Ideas and Games for Practicing Handwriting

Fun Games and Other Ideas for Practicing Handwriting

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Suggested Schedules for Teaching Handwriting

Students Six and Under

The students six and under may learn one new phonogram per day. The first 26-30 lessons should be dedicated to learning the A-Z phonograms. Each lesson should include: introduction to a new phonogram, practice hearing the sounds and recognizing the correct phonogram, practice reading the phonograms, and practice writing the phonograms. Drill should include games and age-appropriate review activities. Pedia Learning Inc. publishes The Phonogram and Spelling Game Book which may be used to enhance review. Once the students have learned A-Z, they are ready to begin combining A-Z into short words and to learn the multi-letter phonograms.

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Tips for Teaching Handwriting

Tip 1: Teach Lowercase Letters First

Lowercase letters comprise more than 90% of all that we read and write. Uppercase or capital letters are only used at the beginning of sentences and with proper nouns. Teaching lowercase letters first provides students with the most vital information they need to be successful in learning to read and write. Once students have mastered the lowercase letters, they should be taught how to write the capital letters and how to use them properly.

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Steps to Teaching How to Write the Phonograms

Introduce the phonograms based upon the initial stroke needed to write the letters. This allows the student to see the relationships between the letter forms as well as to develop stronger muscle memory for the repeated patterns. Do not introduce the letters in alphabetical order.

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Phonemic Awareness Games

Phonemic Awareness Games

Phonemic awareness is foundational to reading and spelling. Here are a few fun phonemic awareness games to try.

Simon Says - Say word "unglued" into its sounds and have the students do the action. /s-ĭ-t/, /j-ŭ-m-p/… To increase the challenge have a student be "Simon" and call out the actions by "unglueing" the words.

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What is Phonics?

Phonics is the Connection Between Letters and Sounds

Phonics stems from the Greek word "phono" which means sound. Phonics is the explicit teaching of the connection between letters and sounds. Phonics implies that written language is a description of the sounds of a spoken language as well as a way to encode words and meaning. Students who learn to read through phonics are taught an explicit sound-symbol relationship. They are not only taught how to read recognized words, but they are given the tools to decode unknown words as well.

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Why Teach Cursive First

Beginning with Cursive

As a culture we have been mistakenly led to believe that manuscript is easier for students to learn than cursive. By reserving cursive for third grade we have given a whole generation the false impression that cursive is the “adult” form of handwriting and printing is simpler. However, this is simply not the case.

At Logic of English we strongly recommend beginning with cursive. Cursive has six primary advantages over manuscript:

  1. It is less fine-motor skill intensive.
  2. All the lowercase letters begin in the same place on the baseline.
  3. Spacing within and between words is controlled.
  4. By lifting the pencil between words, the beginning and ending of words is emphasized.
  5. It is difficult to reverse letters such as b’s and d’s.
  6. The muscle memory that is mastered first will last a lifetime.

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December 2011 Newsletter

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Updated Spelling Rule and Phonogram Flashcards

We have updated two Basic Phonogram flashcards and a Spelling Rule.

1) A minor typo has been corrected on the TCH Basic Phonogram Flash Card. The back of the card now reads "Three letter /ch/ used after a single vowel that is not long."

2) We have added the long /e/ sound to the "I" card. While writing the Essentials Curriculum I analyzed thousands of words. In that process I discovered that "I" says the long /e/ sound more commonly than it says the /y/ sound. Therefore the "I" basic phonogram flash card now has four sounds which correspond to the sample words it, ivy, stadium, onion. "I" frequently says the long /e/ sound in Latin root words.

3) It is also possible to predict when "I" will say the long /e/ sound. "I" says long /e/ at the end of the syllable, before another vowel. We have added this phrase to Spelling Rule Card 7. It now reads: Y says long /e/ only at the end of a multi-syllable base word. I says long /e/ at the end of a syllable that is followed by a vowel.

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Logic of English Essentials Curriculum Review

A review written by a homeschool mom who has been using a pre-release version of The Logic of English Essentials Curriculum.

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