Monday, September 8, 2014

Handwriting Help!

      Handwriting is always a frustration for one or two of my students at the beginning of the year. On the first day of school this year, I realized that one of my students had probably never held a writing utensil at all before... pencil, crayon, nada. She had absolutely no idea where to start coloring and held her crayon upside down. I am still having to help her figure out what part of the pencil/crayon she should hold on to. I'm not a stickler about how students hold their pencils - because I don't hold mine correctly - but obviously I do teach the students how to hold the pencil properly and make sure they are doing something close.  During the first month of school I keep all of the feedback positive, as long as students are attempting to write. While we do start tracing and writing independently with pencils on Day 1, we also do lots of fun hands on writing activities. Some of these hands on writing activities take place in the handwriting center during literacy center time. 

     My favorite trick for getting students excited about handwriting is Mr. Pencil! I made this guy with a giant pencil, giant wiggle eyes, a nose that I broke off of some disguise glasses and a little bit of hot glue magic! He visits my students when he hears that they are quiet and focused on writing neatly. He writes smiles on the faces of students who are doing their best handwriting! But oh no! If your writing is not your neatest, Mr. Pencil may just blow his big nose on your paper! The kids love it and they really do their best for Mr. Pencil! I make him talk to the students and it cracks me up because my kids ask me if the pencil is really talking all on its own. 

     Check out this pencil on Amazon if you want to make one for your own classroom. I was insistent on having a giant YELLOW pencil, and it took me about a year before I was able to find one!