Posts tagged writing in cursive

From the Pope “Parents’ vocation to educate children”

 

(Vatican Radio) In his catechesis at the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis focused on the role of parents in the education of their children, which he called “an essential characteristic” of the family. 

To read more click the link below

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/05/20/general_audience_parents_vocation_to_educate_children/1145382

For more information about teaching in China click here.

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching in China

Teacher Peter

Church in Secondlife

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Lesson Plan For Teaching Reading

rainbowChina

LESSON PLAN For Teaching Reading
A. Students and Setting

The students are kindergarten kids around 5 years old, They have been learning very simple English for 2 years now.
It is a private kindergarten part of a school complex in a big middle class to upper class housing estate in Foshan Guangdong China. There are 27 kids boys and girls in the class. I teach the class one 40 minute lesson everyday. I move from class to class, the kids wait for me.
B. Lesson Background:

This class will be the Thursday class so the kids have already had 3 classes on the same topic, and tomorrow will be the last class. We change topics every week. We are learning a little picture book so the kids should be able to read a few pages, usually they parrot it. Each class we review 2 days before so this class we are reviewing the preceding 2 pages in the book before bringing in the new pages. We do 2 new pages a class.
C. Learning Objectives/Expected Results:

The kids should be able to look at the pictures and read the page. Some can, others can’t, As a class they try to join in, and in small groups they join in, I don’t have them read by themselves, they are two small for that.
D. Materials and Sources:

What I do is photo copy a little book onto A3 size paper, basically I blow up the size of the book so the kids can see it. I use magnets to stick the paper onto the blackboard.
A book you can enlarge with a photocopier and something to stick it on the board.

E. Procedures / Timing:

To start the class we have a warn up song and a chant , then we play a little game usually the ‘bee’ game to try and wear the kids out a bit so they will sit down. I’m the bee and I buzz around chasing the students and if they are sitting down to bee chases somebody else. For the song we will use “wheels on the bus” , the kids like doing the actions. Then we will do another action song “AAA say OK” there is a lot of arm waving and moving so they kids love it. Also we do the song quite often so the kids know it and they like doing it. Usually between 5 to 10 minutes

http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/preschool_kindergarten_videos.html

We learn 2 pages a day
The kids are in a half circle around the blackboard. And I bring out the pages from 2 days ago and the kids read them off, as long as one starts the rest join in. To get them going I’ll sometimes say the first and second words, they ‘ll usually take off then, and I can’t stop them. Then I’ll use boys, then girls, then cut the class up into smaller groups.
I’ll point to the pictures and the kids should say in English what I am pointing at. I’ve been teaching this class for 2 years now so the kids know what to do. Again 5 to 10 minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCcGVKRgYRY

Now I’ll put up yesterdays pages and see how much they know, usually not much, then after pointing at a few pictures and saying sentences they know we get off the ground. As long as someone starts the others will follow. If some don’t want to join in I’ll leave them, I do the same again breaking the class down into smaller groups, everything is fast, sometimes I get groups of over 5 students come to the blackboard to read the page. This takes longer as some sentences are still new. 10 to 15 minutes.

Now it is time for a new page. I usually just say the new words cause the sentences are very similar, and the kids can usually work it out as long as they know the new words. This is just an introduction to the new words so it takes 5 to 10 minutes

To close the class we sing another action song, this time ‘bar bar black sheep’ and ‘head shoulders knees and toes ‘ I try to keep it simple. The I try to sneak out before I get mobbed by the kids Less than 5 minutes.
Teacher does/says . . .
Students do/say . . .
Approximate Time
Can …….cat
Can I get a cat

cats
I like cats

pig
Can I get a pig

pigs
I like pigs
F. Alternative Assessment:

We don’ do much assessment, usually I am assessed. As long as the kids learn a few words everybody is happy. The kids are too little to write and they can barely speak. So the assessment is on class participation and reading the sentences and knowing what I point at in the picture. Some students are very good at reading the sentences and others are no good so I like the kids to join in the class and try. Even if they say nothing I still don’t let them get in a situation where they will be embarrassed.
The kids are learning new words from pictures and sentences that can be used in everyday situations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwftETvm80g

G. Reflection – Phase 1:

This lesson is appropriate to the kids as it is simple and the pictures with the words help the kids to understand what is going on. We are not really getting into too many integrated skills, just looking at the pictures and saying the words in English as well as reading the sentences in English and hopefully understanding them. The kids won’t assess themselves, if they can say English words and sentences after I leave the classroom that is a plus.
G. Classroom Management:
Kindergarten is not really as organized as a primary school classroom but I do try to arrange my classes into 2 groups so they can compete against each other. It is either in a half circle or 2 sides depending on the size of the class, and the amount of space in the classroom. This class is quite large so it is in two distinct groups. In China the students all have a number so I just call out a number and the student will answer. I don’t like to single out students so I usually get the whole group to answer or the boys or girls in the group.
Watch the video here to get an understanding of how I teach http://animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/PeterLegroveCV.html
As I have been teaching this class for a while now they know what to do and how to get into groups. I ask the kids for the name of the group and they call out a name, the name changes everyday. It is usually a word they know. To keep the class under control I use the 2 groups competing against each other and the group with the most points wins. The kids love it. They get stickers. I used to give them lollies but then I went healthy. Most students who take part in the class also get stickers.
I have used the group system in a very large class where I had the whole primary school grade 1 in a big lecture hall and the kids were in there class groups. They loved it as long as they knew the number of their class.

H. Reflection – Phase 2

I didn’t really change anything. We are teaching kindergarten and these kids love to play and mess around. But with the competing in the two groups it manages to keep them under control. As long as I manage to keep adding and rubbing out points or stars. We always have the warm up and the songs as the kids don’t like to sit still for very long. The songs do not change very often. If the kids like a song i’ll keep using it as when I bring in a new song they don’t always like it.
Integrated skills
The integrated skills are mainly speaking, listening and looking, matching objects with words and actions. Something like Asher’s TPR, we try and get the kids speaking in sentences as well as just words. ‘We are walking’ we are running’ while they are doing it. They all say ‘good morning’ but that is as far as we got they don’t say ‘good afternoon’ Kids love to show what they learn as we encourage them and give them stickers.

Alternative assessment
With this class the kids have to say words in English as they walk around the kindergarten. The Teaching Assistants will point to something and ask ‘What is that in English’ that is an ongoing that happens all the time. I’m also expected to that when I am with the kids.
The other form of assessment that is used is a little board with all the kids names on it and under everybody’s name there are stars and little stickers for things they do. And after they reach a certain number they get a small gift.

Differentiated instruction/individual learner differences
In the class I could have set up smaller groups so some kids could draw a picture of one of the animals and others could act like the animal. In the class we have kids act like the animal and I have face masks the kids can use. Even though I teach Montessori we haven’t mastered the art of letting the students do their own thing, so we try to keep the class together. In China it is all about control. When in groups I usually have a very good student showing the other what to do. When I bring out the sandpaper letters I need a student to show the others what to do. China Montessori hasn’t managed to bring in the mixed age group all the time, just for some of the classes.
There are learning stations set up in the class but in my class we do not use them as the kids are supposed to speak English. As I am the foreign teacher my classes are slightly different and there are Teaching Assistants in the class.

Classroom management
We set the ground rules for the class at the beginning so the kids know what to do. They give their own groups a name and that changes everyday. They wait for me to call on them then they have about 3 seconds to answer before moving on. All boys or all girls answer and the loudest gets a sticker. Even the ones who do not answer get a sticker. Motivation is for stickers and the more stickers they get the more stars and circles they get under their name.
In China classroom management is very important because of the large class size, so the students know what to do. I fit into their system. It is very flexible and the classroom teachers usually let the kids have fun.

Here is the pdf of the lesson plan
kindergarten lesson 3

secondlifechurch2aa1

I like the Montessori system of teaching writing and reading and this is the course I recommend

http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Teaching-Reading.htm

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.
All the best teaching your children
Teacher Peter

 

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In Most Asian and European Countries Now the Children Learn English

In the growth economies of the world most parents want their children to learn English. And they are prepared to pay cold hard cash for after school and weekend classes even though the children learn English in school. While in the supposedly Developed English speaking world the experts have changed the way children learn to read and now kids are leaving school with below standard reading levels.

They changed the system from a very effective reading method to what we have nowadays. Yet in most foreign countries where English is taught in the classroom, the children are taught English using phonics. It is no wonder the children are leaving school better educated that we are in the west. English is a part of their way of life, and if they want to get ahead in the future they must know English. So children and English go together.

Now when children start to learn English as a second language they usually learn it very early. In Asia that usually means while they are still at kindergarten. Then at school they bring in the phonics in grade 5 when the children are 10 to 11 years old. Which is a good time to start the serious learning of English.

In families where the parents speak different languages you usually find the children struggle at school learning the language that is taught at school. But when they get to high school they are proficient in both languages. It is no wonder that Asian children are some of the best students even though English is not their first language. So it looks like English as a second language and children go together overseas. But here in the English speaking world the powers to be are doing their best try and stop struggling learners learning to read English.

For more information about teaching in China click here.

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching in China

Teacher Peter

Church in Secondlife

Click here to go to church online

 

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MOOCs and how to survive them

MOOCs And How To Survive Them
Peter Legrove is in the process of writing a new book. One of his other books in education is about teaching your children to read using phonics and Montessori sandpaper letters. This book is about MOOCs, what they are, how to do them, and the effect they might have on the future of education as we know it.
MOOCs are just something that hit the free scene on the internet last year and have somehow taken on a mind of their own. Well it seems that way from a MOOCers point of view. Whether they are as popular as they were is hard to determine. Because each MOOC is different you cannot compare across MOOCs. Whereas one MOOC might have an active forum, others do not. And it depends on the students.

One thing I have noticed is the quality of students has increased dramatically over the past few MOOCs. I do not know if that is over most MOOCs or just the ones I’ve had a go at. I would like to see some completion figures from the MOOCs I take like, How many students get a certificate? How many get the free certificate and how many get a paid certificate. Just a few stats to see what I was up against. In my humble opinion I would say MOOCs have gone from a novelty to something serious. There are some serious students doing the peer assessments and the quality is amazing.
But MOOCs haven’t done what I thought they were going to do, when they first came out. And that was an advertisement for the university and the lecturer who wrote a book. I have only received one advertisement for a paying course from a university, and it wasn’t even the university that had the MOOC. Maybe the universities should take a MOOC about how to use MOOCs to get paying students. As has been said before, academics don’t always follow their own advice. They must have one hell of a mailing list and they are just not using it. I thought I would be bombarded with emails for courses and books the lecturer had written. But not so.

So I don’t really know where they are heading. Unless this is the future of higher education and is a prelude to lifelong learning. A very few popular internet people – I couldn’t call them gurus – who live in the NOW, like James Altucher, are against sending young adults to university. Mainly because the middle class is dead and universities prepare students for the middle class. Also because life experience is possible more important going forward. And why start your working life deep in debt.

Since the financial crisis of 2007, high paying jobs of the middle class are few and far between. That could be the future. So start your lifelong learning with a MOOC or two and build up your resume or CV, while you are working making money. And not piling on debt while at university. Another thing about the future is “The top ten in demand jobs advertised in 2013 did not exist 2006” so why spend four years at university when, some say, half of what you learn will be obsolete before you graduate. If lifelong learning is the future then MOOCs are definitely changing the future. When employees accept MOOCs on a resume or CV, then they will be a force to be competing with.
Now what are MOOCs are why have they suddenly popped up on the internet. Well a MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. Could be an extension of the MOG. Which have been around for a while and have dominated the internet since it’s inception nearly. And I would say have been and still are, a driving force on how the internet will head into the future. A MOG is a Massive Online Game, and even people who are not gamers have seen the impact of MOGs on their kids.

Most MOOCs are real time courses, that have strict time limits, and you have to complete parts of the course before the deadline. And before moving on to the next part of the course. Each course has different criteria for completion, but most have peer reviewed assessments, and you have to do so many forum entries. These usually are questions posted as well as answering other posts.

And the forums can make or break a course. In some courses there is a lot of interaction on the forums, while others the threads just don’t seem to hang together. It all depends on the students, and I think how many are aiming for a Certification of Completion with Distinction. Or if you get students really interested in the topic then forums are a ton of fun. And you can sometimes get excellent links to other related stuff on the internet. I’ve been introduced to some amazing stuff on the forums. Stuff I’d never have found otherwise.

Also, since the MOOCs are the latest, they are very up-to-date. And you are introduced to the latest in research and where it is heading in the future. One thing I do like about MOOCs is they show you available free software and other interesting things available on the internet. They have helped me to upgrade my internet experience to new tech. I’ve been on the internet for years now, and I am stuck using old tech, because I am comfortable with it and I have had no reason to upgrade. Now I’ve been shown the latest and I’m impressed with it, so I’ve changed. That is what MOOCs have done to me. I’m sad to say I haven’t made any friends that have lasted longer than the MOOC, but I have enjoyed them all.
Now, are MOOCs the next best thing or just a passing phase. Are they a disruptive technology or the future of education. We shall see. Are universities and institutes of learning worried about MOOCs and how they have changed education so far. Or is it, education hasn’t changed for the past 150 years. Don’t you think it is about time it changed.

 

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Montessori Phonics Is Still Helping Children Learn To Read Even After 100 years

Phonics are the building blocks of learning to read. But lately they have taken a back seat to the Look See Method in some countries. Most students can learn to read, no matter what method they are being taught, but the struggling learners need phonics. It has been shown time and again, that phonics are a better way to learn to read, for struggling readers.

The Look See Method has the beautiful books with lots of pictures, while the phonic books are pretty drab, filled with rhyming text that don’t always make sense. But you need rhyming to learn to read. And students will learn to read using the Look See Method, but struggling students will have problems.

To be honest, I don’t know why some students learn to read easier than others, especially nowadays. But I think it has a lot to do with home life. Parents of reading kids help their kids. They don’t live in front of the tee vee, and they use the computer for knowledge, not to play games or watch videos. But that is not always the case. I had a brother and a sister in different classes, the sister was top of the class and the brother couldn’t even read. He left school to start a trade, and she went to uinversity.

In another extreme case, a girl was in the top of the class, every morning she could read the homework easily and perfectly. Then one day I asked her to read a different text in class, and she couldn’t read it. And I asked her why, and she said at night her daddy used to read the homework to her, and she would memorize it and spit it out the next day. I had serious problems with her, but with Montessori Phonics she finally learned to read. Montessori Phonics takes the student away from looking at the word to feeling the word, and that was the only way to get her to learn to read.

Back in my day when I went to school, we were taught synthetic phonics, where you learn the phonic sound then move onto words then sentences. Another method that has since become popular, is the phonics method where you start with sentences, and move back to words, then syllables, then right down to the phonic sound. Really it doesn’t matter which way your children learn to read, as long as they learn.

At the moment video and audio is taking over the internet, but to play around and work on the internet, you still have to be able to read and type. So to survive the future your children have to be able to read, write and type. Speed typing is a must for the future, as well as speed reading. There is so much information out there, that you need to process in work and everyday life, that you need to be able to process it very quickly. To survive the future you need these skills, and they all start with learning to read.

With the internet there are a number of online phonic sites, where you children can learn phonics and some are very good, I mean exceptional. But even with all the information on the internet some children do not learn by looking. Around sixty percent do, but reading starts in your ears, not with your eyes. You have to hear the phonic sound first, then match it with the written word. So if your children have problems learning to read, get their ears checked. There might be something mechanically wrong with their ears. Usually not the case. It is usually just a case of matching a learning method, with your child’s learning style.

I call this, the method of last resort, even though it has been around for over 100 years, and it started out teaching children with severe learning difficulties. This is the Montessori method of teaching reading, and if everything fails try this out. It is a hands on system of teaching reading. You just can’t plant your children in front of the computer, and expect the computer to do the teaching. You have to be there or an older sibling can help out. Basically you need to get hold of some sandpaper letters, whether block or cursive, depending on what you want to teach your children, then start teaching. You will also need a phonics chart, and some phonic sounds, which you can get of the internet for free. It is a very simple system, you make up a simple word, for example ‘cat’, in sandpaper letters. Then your child traces the sandpaper letters, while saying the word. You must emphasis the phonic sound, so your daughter can translate it to other words. Then repeat the system over and over again with many words that rhyme. A very effective system, it must be used when everything else has not worked. It is my last line of defense. If the Montessori system doesn’t work I’m lost. I don’t know if it works with dyslexic people, but it is worth a try.

Anyway for the future you need to be able to read, write, type and then learn to speed read. Probably in that order, except most students learn to read then go straight onto a keyboard, so writing gets left behind. Now it has been shown that people who write in longhand or cursive, write faster and they are also more creative. So if your children are aspiring to be creative writers, or into writing advertisements, then they should learn to write in cursive. Also at present when you sit an exam, you have to write in longhand not block letters. So until that changes, it might be an idea to bring in the cursive writing skills, to give your children the upper hand in exams.

To find out more about teaching reading using the Montessori method go to http://animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Montessori.htm and click on the picture.

http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching children

Teacher Peter

secondlifechurch2aa1

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Using internet to teach multi classes with one teacher

 

Evolution of internet classroom teaching

This is how a primary school class evolved into an internet class.

This is a case study about the evolution of how teaching ESL in China evolved from teaching one class to a multi-media classroom with over 300 kids in one grade all being taught by one teacher.

To teaching one class to teaching all the classes in that grade in one school over the internet.

To teaching all the same classes in the one grade over the three different schools in the one private school company.

It is about the trials and tribulations and how having young modern teachers with internet experience and a principle who wanted to use technology even though she didn’t know very much about it herself.

The young teachers were using power point in the classrooms and the classes all had internet access. Just standard stuff nothing spectacular.

I’ve been teaching ESL to kids for a number of years so I know what I am doing. But in China you, as a foreign teacher are expected to do the unusual without any warning.

I started off my China experience in the standard classroom in a primary school with anywhere between 30 and 70 kids in a classroom. That was standard and i perfected my flashcard and drawing on the blackboard teaching.

But then In China nearly every school has a lecture hall they call a multi-media classroom, seats probably 300 and you have a book projector and a white board at the front plus a hand held microphone. It is like a lecture hall with the teacher at the bottom and most students staring down at you. To save money they figured if they put me in there I could teach all the classes at once, except they forgot to tell me that they had changed the schedule. When I got there there was every grade one student, 6 year olds, about 400 of them sitting everywhere. On the stairs and they brought in extra seats for the gap at the front. The kids were actually seated in their class, in the big hall with their English teacher controlling them. I think there was 8 classes in there.

It was a very successful class, I turned it into an entertainment event and the kids loved it, but they all knew me so that was a plus. I taught all the kids in the whole school this way. That was from grade one to six. This was my first experience of teaching a very large class.

Now we get onto the internet bit. I was back to teaching one class at a time and the school, being a private school had to upgrade to get a higher rating in the private school list in the city. So they put these huge 2 meter TV screens hooked up to the internet in all the classroom. There was one young English teacher there who spoke perfect English and had never left China, but she spent a lot of time on the internet. And she figured with my help we could join up all the classes in one grade and I could teach one class and the other classes could watch the class on the TV.

That was easier said than done as the principle said we could give it a go as long as it cost nothing. First we tried secondlife.com. I had a strange feeling that is where she went to speak English. It looked good but not really very engrossing and the kids faded out very early on in the class. It was easy to set up we just downloaded the software to most of the computers in grade 1 — 5 and 6 year olds. We had one avatar on each computer. Secondlife dropped the under 13 level I think so we were all on the main virtual world. The little kids were fascinated but the parents were not to impressed, which is nothing unusual.

But in secondlife I couldn’t do anything like the flash cards or writing on the board. So the kids could only repeat what I said. And they could yell and scream as much as they liked and they could hear themselves and they loved it. I used to call out the class number so they could repeat what I said, instead of all the classes answering at once. We all met at the Library of Primatives Sandpit in secondlife. And we could make as much noise as we wanted and nobody cared.

It was really good and we did what we set out to do. Which was one teacher over many classes. To be honest I faded out before the students as I was just repeating myself. After 15 minutes I think we were all pretty bored, so we started looking for something else.

So we tried ustream.tv. Now ustream.tv has two big glaring issues, one the screen size is fixed, you can’t go to full screen and there is no return audio, everything is done through a chat box. But it is very easy to set up and very easy for the classes to hook up to ustream.tv and watch the class. But they couldn’t join in.

It was live and I could use the flash cards and write on the whiteboard, which kept me happy. The size was an issue and after the kids realised that I couldn’t hear them they lost interest. When we were on secondlife the kids knew I could hear them so they yelled as loud as they could, and they tried to drown out the other classes.

So we went looking for a free audio and video conference call with as many windows as we could get. To teach all the classes in one grade we needed seven screens. I already had an account with oovoo.com and had used them before when they had 6 screens. Now they have 12 screens, just what we were looking for. We had to download the software just like secondlife, but the learning curve to get it all set up was pretty easy. That meant showing the other teachers how to get online and join in the class. In most of the grades there was an internet apt student that could put it all together.

Anyway we played around with the screen sizes and somehow managed to keep my screen on top so I hogged most of the screen, while the classes videos were on the side bar. Anyway the kids loved it as they could see themselves and me and they knew they were live. In most cases there was just my screen and the class screen visible to one class. We started off with all the classes on the one screen but then we slowly cut a few off. Also we could record my screen and the kids could watch it again whenever they liked.

We thought we were set and we were. The principle took a liking to ustream.tv since the whole school was linked on ustream. And the principle could give talks live to every class and to the whole school. Before she used to use the speakers now she used both.

We finally got all the bugs out of the system and everything was back to normal until. I worked for a private school company and they had a number of schools scattered around the edge of the city. The owners came and had a look at what we were doing and they were very impressed. They wanted to make sure we were not breaking any rules to do with putting stuff up on the internet. Then when they realised we were not uploading anything except me they were quiet happy.

Everything was going well until the foreign teacher left one of the other schools. Then we had to go and set up that school, so they could also receive the video lesson. It was just enough as there were 6 classes in each grade. We had a few more teething problems but we got it together. I first had to go to the other school to give lessons so the kids got to know me. And this way I could alternate between the schools to give the main lesson to different classes. I was doing that now at the main school, so I was actually teaching a different class each time.

When we had a guest teacher in who was just going to give a talk. We would either hook them up to secondlife, so the whole school could join in and listen and ask questions or ustream it. And the kids could just listen.

Having all the classes linked together gave the school a lot more options. Some teachers were worried they would lose their jobs but they were still needed to keep control of the classes during the video lessons.

For more information about teaching in China click here.

Here is the orginial version on scholar

I like the Montessori system of teaching writing and reading and this is the course I recommend

http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching your children

Teacher Peter

secondlifechurch2aa1

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With The Pencil Going The Way Of The Dinosaur You Still Need To Know How To Teach Your Child To Write

Nowadays most schools let children print in block letters like the keys on a keyboard instead of teaching writing as in continuous cursive. Probably a lot of parents cannot see any benefit in teaching writing as their children spend more time on a keyboard than with a pen and notepad. With the influx of modern technology in the classroom and university it would seem that writing is going extinct. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Your children still need to be able to write so you, the parent, need to know how to teach your children to write. Teaching writing is not too difficult and once your children know how to write they can write on cards and write shopping lists.

I prefer the Montessori way of teaching writing and reading as it uses a hands on approach and can be used with a school textbook. The basics behind the Montessori approach is sandpaper letters. You make up the words your child is learning at school or kindergarten. And your child traces the sandpaper letter feeling the texture of the sandpaper under her fingertips. This feeling the letters, helps to implant the letters and words and how to write them in your child’s mind.

When tracing the words your child is actually going through the motions of writing without a pencil. This gets the hand and arm muscles read to start writing when your child picks up a pen. Writing like most learning takes time, and I think the Montessori approach with sandpaper letters actually shortens the time it takes for you to teach your child to write.

According to Maria Montessori some children learn to read first, while others learn to write first. It depends on the child. I have the child trace the new words or phonic sounds with Montessori sandpaper letters and this helps to write the new words in the child’s mind. While tracing the sandpaper letters the child is actually writing with her fingers so this is the start of the writing process.

Sometimes teaching writing too early can hinder learning to read in some children. Because writing takes a longer time than reading it can slow down the child as she spends more time trying to write. If your child is a slow writer just stick to reading.

The school system of today has no time for slow writers but the main problem has more to do with hand strength than slow writing. Under the Montessori system the child’s hand strength is built up every day. Therefore when they start to write the child can control the pencil.

If your child is having problems with writing, start by building up your child’s hand strength. This simple act seems to eliminate a lot of writing problems.

Under the Montessori system the child will start to write by themselves. After tracing the sandpaper letters the child will usually pick up a pencil and just start to write without any encouraging. The first part of the writing process is learning to hold a pencil and coloring in different sized shapes. This gets the muscles in the hand and arm ready for writing. The earlier children start to hold and use a pencil the earlier they will start to write.

I like the Montessori system of teaching writing and reading and this is the course I recommend

http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Teaching-Reading.htm

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

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All the best teaching your children

Teacher Peter

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