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write your name
Old 11-22-2012, 04:13 AM
 
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How do you teach 3 & 4 year old students to write their name? I could just have them trace it, but I would like them to have the proper letter formation and not form bad habits from not having instruction.


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writing name
Old 11-22-2012, 07:17 AM
 
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I started out by writing their name on a sheet of paper with highlighter and having them trace it and LOTS of tracer sheets. After about a month we started having them sign in when they come in each morning and they had to write their name on EVERYTHING we did. We then worked with each child individually to help them to form the letters correctly. I have about 2/3 of my class of four year olds writing their name now.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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One of the fonts on my computer is dotted. I do sheets for each child and use a red dot for where they first put down their pencil on each letter.
Yes, same as PP.
I also have their name on the table and they can copy it if they forget.
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Helpful Hint??
Old 11-24-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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I would try having them write letters on the table using shaving cream first so they get the idea of what the letters look like. They can also keep practicing over and over again. I like the ideas mentioned above too. I am going to try some with my prek class. I have a few who have no idea how to write their names either. I also have used square text boxes with individual letters on them and laminated them so they can trace over the letters or match with magnet letters.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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I was pretty successful with having my 3 1/2 year old kids write over their name, which I wrote using a yellow highlighter. I had them 'rainbow-write' using about 8 different colored pencils. I put one dot on each letter where they were to start out. For a while I sat next to 2 kids at a time to make sure they formed their letters correctly. My kids take naps, and to fit in this close supervision of name writing, I was able to get some kids up during nap (like, right at the start or end of naptime so as not to get in trouble with the director!).

This got old after a few weeks for some kids, but by then they could mostly write their name correctly. One slower boy I have actually still loves to rainbow-write his name, he seems to do very well with lots and lots of repetition for most things anyway. I went to Kidzone.com and made tracer names for each child to continue the practice. They trace a couple of times, then the third and 4th lines are blank and they write their name on their own. I also have them write their name on the back of all their art and also on any worksheets I give them. I get dramatic and lament that 'there's no name on this' and stand over the trashcan as I ask 'is this your work?' So my kids know it's important to write their name, and I remind constantly.

One of my boys still does his 'y' sort of cock-eyed, so I'm going to have him run his finger several times a week, until he improves, over my sandpaper letter y (which I made from tracing a 'y' onto Dollar Tree sandpaper, then cutting out and gluing onto a small piece of cardboard (from a brown box).


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Old 11-25-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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This is what I do:

I spend a couple of weeks working on fine motor skills - strengthening the fingers and hands. Legos, beads, playdough, scissors, coloring - all work with girls, but I find that boys don't like the coloring so I add some activities that involve small cars on tracks that have hills, curves, straight aways and corners. They also like to use tweezers (I have plastic ones for the science corner) or spring clothespins to sort and group small items like various sized and colored pompoms. Next, I spend a week using writing readiness worksheets that have the kids tracing curves, circles, horizontal & vertical lines...

Then I figure out the letters most used in the names of the kids in the class. This is for first name only. I usually don't start working on the last name until February except with the kids that have surpassed my expectations. I use the worksheet copies for these letters so we practice several letters a week, making a big deal out of who has the letter in their name (nameplates are on the table where they sit). I use worksheets that have the dotted lines (with a big dot at the starting point)for the kids to trace and get the feel. The worksheets should not have too many lines - the kids get tired & bored easily. I also make name worksheets using an online worksheet generator and then send them home for "homework".

First I show them on the chalkboard and remind them that strokes are easiest and fastest if we work top to bottom - many kids try to go bottom to top. I give them lots of opportunity to use chalk, shaving cream, dry erase, finger paint, markers & colored pens and pencils for writing practice when they want (sometimes I have to help them to "want" to practice). Before you know it they can write their names legibly.I also use the yellow highlighter for them to trace. I insist that all paperwork have a name on it or it goes in the garbage. Also, some of them can write their names very nicely after a few weeks, but use sloppy writing to get finished quickly. So I started using my pink eraser and making those kids re-do. After a few times of that I just have to remind them that I have my pink eraser in my hand and they really surprise me at how well they can write their names.

Also, parents often teach the kids to write their names using all uppercase letters. I send home a letter the first week of school about what we will be doing in class during the year and include a little note about the kids learning to write their name with only the first letter as uppercase, the rest lowercase. At this point in the school year most of my 4 yo kids can write their name on a line at the top of a paper. I have one kids who can write his first and last (hyphenated) name beautifully. That boy started later than the others and could not even write one letter the third week of Sept. but has chosen to practice writing his first and names.
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Writing Name
Old 11-30-2012, 06:32 PM
 
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I am an early childhood teacher candidate at Southeastern Louisiana University. My class recently finished our fourth week of teaching. One of my professors gave our class an idea using dyed hair gel. You can mix hair gel with food coloring and put it into ziploc bags. It would be beneficial to double bag it in case of tears. You can put a paper under the bag so that the children can trace their names. The coolness of the gel is something that will be intriguing to the children and this activity will easily keep their interest. I know that several of my classmates tried it while we were teaching and it was very successful for them.
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Thanks, Lynlea!
Old 12-01-2012, 08:18 AM
 
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Thanks for the reminder about the hair gel.

I saw that idea also at this website: http://www.jmeacham.com/

It's a popular site with teachers. You might get some ideas from it as well.
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Writing Names
Old 12-03-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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First, ask the child to spell their name. If they cannot do that then tracing and retracing is a waste and it is only dot-to-dot and fine motor skills.

Every morning when the children arrive they have to "sign-in" for the day (including myself). If they do not know their letters, they can get their name tag off the board and try to copy it (while I say the letters and help make those letter shapes). If that is unsuccessful, I cut out their names on the name cards for them to trace in the middle on the sign-in sheet. Then I also have them sign in to their centers and erase when done. The kids have name puzzles (pictures then write child's name underneath with dry erase) and letter comparing for each of the students in class (we both have the letter s in our name or Michael and Marley start with the same letter m).

If you want templates, I have them to share. Less tracing more teachable moments.
mrsbteaches2012@gmail.com
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thank you
Old 12-05-2012, 04:04 AM
 
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Thank you everyone for all of your suggestions. I really appreciate it. My students are all ELL and so English is totally foreign to them. A co-teacher came up with the idea to have them cut up their name into individual letters and then have them match the letters to another sheet with their name. I am doing that this week. This also helps them distinguish between a letter and a word (one of our outcomes).

I love all the ideas for practicing using a variety of mediums. :-)


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to learn their names
Old 12-07-2012, 09:27 AM
 
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I have a sentence strip with their first name on it. They have matching clothes pins with each letter on them. They have to match the letter on the clothespin to the letter in their name on the sentence strip. Then they have to put their names together with unifix cubes. I have round colored sticker dots, one letter per cube. They have to put them in the right order to spell their name and then when done they have to spell their name before they earn a sticker.
all of this is stored in pencil pouches. We do this everyday and at first it took a long time but now they fly right through it. After Christmas i am going to have them do their last names and then after Spring Break I think we will do both first and last.
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name practice
Old 01-13-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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I have laminated sentence strips with the childrens names and them. They can use a washable marker to trace their names or use it as a guide to copy from.

I also make them sign all their papers, and I like the idea of signing in. I may do that in my classroom
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