I noticed that students enjoyed writing their names but often used incorrect letter formation when they wrote the letters. I didn’t want them to develop the habit of writing the letters incorrectly.
What we did:
I wrote each child’s name on a large piece of paper. So far our class has learned how to write about half the letters, but not all. If a child’s name included a letter such as “e” that we haven’t yet learned, I wrote the letter in marker. I wrote the other letters in pencil.
I got some plates of finger paint and a bunch of paper towels!
- I reminded the students that we don’t need to make beautiful letters but that we want to form our letters correctly because that will help us later on when we write a lot and want to write quickly.
- I took 5 students at a time to do this. Meanwhile, the others worked on the carpet with my TA. Each child on the carpet had a large paper with 4 letters on it and a bowl of little toys/figurines/other objects that started with those 4 letters. They sorted the items in their “soup” by initial sound on the paper. If they finished early the TA traded their “bowl of soup” with someone else’s and they repeated the activity.
- In my finger paint handwriting station, I watched closely to be sure that the students were forming the letters correctly as they finger painted them. They painted each letter several times for practice. Where necessary, I helped children to remember where to start each letter and how to form it.
The students enjoyed practicing their names this way. They didn’t mind practicing each letter several times because they loved the paint! It was important to have the children take a huge glob of paint so they didn’t “run out” of paint halfway through a letter and then continue where they left off, which would have defeated the purpose of the activity!