As I had mentioned in the forecast for week 5 the children have moved a step further in their learning journey, now they started writing their letters as well as their numbers.
At this stage besides putting the letters into the jolly phonic groups so the children will eventually find it easier to read we also categorize them into groups according to the way they are written. We have 4 so called writing groups: the ladder letters, the caterpillar letters, the one-armed robot letters, and last but not least the zig zag monster letters.
We started off with letter t from the first group of jolly phonics. In class we call this a ladder letter because when we start to write it we always start from the top and go straight down.
We always start with some revision of the work done with this letters during term 1 mainly song and rhyme. At this point however we stress on words which start with this letter as well as its formation. I must say I was very pleased with the way most children wrote their letter t. Here is how our writing pages look like.
Writing letter t
It is very important that the proper steps are used for writing t. The children have to say the steps that are in the rhyme or use language which is close to this rhyme, whilst writing.
- I always mention our two friendly robots WALT and WILF who help us in this regard. The formation is written in the snapshot of the pages above.
- When “going down” we try to write straight not curve the line.
- We have to lift the pencil to “cut off” “go across.”
- When doing the across part we cannot write it at the bottom or in the middle. It has to be close to the top.
Other important points
- I always remind the children that we start writing from the line at the top left and proceed to the right side, than we go down to the next line and start from the left hand side at the very edge. Usually whilst explaining I physically show them on paper as they might not know right from left. Also children at this age have a tendency to just pick a box and fill it in and then choose another at random.
- Sometimes the amount of boxes in a page may be overwhelming for some children until they get used to it. There are a couple of things you can do to help them.
- One of them is to cover the page with a blank paper leaving only the row the child is working on. Encouragement after each line is finished is a must.
- You can put a smiley face at the start of the line before the child starts writing in that row as an indicator. With some children it works better if you put the smiley face of any other little drawing after they finish the row of letters as a reward.