Writing Hurts My Hand

 Rachel, three years-old, holding the crayon using the tripod grasp. www.drawyourworld.com - Draw Write Now lesson

Does your child complain of a sore or tired hand while writing? 

I received a nice letter from Erica yesterday. A while back, she'd studied our Writing/Handwriting pages and bought some of the recommended pencils and grips for her son who is in 2nd Grade. Back then, she was concerned, because the boy was saying he hated school. After some discussion, he mentioned that his hand hurt from writing so much. Helping him change his grasp and giving him a different pencil made a huge difference and his attitude towards school dramatically improved.

Rachel, in the photo, is three years-old and developed the tripod grasp naturally on her own. See how she holds her crayon? Beautiful! Not all three year-olds can hold their pencil this way.

At three, a child's fine and gross motor skills are still developing and many children don't have the control  for holding a crayon or pencil in the tripod grasp. Let them draw and don't fret about their grasp—their fine and gross motor skills will develop. Generally, I like to start working with the child on the tripod grasp when they are five or around the time they want to start writing their name.

Erica's seven year-old son is a bright boy and probably had a pencil in hand at a young age, but unlike Rachel, he didn't transition into the tripod grasp. At three years-old, the way he held a pencil served him well, but proved to be a hindrance at the age of seven. 

What helped Erica's son was changing to a soft-lead pencil with a gripper and a little instruction and encouragement from Mom.

Think Like an Editor

The role of editor is explained in this new CommonCraft video. Many websites operate without an editor, so it’s important for each of us to…Think Like an Editor

As an author, I appreciate the guidance of a good editor. Children ask me how I feel when my editor asks me to change something or questions my work. I let them know: 

  • The editor’s comments might nudge me in a new creative direction.
  • Sometimes the editor notices something I haven’t. Even when I have put a lot of effort into my work, I sometimes overlook a simple error.
  • Getting the editor’s opinion gives me an understanding of other people’s standards and actually strengthens my own standards.

I encourage children to think of their teachers as editors. A good, objective editor (or teacher) helps us improve.

Source: http://www.commoncraft.com

Spanish—The Tripod Grip

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Hold the Pencil in the Tripod Grip

Kathy Pedroza teaches Spanish at a dual-language program and translated our “Tripod Grip” illustration. “This has been so helpful, especially in my Spanish dual-immersion class.”

She shows it to her students’ parents, includes it with a letter chart in her kindergarten homework envelope, and refers to it during her 1st-quarter progress report.

For more information on developing the tripod grasp, see Hold the Pencil and the Hold the Pencil Pamphlet.

Hold the Pencil in the Tripod Grip: DrawYourWorld
Hold the Pencil in the Tripod Grip: DrawYourWorld
 

Handwriting and Self-Assessment

Handwriting practice improves with assessment. drawyourworld.com
Handwriting practice improves with assessment. drawyourworld.com
Handwriting practice improves with assessment. drawyourworld.com
Handwriting practice improves with assessment. drawyourworld.com

Self-Assessment of handwriting work. montessoritidbits.com See montessoritidbits.com for Leann’s tips onImproving Handwriting with Draw Write Now.

Leann presents the lessons in three parts in her homeschool:

The Warm-up—review notes from the prior day and work on letters needing help.

Drawing and Writing—30 minutes of drawing and writing.

Self-Assessment—look over the writing and noting the best work and the things that can be improved.

In the classroom, the warm-up and assessment process is just as important. Handwriting improves when the teacher checks over the students’ drawings and writing, noting issues and adjusting the next day’s lesson.

My mom, Marie Hablitzel, had over 30 students in her classes, making it difficult for one-on-one time for self-assessments. The assessments were made, though—she carefully reviewed each of her students’ drawing and writing papers after class and adjusted the next day’s lesson or found time to work with students needing individual attention.

Assessment is a huge part of improving handwriting. 

Handwriting and drawing using Draw Write Now. montessoritidbits.com

Source: http://handsonhomeschooler.com/2013/02/imp...

50/50, Fiction/Nonfiction

Draw Your World
Draw Your World

 Newsletter | August 2012   .

50/50, Fiction/Nonfiction

Is nonfiction a significant part of your child’s reading material? The Common Core State Standards recommends that fifty percent of children’s reading text be fiction and fifty percent informational material, like science, social studies and history. Look for books that explain or are factual. Use written text to learn about the world.

Write Nonfiction

It’s one thing to write an imaginative story, it’s another thing to accurately describe and report. As with reading, the Common Core suggests that nonfiction and fiction writing skills be balanced. While drawing a polar bear, discuss the Arctic region and guide the children in drawing an appropriate Arctic background. The things included in their background drawing may serve as a prompt as they write about the bear’s environment.

Read and Discuss

Show that you enjoy reading nonfiction. Marie Hablitzel, the creator of the Draw Write Now lessons, kept a children’s encyclopedia close by while giving a lesson. When the opportunity arose, she read a paragraph or two aloud from the encyclopedia. Her interest in reading sparked the children’s interest and her thought-provoking questions nurtured their curiosity.

Vocabulary

Drawing instruction improves vocabulary, because basic words are demonstrated during a drawing lesson. While teaching, simply describe a line or shape and describe their relationships to each other. You may not even realize that you are modeling these words: over, under, above, below, left, right, diagonal, curved, straight, horizontal, vertical, near, around, between, center, half, quarter, smaller, larger, short, long, zig-zag, choppy, smooth.

Read More

Read multiple books on the same topic. A variety of sources provides a broader understanding of the topic. Nonfiction books on the Arctic:One Small Square: Arctic Tundra by Donald Silver, Houses of Snow, Skin and Bones by Bonnie Shemie, Here is the Arctic Winter by M. Dunphy, Sunshine Makes the Seasons by Franklyn Bradley.

Polar bears live in the Arctic.

Thick fur keeps them warm.

They are strong swimmers.

They swim in the icy ocean.

Why do Arctic foxes follow polar bears?
Polar bears hunt seals, but eat only the fat of the seal. Arctic foxes follow the bears and feast on the leftover seal meat. See Alaska’s Three Bears, by Shelley Gill.

 


Common Core

Common Core State Standards provide a clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. Individual states are adopting the standards, see New York.

The Standards, ELA

The English Language Arts Standards as they apply to Draw Write Now, from our publisher, Barker Creek. (pdf, 340kb)

 

Handwriting in the News

Computers and gadgets are great for children to experience, but remember to include handwriting instruction and regular practice. Draw and write with your children—make it fun for both of you! This video was on our local news station last night:

A study is mentioned that found the following:

KING5 HealthLink, children with good handwriting translates to good grades