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Finding the ‘write’ time

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Finding the ‘write’ time

Writing Time 1/6/18


Handwriting is an important part of learning development, but in a crowded curriculum, how do you find the time to fit it in? The trick is to use a handwriting lesson not just for handwriting practice, but for other purposes. It’s about pairing the right time with the right purpose so handwriting practice can enhance your weekly routine. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Kickstart the day

The morning bell sounds and your students start to trickle into the classroom. They may still be waking up, finishing part of their breakfast, or maybe (hopefully) they’re beaming with excitement, ready for the day ahead. One thing is for sure: the morning session sets the tone for the rest of the day, and a handwriting lesson provides the ideal setting to get everyone on track for learning.

For the lower years, why not start the day with a song? Get your students moving while they consolidate their understanding of the Hero Lines. Log into Writing Time Online and have students sing along to the songs and perform the actions.

For the upper years, students can practise the different strokes, slants and loops of letter formation with one of the beautifully illustrated art activities in the Writing Time Student Practice Book.

Settle down after lunch

Your students come bursting through the door after lunch. They’re buzzing full of energy and not yet settled to get back into learning. A quick handwriting lesson will provide the perfect balance of winding down and refocusing – and a reflection-based activity is the ideal task.

First, project the 3Ps from Writing Time Online to model correct posture, paper position and pencil grip. These easy-to-follow pictures and tips help students to properly prepare for the handwriting lesson ahead.

Then have students write a reflection paragraph about their lunch break. Allow up to 10 minutes for the task. Depending on the year level, you may want to provide a few sentence starters to get them on their way. Once the time is up, or you feel they’ve settled down, ask a few students to share their reflections. A class mailbox where students can ‘post’ their daily thoughts and reflections is also a great way to clear their minds.

Launch into a lesson

A dedicated handwriting session that has a theme related to the next lesson is the perfect springboard to engage and prepare students to dive into deeper learning. For any subject, a great way to both practise handwriting and gauge prior knowledge is to have students write a short blurb on their understanding of a concept. Or, for targeting specific curriculum areas, try these ideas:

  • For history – Have students practise writing capital letters by completing a crossword puzzle themed to a historical event, such as the Federation of Australia.
  • For maths – Have students warm up by tracing numbers or practising writing numerals in a restricted space.
  • For English – Have students create a character profile poster using precise handwriting technique.

If you’re teaching Years 4 to 6, why not take advantage of the curriculum-themed activities in the Writing Time Student Books? These ready-made activities are the ideal jumping-off point for your next history, science, English or geography lesson. For example, students can practise their handwriting skills, while expanding their vocabulary, as they complete a science-themed crossword activity. Check out our recent article Take a cross-curricular approach to handwriting practice to discover how you can include handwriting practice specific to other subject areas.

So, when you’re planning your next handwriting lesson, think about the right time and the right purpose for the activity – whether that be first thing in the morning to kickstart the day, after lunch to settle and focus, or to launch into a lesson. You might even like to mix up your handwriting routine throughout the week.

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