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Showing posts with label letter writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label letter writing. Show all posts

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting

Many people wonder if teachers should still teach handwriting. It's not in the Common Core Standards. Handwriting isn't on the tests. Plus, writing by hand is being phased out by computers and other electronic devices. 

Not only is cursive writing becoming obsolete, but even manuscript (printing) is being phased out. Why should it be taught?


Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Here are seven benefits of teaching handwriting!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Research shows that younger students with strong handwriting skills grow into stronger readers and writers as they progress in school. This means we should start handwriting instruction in Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Research shows that when a student takes notes by hand, it helps the student remember what he's writing. Since writing involves more thought processes than typing, the brain is more likely to remember. This works with adults, too!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Handwriting is a skill that isn't on tests, but it helps engage other skills. It helps engage executive function, which will help students in many other areas, and life in general!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Typing fast at the computer can come in handy in many instances, but when composing an important piece of writing, it's best to slow down a bit and fully develop thoughts. Taking time to think through wording on important written passages is worth it!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

When preschoolers first learn to write letters, they are opening paths in the brain that lead to reading! As they learn to master the multi-step strokes in each letter, their brains are preparing for the multi-step processes involved in reading. 
Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.
Teachers and parents absolutely LOVE handwritten notes from their children! Do you know who else values a handwritten note? Grandparents, employers, party guests, and even customers! Seriously, think about how much grandma values a handwritten personal thank you note! Think about the value of a handwritten note of appreciation to a potential employer. It really makes a difference!

Here's a resource for writing thank you notes, including directions, etiquette, and examples: Writing thank you notes.

Here's a freebie for letter writing: Classy Mail.


Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

As long as it's addressed in stress free manner, learning to write is fun for students! Learning both manuscript (printing) and cursive are status symbols to the children, and great source of pride!


Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.




Tips for Keeping Creative Sub Plans

Did you ever notice it's easier to go to school sick rather than go through the trouble of writing up sub plans? I stayed ultra late at school last night making plans for today's sub. (I'm not known for leaving early anyway, but last night was totally ridiculous!)
 

Tips for Keeping Creative Sub Plans: Feeling sick? Taking the time to prepare sub plans ahead of time makes life a little easier. This post has several ideas, including several freebies you can print and put into your own Sub Tub.


I've learned to keep a tub of emergency plans. I have a folder for each day of the week, and detailed descriptions of  my day inside each folder. I also have a binder that includes emergency information, procedures, and management ideas.  

I also keep folders for each subject that is filled with already run off materials ready for an emergency day. After having subbed at every level, I know how important it is to have clear, easy to understand directions so the kids stay engaged and don't have any opportunities to make the sub crazy.

The trick is to have the folders all updated to include materials that the children can do which isn't necessarily dependent on something the children are learning now.

Tips for Keeping Creative Sub Plans: Feeling sick? Taking the time to prepare sub plans ahead of time makes life a little easier. This post has several ideas, including several freebies you can print and put into your own Sub Tub.

Good ideas to have on hand:

1. Practice on a skill that needs frequent review, like math facts, sight words, or parts of speech.
2. Writing prompts.
3. Vocabulary builders.
4 . Mini units that can be done in a day.

Here are some examples of things I keep in my sub tub or leave for subs:

I always keep a supply of these letter writing pages. I usually make a set with one letter addressed to everyone in the class. Then they choose one and write to that person! This is a "win-win" activity. Everyone writes a letter, and everyone gets a letter! (Explore image for freebie.)


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Letter-Writing-Template-5166035?utm_source=blog%20post%20sub%20tub&utm_campaign=Classy%20Mail


This number booklet to 1,000 can be used any time of year.  (Explore image for freebie!)

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Count-to-1000-Booklet-Freebie-5165506?utm_source=blog%20post%20sub%20plans&utm_campaign=Count%20to%201%2C000%20freebie


Here's a math game the kiddos can play over and over, and all they need is a deck of playing cards! It practices addition skills, and gets them thinking about strategies! No, we don't do the gambling version! (Explore image for freebie!)

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Adding-Multiple-Addends-Twenty-One-5144939?utm_source=blog%20post%20sub%20plans&utm_campaign=Twenty%20one


There's always an opportunity for kids to come up with a themed ABC booklet.  This is a fun activity to start off by reading an ABC book or two.  (Explore image for examples and freebie!)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ABC-Book-Freebie-147996?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=ABC%20book%20freebie


Here's a mini-unit that can be done any time of year: (Explore image for link!)

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Camping-No-Prep-Activities-1261359?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=No%20Prep%20Camping

If you find a couple of books about camping, you've got yourself a mini-unit in a day! Fun activities that practice important skills!

I happen to have a number of "no prep" activities you can find HERE. Most of them are seasonal, which adds to the fun! (I go straight to these sets if I'm going to be out!)

Now I suppose you're wondering why I was at school so late last night if I have all these ideas...  Well, I just hadn't updated my files from last year, and my schedule is totally different!  Now that the files are updated for the year, next time I'm sick will be easy peasy!

Tips for Keeping Creative Sub Plans: Feeling sick? Taking the time to prepare sub plans ahead of time makes life a little easier. This post has several ideas, including several freebies you can print and put into your own Sub Tub.


Writing Thank You Notes

When we left before vacation, we had just had our holiday party and lots of gifts were given to the class. (Instead of giving gifts to each other, everyone brought in a gift for the whole class! We got recess games, craft materials, gluesticks, white board markers, books, crayons, erasers, and more!)
 
Writing Thank You Notes is a lost art, but a valuable skill! This post shares the parts of a thank you note, and has a freebie to make your own thank you cards!


My college aged daughter came in to help out at the party, and one of her tasks was to keep a list of who gave what present to the class.  (Just like a wedding shower!)


It's time for the thank you cards! (Explore the image to download Thank You Cards Freebie!)
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thank-You-Cards-Freebie-5115442?utm_source=Thank%20you%20notes%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Thank%20you%20freebie


I think Thank You Notes are becoming a lost art.  But they are worthwhile and valued.

The parts of a Thank You note:
The Heading:  since this is a note, not a letter, all that's needed is the date, not an entire return address.

The Greeting:  Dear ______,  that's it! (Don't forget the comma!)

The Body:  I was always taught that the body of a thank you note has two basic sentences. 
The first sentence is very specific:  Thank you for the _______.  The only time you're not very specific is when it's money or a gift card.  Then you just say thank you for the money. 
The second sentence tells what you are going to do with the item. 
It's ok to add another sentence or two, just friendly stuff, but those two sentences are essential to a thank you note.

The Closing:  Your friend,  Your classmate, Sincerely, or if you're writing to family... Love, (Don't forget the comma!)

The Signature:  Your name.

That's it!


Writing Thank You Notes is a lost art, but a valuable skill! This post shares the parts of a thank you note, and has a freebie to make your own thank you cards!


I made a few Thank You Note Cards for you to copy. Just fold the pages to make them into card form.  You can download this freebie HERE.



For a more comprehensive set of Thank You Note Cards, see HERE:



Thank you notes and any kind of letter will work to address this Common Core Standard:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.2b Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.


Enjoy writing your Thank You notes!



Writing Thank You Notes is a lost art, but a valuable skill! This post shares the parts of a thank you note, and has a freebie to make your own thank you cards!



Writing Thank You Notes is a lost art, but a valuable skill! This post shares the parts of a thank you note, and has a freebie to make your own thank you cards!

Classy Mail

Ever have one of those days where you just can't come up with a writing mini-lesson, or just don't have the time to put it together? 

Classy Mail.  This is a tried and true writing activity that can be used over and over again, and it's great for the sub tub! (There's a freebie!)

Maybe it's near report card time, or you are pulled for a meeting and need to leave something easy for an Assistant. Or maybe you're going to be out and need something to leave for a substitute! 
Classy Mail.  This is a tried and true writing activity that can be used over and over again, and it's great for the sub tub! (There's a freebie!)


This activity is one I always keep in my "sub tub"! Run off the letter and envelope back to back, and you'll have a letter on one side, and the other side can be folded into an envelope. (See HERE or see the image for the link to this freebie.)

Classy Mail.  This is a tried and true writing activity that can be used over and over again, and it's great for the sub tub! (There's a freebie!)

I like to start off by having each student fold and address an envelope to himself/ herself. We have the "Wee Deliver" program in my school, where children mail their letters in a "real" mailbox, and once a week, students work with a parent volunteer to process and deliver that mail. Everyone in the school has an "address" according to their classroom. (My street is "Broadway", as I'm a big musical theater fan!) Even if you don't have this program, you can assign a "class address" for each child, since using home addresses might not be recommended for privacy purposes.

For younger students, the envelopes can be pre-addressed. My second graders struggle to remember all the parts of an address, so I make several copies for each child and keep them for "those days". (Another advantage to this activity... it can be repeated over and over!)

Once the envelopes are addressed, the teacher collects them, and shuffles them. Then the children choose one of the envelopes (making sure they don't get their own) and write a letter to that person.

With younger students, I spend some time making sure the children have ideas for letter writing. We brainstorm a list, which I keep in the view of the children. I'll spell key words for them, and make sure they have plenty of ideas.

If someone is absent, I'll have early finishers write to them, or even better, I write to them myself. 

I find this activity to be rewarding for all involved: it's easy on the teacher's valuable planning time, the children enjoy interacting with each other, and it has "built in feedback"! When the children get the letters, they respond! If they enjoy the letter, that's feedback! If they have trouble reading the letter, that's feedback, too. Honestly, when the children have a captive audience of a classmate or friend, they tend to focus on writing so their audience will enjoy it!  
Brain research tells us that authentic feedback is the best feedback of all. It also tells us that interaction with others and activities with true meaning are motivating to children. What's more motivating than passing notes in class... writing letters to classmates?
Classy Mail.  This is a tried and true writing activity that can be used over and over again, and it's great for the sub tub! (There's a freebie!)

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