Wed Jun 17, 2015 20:41

Have any of you ever heard of Letterland? It's a program with a "character" assigned to each letter that begins with it's phonetic sound (Annie Apple, Bouncing Ben) that teaches spelling and reading. We use it at the preschool I work at and every Monday we start a new letter. They would color in the letter that had the character somehow drawn in. Does this method count as tracing and copying, or is it just introducing the letters? The kids at the preschool seem to remember the names, sounds, and what the letters look like so it seems effective.

  • Handwriting Instruction - andersenal, Wed Jun 17 11:52
    It was really interesting to read and hear about how tracing and copying are not effective methods for teaching writing. It's something I had never put much thought into before but I can see how... more
    • Reply to "Handwriting Instruction" - Hayden Porter, Sat Jun 20 23:52
      I wondered the same thing! Such a good point. I was interested to learn about how tracing and copying aren't the most effective ways to teach writing. But I guess it makes sense if you think about it!
    • RE: Handwriting Instruction - hildebranak, Sat Jun 20 19:17
      The thing that stuck out most to me in the "How Not To.." lecture was with copying and tracing the students are only learning "a visual task instead of a cognitive" task. So the students writing... more
    • I think that we have to - Britt Hatcher, Sat Jun 20 12:42
      I think that in general there has to be some sort of tracing and copying. I know that I did that with both penmanship and cursive. I think that when it comes to an ASD student that a good idea to try ... more
    • Re: Handwriting Instruction - brownrf, Fri Jun 19 23:48
      I had the same question, what should we do during this 10-15 minute period? I know when I was growing up, instead of tracing, my mom would by me wide ruled paper and I would just really practice... more
    • reply andersenal - rognstadgr, Thu Jun 18 19:51
      I wrote about this same issue. I was pleasantly surprised that tracing and copying are ineffective. But what's next? From the lecture, I learned the importance of free writing. Giving the student... more
    • Re: Handwriting Instruction - Hillary Yarbrough, Thu Jun 18 14:48
      This is a very good point. After reading and hearing about how tracing/copying is not beneficial to students, I realized how often that happens at school. So many times I have seen students doing... more
    • in context - catheyt, Thu Jun 18 13:57
      i think instruction is most powerful when put/ practiced in context. I teach K and we do practice copying the letter a to learn proper formation: in the air, on the ground, in shaving cream on tables ... more
    • Letterland? - macdonaldke, Wed Jun 17 20:41
      • re: letterland - stacy huffman, Thu Jun 18 23:00
        My school uses Letterland. I have seen it work great with some students, while other students just perseverate on the characters. One thing that seems a bit confusing for me (and I am neuro-typical... more
      • where does the learning happen? - catheyt, Thu Jun 18 14:02
        My question with a program like this would be, are they learning the letter because they color it and trace it? They are probably learning the letter because they are connecting the name with the... more
        • re: more of a phonics exercise - macdonaldke, Thu Jun 18 17:32
          I think you are right in that Letterland was developed mostly to build phonemic awareness and sound-letter recognition rather than using the letters to write. Thanks for the insight!
      • Re: Letterland - Angie Helton, Thu Jun 18 08:04
        I'm in Caldwell County and our district uses letterland. The students do seem to remember the characters and the shape of the letters with this program. I think it is more of an introduction to... more
    • Re: Handwriting Instruction - bennettmc, Wed Jun 17 14:40
      We were probably working on our posts at the same time because I also discussed this concept about how copying is ineffective. I agree with you, it is something I have not really thought about before ... more
    • Re: Handwriting Instruction - McKenzi Davis, Wed Jun 17 14:38
      This is also something that I wondered about! I actually was going through an old box of school things and found my very own handwriting book from elementary school where I practiced training dotted... more
      • Handwriting Answers - andersenal, Wed Jun 17 15:49
        I checked out the handwriting program that Dr. Koppenhaven posted in General Resources to see what it was like. It did actually have some copying and tracing as a way of introducing letters. But it... more
    • how to teach handwriting - koppenhaverd, Wed Jun 17 14:37
      There is one research-based curriculum that I am aware of, CASL by Steve Graham and It is free. I'll link a PDF of the curriculum to the writing resources page in the general resources folder.
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