Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Banner for Handwriting Refinement

Straightforward handwriting remediation is usually not very exciting.  However, switch it up and practice those tricky letters on interesting cut-out shapes, string them on a holiday banner and you ramp up the motivation.
Students copied me in using WikkiStix to form one capital letter, then wrote the letter on a turkey shape or maple leaf shape.  Then, they strung the shape onto a heavy string to create a banner which read, "Happy Thanksgiving."  My idea started last night when I was reviewing this website:
Banner idea
When we doubled up the WikkiStix to make short, straight lines the students pinched the WikkiStix together and made sure there was no "air" or "daylight" showing, which helps to emphasize the importance of not doubling back on their written lines with the negative result of making them look like skinny balloons.  Although the letters ended up taller than the lines preprinted on the "white" board, they don't drop below the baseline.
Observing the students string their turkeys or leaves on the thick string was an eye-opener and permitted me to observe their motor planning and visual-spatial skills--whew!--there was a little confusion going on in many instances!
I'm going to try and create a fancy banner for my fireplace mantel for the upcoming holidays---I'll have my eye out for fancy lettering and small pictures to cut out of the newspapers and magazines at this time of year to spruce up the individual letter cards.

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