Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Learning to Print

How many of us remember learning to print? As an adult, it’s really second-nature, isn’t it? It’s hard to think back and remember trying to get the order of the lines right and just the right proportions of the letters.

It’s in Pre-K and Kindergarten where children usually get their first exposure to organized learning and where they begin to learn about the world, usually through play. This is where you and I were most likely introduced to the very basics of the alphabet, and that certain letters make certain sounds, not to mention the specific shapes of each letter. Learning letter names, sounds, and shapes is the first step to becoming a great reader. Many children start to learn to print at this age.

Learning to print helps children distinguish words from pictures and to understand that print carries meaning. However, learning to print is not intuitive. It may seem simple enough on the surface, but there are multiple skills involved: basic pencil-control skills as well as drawing vertical and horizontal lines, diagonal lines, and the dreaded curved and wavy lines.

When I first taught kindergarten a few years back, I wondered about the best way to teach my students to print. Should I start with the letter A? If so, should I start from the top and work down? Should I make the left diagonal line first?

For those of you that also struggle with such profound philosophical questions, I have included a few nifty videos that will answer them once and for all. They tackle letters down to their easiest and simplest form. You won't have to worry about confusing the lowercase L with the uppercase I after watching these videos. You don’t believe me? See for yourselves...

No comments: