these, just observe their coloring activities; these will also demonstrate their fine and small motor development.

Above all, don’t push them into something that they are not ready for.

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