Melissa and Leanne recently went on a conference called ‘Mark Making’. It taught them a lot about what children need to achieve before they can be expected to hold writing equipment correctly let alone before they can be expected to write anything down.
The conference focused on activities which will help the children to progress on to the next stage of development.
At Leeside we have developed a rota so each key group will do a different activity each morning depending on their stage of development. The aim is to do the activities as soon as the children arrive.
The three activities are:
Funky Fingers – this looks at activities which help to develop the hand and finger muscles. By doing these activities 3 times a week the children will be developing muscles which they will later need to be able to write.
Dough Gym – this is an exercise routine which uses play dough as its base. The children will be given massive balls of dough and shown different ways of moving with it to help develop their shoulder, elbow and wrist muscles. A child cannot be expected to write before they have developed the co-ordination and appropriate muscle strength first in their shoulders then in their elbows and lastly in their wrists.
To see more on this please click the link below:
Dough Gym and Funky Fingers
Air Writing – this will be linked to the children’s interests. A few off the top of my head are Rainbow Writing & Sword Writing. It is important that children learn the formation of letters before being expected to be able to write them down. They might recognise letters and be able to match them but to write them is a whole new concept.
By forming the letters in the air the children are able to implant the correct ways of forming the shape to make.
For example, the correct way of forming an ‘a’ goes like this: start at the top…draw a big circle all the way round…don’t take your pen/sword/rainbow off…follow the circle back down the side and flick when you get to the bottom.
Where as a lot of children will see the letter a and try to copy it by drawing a circle with a stick coming out of the side for its tail. Once a child has learnt the wrong way to write it is very difficult to un-teach them.
For more on this please click the link below:
This doesn’t mean that we are going to have children writing sentences before leaving Lesside. It just means that if your child is at the right stage of development then they will be introduced to Air Writing in their rota.
All of these activities will be done to a 3-4 minute track of up-beat pop music.