It’s the Little Things

Sometimes getting kids to do the little things is the hardest, right?  They manage to tackle difficult math problems, write amazing stories, and bust out STEM creations like it’s nobody’s business.  But, neat writing and punctuation? Man, that’s hard!

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I wanted to share with you a few things that I use to help my kiddos work on these skills.

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When I taught Kindergarten I taught handwriting as I introduced and tuaght the alphabet.  We continued to practice handwritng throughout the year in various ways.

I used various textures, like writing in salt:

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Using these “bumpy” taxtile cards:

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We loved using these highway cards from Dr. Jean

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Plain old alphabet stamps and smelly markers:

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We used many different tools to practice forming the letters in many authentic ways.

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When it was time for some more paper and pencil practice, we used these:

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They are super simple, yet super effective! I don’t believe that children should write the same letter over and over a billion times on a page – we all know that they more they write, the messier it gets!  I developed these handwriting pages to just have a few opportunities to practice.  I usually have them circle their best attempt too. 

There are sentences on each page – they don’t necessarily have the focus letter, but are intended to practice all letters in a meaningful way.  There is also a small box for an illustration – great way to check comprehension on the sentences :).

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This one is tricky, and takes a LOT of practice and reminders!  I really love to use Kelley Dolling’s Punctuation has Personality pack to reinforce the importance of punctuation.

To continue to practice punctuation and sentence structure, we use scrambled sentences during our Daily 5 Work on Writing Time. 

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Fix It! Read It! Write It! January Sentence ScramblesFix It! Read It! Write It! October Sentence ScramblesFix It! Read It! Write It! Back to School Sentence ScramblesFix It! Read It! Write It! December Sentence ScramblesFix It! Read It! Write It! November Sentence Scrambles

I currently have packets out through January – I hope to get February and March done ASAP!

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Another super fun way we practice handwriting and punctuation (other than during our Writers’ Workshop time, of course!!) it using Fix Its. 

Of course, we all know the best way to practice these skills IS through authentic writing, but sometimes kiddos just need that little bit of extra practice to even start noticing errors.  I have used these fix it pages for years BOTH in Kindergarten and First Grade, and the children LOVE THEM!

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I created these WAY back in 2011 and have used them consistently ever since.  A few years back, I gave these guys an update, so if you already own them, make sure you re-download!

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I hang this anchor chart in my room once we have introduced the fix-its.  The children refer to it during Daily 5 and Writers’ Workshop as well.

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This pack worked really well for me towards the mid-to-end part of Kindergarten and all through first grade.  I wanted something to support kiddos a little earlier in Kindergarten, so I made this pack as well:

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What are your tips and tricks for teaching “the little things?”

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