Handwriting is slowly becoming a lost art due to the lack of emphasis in the Common Core State Standards. However there are many studies that reveal how teaching proper letter formation actually works a part of the brain that keyboarding doesn’t. Handwriting instruction has been found to contribute to success with beginning readers. Brain scan studies show that early manuscript lessons help activate and coordinate reading circuitry. You need to carve out fifteen minutes a day dedicated to actually teaching letter formation. This should not be given to a child unless you have explicitly taught it.
I would make this into a book but also copy individual sheets for follow-up practice.
I have used Diane Snowball’s method of grouping similar letters together.
Group 1-letters with straight lines- i, I, L, L, t, T, F, E, H
Group 2-letters with curves-o, O, C, C, Q, q, S, s, G, g, a, d, f, e
Group 3-letters that begin with a downward line and a circular part-B, b, P, p, D, R
Group 4-letters that begin with a downward line and then a curved part-U, u, J, j, h, m, n, r
Group 5-letters with lines that include diagonals-k, K, W, w, X, x,V, v, y,Y, Z, z, M, N, A
Each practice sheet comes with the verbal path for teaching, as well as 2-3 visuals to remind kids of the sound of the letter, as well as parts to trace and then to do on their own. I always had my kids circle their best one. It makes them a little more aware of their work when they are evaluating it.
After you have taught a letter, then sending a sheet home for additional practice is great.
Lastly, I have included a visual reminder in both color and black and white that just tells kids what to make sure they are doing when they are writing. (using correct grip, sitting up, paper position, pressing firmly, using a finger to space words, and using the lines to form letters). I would laminate and have it out during writing.
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