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Thread: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

  1. #1

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    Default How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    DD has taught herself how to write all letters (upper and lowercase) - I have never 'taught' her, and she says they don't do it at Childcare/Kinder - but she can write them all I think - judging by the words she writes. She loves drawing and she doesn't distinguish between drawing and writing, so assume she has just picked it up by copying letters just like she does pictures, and now can visualize how each letter should look) However at a friends today she found these cards which had letters on them and showed the order of the strokes to create the letter - for quite a few of them DD did not use how was prescribed on the card (or how I would do it either) e.g. uppercase M.

    I was talking to friend and she said that schools in VIC use a prescribed script - so letters are formed in a certain way.



    So am curious does it matter how you form an M for example - surely as long as it looks like an M that is the main thing - the order of the strokes might be helpful if you are learning but if you already have worked out how to write an M in a different way can it matter? Are there particular ideas/theories about why an r should have a 'tail' etc. etc.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    dD writes in her own way, I'm sure things will change next year, my advice, look for info on the victorian education website.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    Left to right, up to down. It matters when it comes to forming words a little faster because if they write that way they are ready to start the next letter at the end of the first letter. Then when they go to cursive they are in the habit of ending the letter at the beginning of the next letter so it comes more naturally.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    rED Writing is an app that has all the approved fonts for Australian schools if she wants to practice.

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    I did, have a look on the Vic Ed website earlier today - but could only seem to find resources aimed at teachers - I was after something more aimed at parents/laymans guide - for example until today I had never heard the word 'cursive' - it isn't used in the UK.

    So what I can fathom what happens is they learn how to write in a particular way of printing the letters which then when they move to joined up writing (which is the term used in the UK for cursive??).

    The idea of particular approved fonts is completely new to me, if such a thing ever existed in the UK when I was at school I was completely unaware of it.

    I am not fussed about her practicing - but I just wanted to be able to answer her question as to why you should follow the arrows on these cards, and understand for my own curiosity.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    The arrows on the card show correct formation of the letters, it then leads onto to cursive script or running writing. So the letter 'y' for instance has a correct way to start and finish so they can easily move on to running writing in Grade 3 and join the letters.

    My DS2 has seen an OT to help with his handwriting as he was struggling. I wanted him to see her in the early years so as to help him when he goes onto Grade 3 and they are expected to move onto to cursive script.
    In Australia, kids get Pens Licenses. This is when they can correctly and continually write in cursive script.

    I say Grade 3 for running writing as this is when most Victorian Schools move onto running writing after the kids spending their first years correctly forming the letters.

    As for resources, I have a couple of writing books that I have purchased online, they are called Victorian Targeting Handwriting - Student Book. These are the Victorian Modern Cursive handbooks for students.

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    Pen licences??? Something else I have never heard of.

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    Pen licences have been around for as long as I can remember 😊 I wrote in grey lead pencil up until grade 3 when we had to do a written "test" to be able to commence writing in pen. I still remember receiving my yellow licence Lol 😂

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    I should have elaborated, kids write in grey lead up to and including Grade 3 until they can correctly write continuously in cursive script, they then get a 'Pen License' where they are allowed to write using a biro instead of grey lead
    It's not a test as such these days, it's a demonstration of continuously writing correctly in cursive script through daily observation.
    Some kids may not get their 'Pen License' until later.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    I was terrible at cursive writing and couldn't get my head around it so my Mum asked my teacher to just accept me writing in print and that was fine. So I think if making letters her way makes more sense to her then be prepared to advocate for that at school.

    We never had pen licenses at my school. It's something most people I know remember but doesn't happen everywhere.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    There is a correct formation and continuation for writing letters.
    Letter formation assists in children learning the next step of cursive writing.
    Much research went into how people wrote and this led to the choice of "approved" letter formation and standard script for schools. When I was teaching there was some minor variation between states but I am unsure if this is still the case
    Pen Licences are often used but not a formal part of handwriting. Some teachers do it and others don't.
    Either way sometime around yr 3 or 4 depending on the state children begin to write with a pen and then go on to master cursive writing.
    In my experience if children habitually hold pencils incorrectly or form letters in the wrong direction it is a little harder for them to master the "approved" script however this should not be a major concern and certainly not a reason to discourage them from forming letters.
    Encouraging the correct direction and formation certainly helps but I wouldn't do it if it caused a child to lose interest in forming letters in the pre-school years.
    Hope this helps

  12. #12

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    Thanks for the info Kateo - DD is a very 'why' child just like her mum - and I couldn't answer at first why she should do them a different way - I will explain to her and see what happens - she certainly loves writing at the moment and would like that to continue. (Capital letters - it seems a bit pointless to me e.g. capital M - surely it will never be joined at the beginning e.g. 'theM' only as 'Men' - so why it is better to do the a down stroke then from the top do the V bit instead of just one up, down, up, down. That is assuming you don't join capital letters when used altogether e.g. in THEM?)

    Also she is forever correcting me for not having the 'tail' as she calls it on a lower case r for example - now for me I would never do a tail on an r, but it seems the tail is important for moving on to cursive? She says she hasn't been taught writing letters at childcare, but this concept of the 'tail' on the r she must be getting from somewhere unless it is just that the writing she sees at daycare is all written that way.

    I do find the idea of an 'approved' script curious - we never had that in the UK - does that mean that peoples handwriting here is more uniform I wonder? Mine is pretty appalling, but has never been fantastic unless I was doing calligraphy or something but it wasn't too bad - just is appalling now due to lack of practice.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    Are you sure you never had an approved script in the UK?
    It's not something that children think about but I assume that you would have been taught whatever your teachers were taught to teach when they were at teaching college. I never knew that there were approved fonts until I had to take DS1 to an OT.
    A quick google for my own curiosity suggests that most schools have a handwriting policy to ensure uniformity across classes.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: How is writing taught in Prep/Foundation?

    I am fairly sure there wasn't when I was at school - I did some research and came across the following quotes if you google 'The acquisition of handwriting
    in the UK - Tom Davis' you will find it - it is about the period I would have been at primary school 1981-1992. I do think I would remember maybe not the early years but if there was any concept of pen licences or similar and there being a standard for joined up writing as we called it.

    In general what the project showed was this. Handwriting of UK citizens is, compared with that of those educated elsewhere in Europe or in America, very various. No uniformity is imposed centrally, at the governmental level, or locally, by Local Educational Authorities. There are several different handwriting systems to be found in the available copybooks, and each copybook may present its own version of the system it derives from. Individual schools may favour particular systems or particular copybooks, but often it is left to the individual teacher of handwriting to adopt whatever method they feel comfortable with.
    this means is that diversity, rather than uniformity, is the rule. Diversity is also encouraged by modern theories of child-centred education, and by the belief that the style should be adapted to the individual child's abilities rather than that each child, whatever his or her skills, should aim to imitate the perfection of the model writing. Here even in our small sample practice varied considerably, from one end of the spectrum to another, but it is clear at least that diversity is to be expected rather than conformity. And the relative autonomy of the schools from the prescriptions of the LEA's further reinforces this general picture.
    Things may well have changed now - my generation were taught very little about grammar and sentence construction, but things have swung the other way now (I think a lack of understanding about the structure of the English language is a barrier to learning other languages - so is good that the structure of the English language is being covered a little more now).

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