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Pencils: Kinder
Old 11-03-2017, 05:50 AM
 
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Can someone with early childhood experience give me the low down on pencils for kinder? I have seen kinders use regular pencils, primary (fatter) pencils, and golf (super short) pencils. I haven't ever taught early childhood or kinder and don't know if one is better than the rest for handwriting and motor development.

I prep materials for my paras who are pulling 25 kinders in small groups and am getting ready to submit an order for materials. I have plenty of budget for my program, so if there is a preferred type of pencil for learning to write, I'd like to have them on hand. I work at a high poverty school with lots of refugees so most of our kids come in with little to no print exposure and have had minimal to no experience experimenting with letter writing. We truly start at the beginning with them when it comes to letter formation, writing their name, etc.

Thanks!


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Old 11-03-2017, 12:39 PM
 
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I was told by the Handwriting Without Tears trainer that the small pencils help with muscle development, and give them more control over the pencil. She said that markers and chubby pencils were too heavy for their little hands. I did notice an improvement when I switched to little pencils and pip squeak markers but I'm not sure if that is attributed to the pencil size, or just their natural progression and growth. Either way, I highly recommend Handwriting Without Tears.
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Old 11-03-2017, 05:48 PM
 
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I have also read that the smaller, golf sized pencils are best. But I'll be honest - I use the fat ones because I don't have to sharpen them a zillion times a day.
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Old 11-04-2017, 05:29 AM
 
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It depends on the kid...for some, I use really short pencils, golf-sized as Sbkangas said. It keeps their fingers down low to give more control. So the kids who grip up by the eraser get short ones. Some need help with grip, so I use the fat triangular ones. Others don't get a good grip from those, so I use an actual grip support, like the pic below. I have a bunch of different grips, again depending on the individual kids' needs. The one below is the one I use the most for the tripod grip help. Some need to open their hand up, so I put a wiffle ball on the pencil.

I start my kids writing on a slanted surface. Because slanted desks/tables cost a mint, I use a 3 inch binder and use binder clips to hold the paper. The slanted surface provides optimal placement, gets them in a better position to write properly.

Along with all this OT fine motor development stuff...I don't use markers or glue sticks because neither require the pressure needed to build those muscles. Crayons and glue bottles help develop muscles and control.

I didn't realize I had such strong opinions until I started typing and this novel came out. Hope it helps.
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Tigonderoga Tri-Write Pencils
Old 11-07-2017, 01:43 PM
 
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I loop from kinder to first grade and always spend the extra money to get enough of these for the kindergarten class. I really noticed a difference in their pencil grip the following year.


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