As with any other lesson in our classrooms, handwriting and penmanship needs to get explicit lessons, repeated practice and guaranteed consistency. I have talked about some early writing centers before. But in this post, I’ll be sharing easy to use handwriting tips with you.
Discuss the HOW
All good early lessons start with a song. Sing about it. and act it out at every chance.
The letters I write are made three ways, made three ways, made three ways.
The letters I write are made three ways, helps me write clearly.
We practice singing about configuration with our song, our hands, our bodies, and our anchors charts. We can also sort the letters by tall, short, and hanging.
We make it gross motor to imprint the motions before we move to fine motor. Students need to know HOW to make the letters while they are making the letters.
Discuss the WHY
Why is handwriting important?
There are so many reasons we should write.
Helping students understand WHY people write can provide them with ideas for writing.
- We write to tell about something.
- We write to teach something.
- We write to inform about something.
- We write to persuade our audience.
- We write to entertain.
- We write to create.
Make them Practice
Handwriting lessons and penmanship directions are ongoing.
Students who are just learning need to be reminded about writing each letter stroke-by-stroke, day-after-day in a consistent fashion.
Handwriting strokes are consistent and always anchored in routine.
The “t” is always “tall stick down, across in the middle.”
Every time we write it, every time we discuss it, every time we see it…we see “tall stick down, across in the middle.”
When the students are writing the letters independently, they need your voice and your instruction to echo in their writing, “tall stick down, across in the middle.”
We also need to make sure practice isn’t just during a prescribed handwriting time. They need to practice in whole group, small group, independent practice, center time, journal time, math time, science time, social studies time, and any other part of the day that requires writing…students need to use consistent handwriting techniques. If they forget to use it in their writing, ask them to tell you the strokes before you send them off to correct it.
On a side note, as a former third grade teacher who had to teach cursive handwriting, those students who knew how to print correctly, had an easier time learning to write in cursive.
Some products that help handwriting are: