Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Writing Series - F, E & D



We have encountered some frustrations recently in regards to reading and writing. Mostly, Big Sister wants to be able to read and write but doesn't have the skills yet. She has the basics of both. She can rhyme, knows her letters and their sounds, can write basic strokes and can write her name (mostly).

But when she wants to write a note to a friend or someone's name on the picture she has made them, she wants to be able to write it by herself. Apparently me writing it on a separate piece of paper for her to copy just isn't good enough. Sigh.

So, I decided that we would focus on Handwriting this summer. We would learn the basic shapes of letters and have some fun with creative writing. Join us please as we go on this adventure!

I have decided to start with upper case letters in a developmental series based mostly on the order that Handwriting without Tears uses as indicated in their Kindergartener's Teaching Guidelines (here). We are following their order for the most part. Some of the letters didn't line up with the weeks that I had already planned events so some modifications were made to the order of the letters. In addition, their program is taught much more slowly. The guidelines indicate 36 weeks of activities. Well, summer is not that long and I wanted to go through all of the letters this summer. So we combined a few sounds into each week - usually 3 (sometimes 2) letters a week. I am not going for mastery of the written letters. I am more interested in introducing the written letters, how to form them, having fun with writing, experiencing writing with different mediums and practicing during real life opportunities.



If you haven't checked out the Summer Writing Series Plan, get it here. It includes almost all the pages that you'll need.

OK, here we go!


For the letter F, we started by tracing the letters on a worksheet page (here). Please be careful of the extra links and download buttons on this site! On the link above,  I typed in "F     F     F     f     f     f" and it printed out perfectly 3 capital Fs and 3 lowercase fs. Make sure that your page is setup for landscape or you'll only get part of your worksheet!


After we had practiced tracing upper and lower case letter Fs, I decided it was time to bring out the fun. We did writing on foil! I read that occupational therapists like to have children practice writing on foil wrapped around a piece of cardboard because it helps the children learn about pressure and how hard writing can rip the foil. We used a click-pen that was not clicked so it actually wouldn't write. We also used craft sticks and closed markers. I pushed pretty hard and never ripped the foil, so I'm not sure if the OTs are using pointy objects or if my hand strength is weak?


Then we tried E!




For the letter E, we started by tracing the letters on a worksheet page (here). Again, be careful about the links on the page. The worksheets are free so there is lots of other "download this!" clickable links. You should be fine if you just click on the "make worksheet" button. I typed in "E   E   E   e   e   e" and printed it out. When you look at the print preview you may notice that one of your lower case e's is missing. In that case, just delete a space between a few of the capital Es.


It was because of the lower case e that I printed the Letter Formation Charts from Handwriting without Tears (upper case: here) (lower case: here). That little line to the side was tricky. But being able to write both the upper case and lower case E is important for Big Sister's name so we focused on it quite a bit.


After we practiced tracing the E's we made a craft stick E. You can make small capital Es using 4 sticks. Or you can use the giant E and fill it in. We did both. Since Big Sister's name starts with E, I thought it would be fun to glue the giant E together, paint it and hang it in her room. She choose to paint it yellow and black... it's not going to match her pink and purple room, but that's what she wanted.



Our final letter this week was D.

I have to be honest, we did the letter D tracing but we did not get to the writing in dirt part. We'll still do it since I think that both kids would love to write in the dirt but it just didn't happen in time to take pictures and put it in this post. Oh well!

For the letter D, we started by tracing the letters on a worksheet page (here). In case you started reading this post here, please be careful of the extra links and download buttons on this site! On the link above,  I typed in "D  D  D  d  d  d" and it printed out perfectly 3 capital Ds and 3 lowercase ds. Make sure that your page is setup for landscape or you may only get part of your worksheet!



My plan for each week is to have a fun Field Trip planned at the end that focuses on one of the letters that we have just studied. This week we went Fishing to celebrate F!

Here are a few highlights!








If you are not interested in fishing, feel free to go visit some Elephants at a zoo for E or you can Dig in the Dirt for D :)

What will you do?


Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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