Message to Parents
This book has been written to help young children learn the essential skills for good handwriting. Handwriting is a skill that requires a lot of practise and instruction. This book provides both instruction and practise activities for the student.
Letters are introduced according to movements. From the simple downstroke to the more complex anticlockwise and clockwise movements for letters requiring combinations of movements. Therefore, letters are not in alphabetical order. However, a teacher who wants to introduce letters in an order that supports a reading program can do so with confidence. Fluency movements and combinations are introduced in each lesson to support the letter being introduced.
Before each lesson the teacher should ensure each child is positioned to learn and develop good handwriting habits. These include:
1. Student supported by a firm seat and appropriate writing surface.
2. Correct posture, with feet flat on the floor, head 30 cm from the page and the book or paper tilted to 7 degrees.
3. Pencil grip is correct - see diagrams. Any of these are acceptable. There are examples for left-handers too.
This program introduces the strategies of track, trace, copy, complete and evaluate. Each lesson provides a fluency to begin, followed by a tracking exercise, involving the letter being introduced. The child then traces over the letter along the writing line, then makes two lines of copy. A starting point for each letter attempt is provided for the child. Directional arrows indicate how the letter is to be formed.
With each letter introduced the practise activities should give the child the basic feel of how the letter is to be formed. This skill should then be practised independently in other writing aspects of the curriculum.
There is a picture with each lower case letter and a word to encourage reading. The child should colour the picture to help develop the fine motor skills necessary for good handwriting.
BODIES, HEADS AND TAILS
Letters are structured as head and body letters, body only letters and body and tail letters. This fun identification helps the child understand that letters need to be within or to the guidelines. Brief discussion of letters at the start of a lesson will keep the child mindful of letter heights and to create the letter between the l