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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Handwriting Without Tears in January

Three new letters are getting added to the letter books this month. The letters that the children will be working on are Ss, Jj, and Dd. Those squiggly lines are starting to creep in more and more.

I also did some fun things with my three-year-old class this week. First, on Tuesday we did the polishing of the wood pieces that I had talked about earlier. They really had a good time with it. They just thought it was a blast to be helping Mrs. Nodolski keep everything clean. If you recall polishing helps to suggest hand dominance, introduces the names of the wooden pieces, and helps strengthen their motor skills by rubbing the pieces.

After we polished all the pieces we decided to make Mat Man. Mat Man helps develop body awareness, drawing skills, socialization, and number awareness. HWT comes with a great CD which has lots of songs to help with the different skills. Mat Man is one of those songs.

To make Mat Man you use the wooden pieces along with a few other made pieces. The song helps to identify 1 head, 2 eyes, 1 nose, etc.. until the whole body is made. I did this with my whole group. Each child got a piece of Mat Man and when the song indicated their body part, they added on the correct piece or pieces. It was quite fun and he was really cute when he was finished. We did this activity on Tuesday and the children asked me today if we could do it again.
The other activity we did was concentrating on fine motor skills and strength. We first did an activity with a fingerplay called Ten Little Fingers. This helped us to stretch our hand and move our fingers different positions.

The next song we did was "The Crayon Song." This song is used to help children learn the correct hold of writing utensils. Each child got a small crayon and followed the directions given in the song to hold their crayon. This was a little more challenging for the children. We will definitely be practicing this more often.

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