Thursday, August 13, 2009

My adventures in writing

This week's picnic talk is about writing. There was a whole slew of questions, but here's the ones I thought to answer.

Do you enjoy writing? About what? Why? What's your favorite writing utensil?

I love writing, I'm not very good at it, and my writing tends to be very derivative. Seriously, it's not that great. My grammar is atrocious, and I tend to have the plot of the latest novel I've read stuck in my head, so...... While I love actual real handwritten letters, and the feel of them. I have to admit, I'm a computer gal. I love my Microsoft Word and all of their other programs and can make really cool looking stuff in them. That, and I have problems with my wrists, so writing too much causes me problems. I get the same thing with typing, it just takes longer.

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The difference between printing and writing and what do we do to write?

Right now my kids are not up to writing stories. So we do story templates. Here's an example of what a story template is: Monster Book. The idea is the child will fill in the blank. It's one of the things we used when I taught 1st grade. This gives them some ownership of their writing, but does not overwhelm them too much. This year I'm going to start them on telling me one sentence about their day, and I will write it down, and they illustrate it.

Printing is the skill of learning to write your alphabet. Towards that end my kids are not technically able yet. We're working our way there. Here's what we're doing to improve fine motor control to get to printing.

1. Playdough- it's great for strengthening muscles and learning fine motor

2. Coloring and Painting- lots of that, again it helps to improve fine motor. I've seen great strides in Superman's coloring just this summer. Also, this helps with learning how to hold your pencil.

3. I'm doing some practice printing pages with the boys to get them used to making the movements.

4. We're also doing "drawing" lessons. It's basically working on drawing shapes and simple line drawings. So, this week our theme was sun, so they drew a circle and the rays from the sun. Depending on how complicated the lesson is I will try to post it, for anyone who's interested. As soon as I find my lesson book, I'm going to be doing Mr. Pencil line drawings. They replicate the movements used to write letters, but it's a fun way to practice and learn to draw animals.

So, that's what we do for writing around here, for more ideas on writing go to ABC &123

Also, I'm going to be starting my nursery rhyme posts again next week, and completely starting our books over. So, if you want to join in the creation process pick up a spiral notebook to keep yours in. I'd recommend an art notebook like this: Spiral notebook. Try to find one that's not perforated on the side so the pages don't fall out. You could use just a plain notebook paper one, but it won't stand up as well to painting.

I'll be starting over with "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," it's the only rhyme I could find with Sun in it.
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