Dite’s Wikki Sticks idea for Multisensory Monday got me thinking about handwriting and how we can encourage proper letter formation with our students. Proper letter formation is especially important when students are writing in the sand tray. Remember, the sand tray is an incredibly effective multisensory tool, meaning it will strengthen the recall of whatever is written in it, proper or improper. That’s why handwriting should be addressed before students write in the sand and their letter formation should be monitored as they write.
Fast ideas for busy classrooms
Here are some simple, quick ideas you can use to encourage proper letter formation. Use these ideas on their own, with a handwriting program or with more focused practice and instruction.
- Make glue dot letters on cards that the students can trace for a tactile experience.
- Draw a starting dot and arrows on cards as a visual reminder of how to form tricky letters.
- Have the students shape letters with Wikki Sticks then trace them with their finger.
- Practice “writing” letters large in the air with a straight arm before using sand or pencil and paper.
- Practice “writing” letters on the carpet, desktop or some other surface before using sand or pencil and paper.
- Provide green starting dots on sand trays or whiteboards and remind the students to start at the green (top) and move towards the red (bottom).
- You can also put dots on the left and right as a reminder to underline from left to right.
What other ideas do you have for practicing proper letter formation? Also, do you use a handwriting program that you really like? Please share here!
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Check back next week for Multisensory Monday.