Sentence Strip Handwriting

Before I get into the nitty gritty here, I want to first say that ALuv is currently 5 1/2 years old.  It’s time for him to work on correct letter formation with the lined paper.  I like Michelle’s post, which reminded me to tell you that I didn’t start ALuv on lined paper.  His fine motor skills weren’t there, yet.  Lined paper would have pushed him and this mama off the edge!  We explored writing in many different ways.  His favorite way was by far the giant dry erase boards I have.

Now for the nitty gritty!  On Monday, I told you that I had thought of a way to have ALuv practice his handwriting.  I know you’ve been awake ever since then just wondering what I did…hehe.

As I pondered a way to have him practice his handwriting on the lined paper, it hit me!  Sentence strips have the same lined pattern as the paper.  And I had tons of sentence strips.  I got to work!

1. I cut apart sentence strips into 1 1/2 inch pieces.  You can find sentence strips at any teacher store.  I think I even saw some at Target the other day.

2. I wrote upper case and lower case letters on the pieces:

  • 3 of every lower case consonant (written in black)
  • 4 of every lower case vowel (red)
  • 2 of every upper case consonant (black)
  • 3 of every upper case vowel (red)

My mind started reeling.  This activity could also be a way to practice his sight words from his Word Wall.  He could even form short sentences to practice punctuation as well!

3. I cut out more pieces for punctuation

  • 2 periods (blue)
  • 2 question marks (blue)
  • 2 exclamation marks (blue)

4. I pulled out the letters & punctuation I needed for these three short sentences:

  • I love you.
  • I go up.
  • I see you.

I kept the sentences short & sweet as the focus of my lesson was more on handwriting than sight words.

5.  I placed all the letters on the floor and modeled with the sentence I go.  I picked the sentence strip letters, spelled the words, then wrote my letters/sentence on the dry erase board; showing him how I used the letters on the sentence strips as my guide to form my letters.

The dry erase lined board is one that I got at Target in their $1 bin last year.  An alternative to this would be to print a page off of this website and laminate it so you can write with a dry erase marker.  Or, you could simply use a pencil and lined paper.

6. I called out one sentence at a time and he got to work.  He manipulated the letters to form words then wrote each sentence.

He really liked this activity and kept commenting on how his letters looked like a first grader had written them!  I was encouraged by his enthusiasm.  We’ll definitely do this again with different sentences.  My hope is that as he gets more comfortable with his handwriting, we can write some longer sentences.

A variation that I thought of after our activity would be to laminate all your sentence strip pieces.  This would not only make them more durable, but would allow your child the ability to practice writing over top of the sentence strip pieces if needed.

NJoy wanted to be right there with us, so here’s what he did with his dry erase markers.  He’s REALLY into drawing balloons these days, so I let him have at it.  Coloring on the dry erase board is a treat for him because I rarely let him do it.  If he’s not overly-supervised, dry erase marker adorns everything in his path! 🙂


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: We Play With Words « This Reading Mama
  2. Debbie Clement
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 21:15:59

    Hey, Reading Mama. I am a contributing author for Zaner-Bloser Handwriting (they’ve been around for over 100 years, I say they’ve invented paper, but that’s an exageration.) In any case, I came over to see your idea and think it’s really awesome. Thanks for sharing.


    • This Reading Mama
      Jun 03, 2011 @ 22:49:36

      Thanks for coming over to visit and thanks for commenting! I’m glad you liked it. I cannot even begin to tell you what an improvement I am seeing with his handwriting these days! I’m going to be posting next week about. I hope you’ll stop by again.


  3. Michelle Breum
    Jun 12, 2011 @ 14:51:41

    Thanks for adding a link to my post. You’ve really gotten your son motivated! That’s half the battle.
    Have you tried dry-erase crayons? They’d work well on laminated paper or sentence strips.


    • This Reading Mama
      Jun 13, 2011 @ 07:00:05

      Any time! You’ve got a lot of great information on your blog. It’s a wonderful resource. Just out of curiosity, how many kids do you tutor currently? I’m at 3, but at the end of July, I will stop. 😦 I will be homeschooling my kids full time and another student 2 days a week..

      No, I haven’t even seen the dry erase crayons. Does Crayola make them?


  4. Trackback: More Butterfly Writing « This Reading Mama
  5. Trackback: Short o and Sight Word Play « This Reading Mama

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