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bodes12 bodes12 is offline
 
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Tracing before writing?
Old 08-04-2018, 11:04 PM
 
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This year will be my first year teaching. I'll be teaching a class of 25 kindergarteners, and as a grade level, we've decided to start our science curriculum on the second week of school.

Since my kindergarteners will be brand new to school, I adapted a bunch of the plans to have more tracing and less independent writing. For example, instead of just writing and labeling independently, they will draw a tree and trace a sentence.

My main concern is that, since I haven't explicitly taught my kids all the letter formations, they might form bad habits. So if I give them a sentence with the word "tree" they might not know how to form the letter 'r' and it will be hard to reteach it to them the correct way if they've been doing it incorrectly.

Is this a valid concern or am I overthinking it?


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Old 08-05-2018, 04:34 AM
 
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Honestly, I don't see the point of tracing the word. Does that need to be part of the assignment?
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:12 AM
 
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It will slow you down because then you are giving a direct lesson on how to trace each letter. Just telling them to trace the letters will cause kids to form each letter in the way they feel best. Most will begin with their pencil in the bottom line. I let them label drawings but not turn a science lesson into a handwriting lesson.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:55 AM
 
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Almost all OTs I have worked with told me tracing is a no-no especially if the letters are in dot form. They said the kids are more focused on connecting the dots than forming the letter.

We have a first day of school activity that involves the students writing a number. Many of the students cannot write a lot of the numbers yet so I will show them the number on a different price of paper or white board and they try it themselves. If they are still struggling after a good amount of tries, I will then write in it light crayon for them to go over. This is another thing OTs have told me about.
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:32 AM
 
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This early in the year, what exactly are they learning from tracing a sentence? Most likely, most of your class will have little understanding of the difference between words/letters/sentences. Additionally, all/the majority aren't going to be reading, so what's the point?

I also agree with Stella-- from what I've read, tracing dotted lines is not best practices. If a student doesn't know what a letter looks like, how are they going to understand a bunch of random dots?

Instead, I would have students work with you to label, which would sound something like this. "Here are the leaves. /L/, Leaves. Leaves start with the letter L. Let's make a letter L next to the leaves. Start at the top, go down, that's a letter l."


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Good point
Old 08-05-2018, 11:19 AM
 
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I'm mostly concerned with the fact that our science curriculum is very heavy on writing and labeling. So they need a science notebook, focus questions, and writing for every lesson. I'm including pictures too, but for things like labeling, I'm worried most of my students coming in won't be able to transcribe what I write on the board. I could do each word letter by letter, but I only have 50 minutes per lesson and that would take a good amount of time if I'm doing it for four words.

Do you have any suggestions for those who can't transcribe what I'm writing on the board? I could help them all individually, but since I'll be starting this lesson on the 7th day of school, I have a feeling more than just a few won't be able to do it. Would there be a way for them to show understanding maybe with just coloring? I'm mostly thinking about grade book papers since the bulk of our lesson will be physical and interactive, except for the notebooks at the very end.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:37 AM
 
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If your science curriculum is heavy on writing and labeling during the first weeks of kindergarten then it isn't developmentally appropriate.

They will not benefit at all from copying what you have written or tracing.

I would have them just do the pictures and you model labeling (without an expectation that they copy).
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:35 PM
 
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We draw and label in k quite a bit in August and September and I accept all attempts at labeling. In fact my first writing lesson will show kids the many ways that writing looks "right now." One of the ways is a scribble on and off the lines.

Last edited by anna; 08-05-2018 at 01:34 PM..
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:02 AM
 
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You've gotten lots of advice about the tracing. As far as being concerned about them firming bad habits--mist of them already have in preK or from home. It's incredibly hard to break.
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Old 08-24-2018, 02:02 AM
 
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We use the method of using pre-writing exercises first. Since its a new Kindergarten class I would definitely go back to building those blocks to make it easier for you later on. For example, the exercises are top to bottom, side to side, raindrop, rainbow etc., so that when you say those stroke orders the kids will associate more with the stroke order instead of connecting all the dots/dotted lines.


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