View Full Version : Tips to improve writing

09-27-2011, 11:25 AM
My ds is in grade 1 and the teacher told me that he is having a hard time with the writing - he is in the bottom 5 of the class. He says he takes a long time to write things down, but his letter formation is good. They have to copy things down from the board. I asked what I could do at home to help and he said he was looking into it. My ds is not super motivated and I am fearful that pushing too hard at home will backfire.

I asked him why it takes so long and he said that sometimes he loses his place of where he is copying and starts to write down the wrong word and has to start over again.

Any suggestions to help him?

09-27-2011, 12:10 PM
I think I would get his eyes checked, and let him practice at home maybe. Does he have issues writing if it's not off the board?

(disclaimer, I do not have a first grader yet, so suggestions are purely theoretical)

09-27-2011, 12:21 PM
How long are these notes they are copying from the board? I remember from experience having difficulty writing off the board and that was grade 11. For the same reason Id always lose my place. Im surprised that he is having his grade ones copy from the board.

Is he have a hard time writing if he is not coping things down? Like writing from memory? Where does he sit in class at the front or back? Would it help to move him closer? What about asking the teacher to have a copy of what on the board to be put in paper and let him copy from the paper on his desk?

I agree with getting his eyes checked and letting him practice at home aswell.

09-27-2011, 12:36 PM
the notes are not long - they write them in their agenda. They are things like "joyeux anniversaire Amanda"; or "picture day tomorrow"; or their 5 words for the week. They have smart boards in their classroom and everything is done off of that.

I am trying not to obsess over this, but I tend to do that. I was not impressed with the level of teaching in kindergarden (the play based learning system did not result in any real instruction for him, but it seems other school did a lot more)

01-02-2012, 03:39 PM
woah, for a minute there I thought that you were me. I have received this EXACT same message, word for word. I think our kids have the same teacher.

01-03-2012, 02:52 AM
have him practice while you observe.

write his 5 words, or little sentences on paper and tape them up on the wall. it will take some time but it could help you to understand exactly how it is going for him.

maybe talking to the teacher about numbering the words...so the first word could have a 1 above it, the secone word have a 2 and so on. this could help him understand the sentence structure.

these are just random ideas too lol

and whats a smart board?

01-03-2012, 03:39 AM
I'd start with the simple stuff - like getting his eyes checked, asking the teacher if he's sitting in a place that makes it easy for him to see the board (ie he doesn't have to turn his body etc).

Tell the teacher that he's losing his place in the sentence and see if there are easy solutions. The teacher could write each word in a different colour to make it easier to track, or could eliminate visual clutter around where those phrases are posted - that sort of thing.

IF his letter formation is good, it's not likely fine motor skills that are the issue but you could work on both those skills and his tracking skills by doing things like building lego or kinex sets using the instructions. The act of locating the next step, finding the piece, completing the task and going back to the next step in the instructions uses all the same sorts of skills as copying from the board.

You can also help him learn to chunk letters together so he can remember it in sections. So in English if he is writing Birthday he can think if the "th" and "day" as chunks of a word. Some other strategies to teach him is to check the last two letters he wrote to help him scan and locate the next ones. If he just wrote Y in Joyeux, tell him to look for the two preceding letters JO so that he can more easily find where he was on the board. Also teach him to say the letters silently as he is looking at them and then again as he is writing them.

Playing memory games will help (like the song I am going on a picnic and I am taking an apple, a banana, a campstove) or the ones where you have 10 things on a tray and you take one away and see if they can spot which one is missing., or even concentration. You want to strengthen short term recall skills so that he can remember what he was working on as he shifts from reading to writing to recalling and back to reading while doing his copywork.

Honestly though, what he's dealing with is completely normal developmental stuff for a 6-8 year old boy and he will likely grow through that in the next little while.

good luck!

01-03-2012, 02:10 PM
I'm not Momofcuties, but a smart board is a high tech white board. It is kind of a combination of an overhead projector, black board, white board and touch screen computer. Ryerson is a technology advanced school and they have smart boards, micophones, ipods, ipads and dual boot computers.

I don't know anything about London but I do know that is is difficult for many 6 year old boys to sit for extended periods of time with 'busy work'. It is difficult for them to see the value is practicing letter writing as there are so many more interesting things to get up to..ykwim? Taking a long time could be distraction, boredom, or difficulty with letter formation, hard to tell with that amount of limited information.

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