Thursday, March 27, 2014

Attention to Detail

This silly tip works for very short periods of time, to fine tune a student's attention to what they are writing.  Gravity is your friend here so be sure to use a steep, inclined surface or straight-up vertical for the writing surface. 

Jot down a few salient words (what did you do over the weekend?) that the student will then copy on a vertical surface.  Be sure the student is watching your letter formation as you write and you might even ask them how to spell the word, or what sound comes next in the word.
Use those half-dollar size ponytail holders to create little "windows" for the student to use for writing each letter in the word.  It's so easy to let the circles drop while you're writing plus you have to use just the right amount of pressure to keep them high and wide enough to leave space for the letter or they end up like little squoosed ovals with no room for fitting in a letter.  Such a dilemma.

I think I mentioned that they easily fall?  Well, all the better for changing the body position and tilting the head this way and that when leaning over to retrieve them.

We started this activity specifically for a student whose teacher asked how to get them to use their helper hand to stabilize the paper when writing.  I suggested small slips of paper instead of a big sheet during writing practice, so the little scraps would slide around the desk unless the student firmly used the helper hand to stabilize them.  This ponytail band idea popped up as a fun, additional activity to achieve the same purpose, for those times when it's okay to be a little silly in school.

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