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Writing at the tracing level


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#1 mamashark

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:16 AM

I found out yesterday that DD6 needs a writing level where she is tracing words... no copying yet, just tracing, but more than just letters., so now I'm realizing that I don't have to forgo writing altogether, just back it down to her level. The problem is all the "learn to write" resources I have already (WWE, maze writer, Brave Writer and a K level cursive workbook) aren't quite at her level. 

 

Would you suggest that I modify WWE 1 so that she's tracing the sentences instead of copying them? (But then we'll have to skip the memorization too...) or is there a resource that doesn't jump straight from copying letters to writing words without tracing? Maze writer only has her copying letters, I need it a little more advanced than that, but not sure whether I need to make my own or if there's something already at that level done for me?

 

 



#2 OhElizabeth

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:23 AM

You found out as in an OT told you to do this or you discovered it was a good fit by working with her? Just curious, because I had a point where I wanted to do this and the OT was like oh no, don't do that... 

 

For copywork, I would use things she's able to read and spell, so the only effort is toward the handwriting. You can use software to make dotted versions of sentences or phrases from your reading/spelling program. You can write/type them yourself and then let her write on tracing paper overlaying them. Ahh, just caught you said words.

 

Have you done writing in sand? That was a good stage for us. You can get a long way with sand writing.



#3 mamashark

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:31 AM

You found out as in an OT told you to do this or you discovered it was a good fit by working with her? Just curious, because I had a point where I wanted to do this and the OT was like oh no, don't do that...

For copywork, I would use things she's able to read and spell, so the only effort is toward the handwriting. You can use software to make dotted versions of sentences or phrases from your reading/spelling program. You can write/type them yourself and then let her write on tracing paper overlaying them. Ahh, just caught you said words.

Have you done writing in sand? That was a good stage for us. You can get a long way with sand writing.


Well, no, not an ot suggestion... She cries and refuses to copy anything, but was willing to trace words yesterday in a Columbus activity.

Using words she can spell is a great idea because it would also help reinforce reading...yes we've done a lot of writing in sand, that was pretty much how we learned the letters and practiced them all last year.


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#4 EKS

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:08 AM

I got this software (or maybe it was called a font package?) that had all of the learn-to-write fonts in it (HWT was in there, for example).  You could also set it to make letters to trace.  If you got something like that you could make customized copy/tracing work.  This is what I did for my son.

 

Or you could use the technique my sons' preschool teacher used--write what she's supposed to trace with a highlighter.  Just be sure your child traces with the proper motions--you don't want her drawing letters (ask me how I know!).

 

I don't understand why you need to skip memorization if she's tracing rather than copying.

 

But yes, to answer your question, just modify the work so that it's appropriate to her needs.  


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#5 mamashark

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:22 AM

I got this software (or maybe it was called a font package?) that had all of the learn-to-write fonts in it (HWT was in there, for example).  You could also set it to make letters to trace.  If you got something like that you could make customized copy/tracing work.  This is what I did for my son.

 

Or you could use the technique my sons' preschool teacher used--write what she's supposed to trace with a highlighter.  Just be sure your child traces with the proper motions--you don't want her drawing letters (ask me how I know!).

 

I don't understand why you need to skip memorization if she's tracing rather than copying.

 

But yes, to answer your question, just modify the work so that it's appropriate to her needs.  

 

Thanks, that's a great suggestion! The reason we would need to skip the memorization portion of WWE is due to a working memory problem and not related to the writing modifications needed. Right now my priority is getting her to read and avoiding the "I hate all things related to learning" attitude. I just need to add things in slowly, I think. We spend a lot of time in make believe games that have her using language because the organization of language is hard for her. 

 

I have been focusing on only reading and math, and took a chance on the tracing work yesterday and it went over so well that I just wanted to capitalize on that and make writing part of her day as well. 



#6 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:47 AM

If you want working on pencil grip, you can reverse the highlighter suggestion and write out the copywork in highlighter and she uses a pencil for tracing. She can also make it disappear. If you write the copywork with permanent marker on foil, a dry erase board marker makes it disappear as traced over.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 10 October 2017 - 08:58 AM.

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#7 dmmetler

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:00 AM

Or just print in a lighter shade of grey. I have a student with dyslexia who needs handwriting practice, but isn't really ready to copy, and printing on about 50% darkness lets him trace with a pencil and have it be visible.
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#8 EKS

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:21 AM

If you want working on pencil grip, you can reverse the highlighter suggestion and write out the copywork in highlighter and she uses a pencil for tracing. 

 

This is what I intended to say--mom writes with a highlighter and student traces with a pencil. Sorry that wasn't more clear! 


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#9 ElizabethB

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 05:59 PM

I would go back over simple letter formation on a whiteboard, then add simple 2 letter words.  For example, review i, f, t.  Then, write it, if.  You model then she does it.  When you can write them large and work on connecting 2 letters at a time, it is easier.  I like the progression of letters in Zaner Bloser, you can get their self-instruction in handwriting workbook and then work in their order on a whiteboard.  

 

https://www.rainbowr...l.php?id=062315

 

Practice saying what you are doing white writing the stokes: up, down, cross t, for example.  The saying and doing and writing big letters helps.

 

The book has both cursive and manuscript.


Edited by ElizabethB, 10 October 2017 - 06:02 PM.

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#10 coastalfam

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:56 PM

I make my own for my son who still needs to trace a lot, but also needs to be writing sentences, phone number, address, etc. rather than just words and letters. 


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#11 Daria

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:36 PM

I am with OHElizabeth's OT on this one. There are so many valuable things you can be doing with a child at this level, but tracing is, at best, a pretty useless activity, and at worst, a great way to practice bad habits.

#12 mamashark

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 06:21 AM

I am with OHElizabeth's OT on this one. There are so many valuable things you can be doing with a child at this level, but tracing is, at best, a pretty useless activity, and at worst, a great way to practice bad habits.


So what would you substitute?


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#13 Daria

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 01:40 PM

So what would you substitute?


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Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you.

I want to make sure that I'm clear on what skills she has, and what skills she has, and what skills you'd like her to develop.

She can copy single letters, like if she sees an L, she can write an L, is that right?

 

Does she recognize all her letters?  

Can she write a letter from dictation (e.g. you say "write L" and she writes L)

Is she doing other kinds of writing?  



#14 mamashark

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 02:13 PM

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you.

I want to make sure that I'm clear on what skills she has, and what skills she has, and what skills you'd like her to develop.

She can copy single letters, like if she sees an L, she can write an L, is that right?

 

Does she recognize all her letters?  

Can she write a letter from dictation (e.g. you say "write L" and she writes L)

Is she doing other kinds of writing?  

 

Yes, she can copy single letters, she recognizes all her letters as well, but I've not tried dictating letters. She can also write her name.

 

She balks at just about everything I've tried to get her to do... she does not even like to have me write for her, so I have her tell me her "dreams" each morning, which has gotten to be quite an involved story telling time. 

 

She does like some coloring, but not drawing and she does not really care much about keeping in the lines when coloring but at least uses a variety of colors!



#15 Daria

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 05:57 PM

Yes, she can copy single letters, she recognizes all her letters as well, but I've not tried dictating letters. She can also write her name.

 

She balks at just about everything I've tried to get her to do... she does not even like to have me write for her, so I have her tell me her "dreams" each morning, which has gotten to be quite an involved story telling time. 

 

She does like some coloring, but not drawing and she does not really care much about keeping in the lines when coloring but at least uses a variety of colors!

 

I'd probably look for 3 kinds of activities, with 3 different goals

 

1) Activities that encourage her to remember the formation of the letters, so she can move from copying to writing from memory.  This might include:

-- Having her make letters out of various materials.  Handwriting without tears letter pieces,  or with tape, or by stamping with a bingo marker, or with playdough snakes.

 

-- Having her practice making letters without a model in front of her.  This might include

           

          Doing a worksheet where she copies a letter 1 - 3 times (there's not any benefit beyond that) and the flips it over and writes it on the back once by herself.

          Having her add things to a grocery list, etc . . . by writing the first letter.  If need be, you can work with her to figure out the first letter, and model it for her on a post it note.  Then remove the post it note before she starts. 

 

-- Practicing writing things in ways that aren't permanent.  For example, write a letter in shaving cream or finger paint or sand, then erase it, and then have her write it in the same materials.  Write a letter on an outside wall with a paint brush dipped in water.  Then erase it by painting over it with more water.  Have her do the same next to you.  

 

2) Activities that draw her attention to your writing words in context.  Having her dictate her dreams to you is fantastic.  Making predictable charts/texts is a very powerful way to help kids understand how letters and words fit together (https://www.med.unc....hartWriting.pdf).  Incorporating writing if you're drawing together, or involving her in something you're writing, like a birthday card or a grocery list.  

3) Activities that encourage her to plan and then purposely make marks (not coloring).  For kids who draw this is easy, but if she doesn't like to draw, I'd think about working with painter's tape to make roads, or runways or to lay out the floor plan or the cages for a zoo for toy figurines; or decorating food (I recently had a group of kids get really into making emoji faces on round rice crispy treats.  Emojis use many of the same lines, dots, and curves that letters do.  We made ours with snakes made of rolled up fruit roll up, but you could also do icing on cupcakes, or lines and rows of raisins on cream cheese on a rice cake).  Things that help her be purposeful about the direction she's drawing in, and to help her visualize in her head before she picks up a writing implement.