ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: ABC Learn With Me: Printing

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ABC Learn With Me: Printing

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Learning to print is a tricky skill to master. It requires a lot of practice and hard work. It is difficult for little ones who are just developing fine motor skills. While traditional worksheet practice has it's place, it's best try to vary the way students practice. Look for activities that incorporate printing practice and play!
Preschool Playbook does a great job explaining the wet, dry, try method from the handwriting program Handwriting Without Tears (HWT). This is an excellent program that Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot has used with numerous classes and highly recommends. The wooden pieces to form letters are worth the investment as are the workbooks, when working with young learners. Check out their website for more information on this sucessful program.
Michaele from Kindergarten's 3 R's shares her writing center. It is stocked with a handy alphabet for kids to reference for letter formation, stencils with flip books of the matching words for copying, and an assortment of papers and pencils. It's a lot more fun for students to practice printing in a station like this than on endless worksheets.

Another activity used during center time in Kindergarten is Write the Room, Katie's Nesting Spot describes the activity and tells us how she used it in her classroom.

If you need some basic worksheets to supplement your lessons with, has a set of free alphabet practice sheets available for download and set of number writing worksheets each one with a number formation poem on it. You need to sign up for a free membership in order to have access to the downloads. Other useful downloads such a numberous school themed poems and song cards are available as well as songs for each month of the year and months of the year book (you can use this for a super simple memory book, have your child do a self drawing every month on that month's page and compile at the end of the year. Looking back at the changes is fun), a couple of free emergent readers, and a free font are also given with the free membership. Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot has incorporated many of the free songs into calendar activities and her students really liked the A Dot Will Do song for helping kids use glue independently fun.

Practice printing tricky letters with a game of Tic-Tac-Toe from A Listmaker's Life.
Flips and Applesauce shares a great idea, get your kids to practice their writing by helping you complete a fill in the blank letter for a pen pal. You could brainstorm answers together, write a model out for them, and then have your child complete the fill in the blanks by copying from your example.

Did you practice cutting with paint chips? Now you can practice printing with them too. Katie from A Listmaker's Life has created a printing and matching game with the recycled cutting practice squares!

Kid Zone has a collection of Pre-Printing Skills Practice printables you may be interested in.
As we have suggested that worksheets are not always most effective, use the ideas/line suggestions from the free traceables to try with other mediums such as: shaving cream, pudding, finger paint, and more!

If you are up for practicing with finger paint, Kathie at Frugal, Fit & Fabulous has a recipe for edible finger paint you could try.

Katie's Nesting Spot shows ways that picture word cards or picture flashcards can be incorporated into printing practice.

She made simple picture dictionaries on a word processing program but you can also use these cute blank books that Filpflops and Applesauce made. She provides a tutorial so you can make them too. Once the child gets older, wouldn't a kid created short story with self drawn illustrations look cute in one. Or you could make one together now as a parent & child activity. Have your child dictate a story, you write it in on the pages, and the child can illustrate. If your child can write some letters, share the pen and have them write some letters here and there or if they're beginning to sound out words have them figure out and the beginning sound of a word and write that letter.

Today's Giveaway:

We have a learning set with a color workbook and phonics cards. The workbook is perfect for early learners and has colorful pages and the cards can be used for the activity featured in today's post.

You will receive one entry per comment. Please submit separate comments for each entry option you choose.

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Good Luck! We’ll announce a winner tomorrow!


  1. hello, here from the ubp and so glad I found you. I just have to add this to my links we find useful. can't wait to come back when all the kiddos are in bed!!!!!

  2. Such great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    I have recently been using sidewalk chalk to help get my daughters excited about writing. I will write a letter and they try to write the same letter.

    Another little game I made up with chalk is I wrote the alphabet in sidewalk chalk on our driveway and asked the girls to hop on a letter. Ex.(Who can hop on the letter H?) It helps them to recognize the letters better.

  3. I added your button to my website.

  4. Once again, great stuff! Those look really cute.

  5. My three year old is fascinated with who is what letter. M for mommy, C for Charlie etc.

    This giveaway is wonderful. We can always have more to use for 'homework' when the big kids are doing theirs.

  6. my now 3 year old wrote big A and D a few days before her 3rd bday!!! she loves to write!!!

    another great book if you ca't afford the wood pieces from handwriting without tears is How to Build an A?? it is foam but you can build big and little letters and a book to show you how!!!

  7. Great site! I am a former teacher and each Tuesday I write a "Teaching Tuesday" post. Last week I talked about some pre-school fine motor skills. Will have to stay tuned to your blog for more good stuff!

  8. My daughter (19 months) loves to play with her foam alphabet pieces. She can write N and M, which really weren't the first letters I would have thought she would learn. She calls her letters by whatever word that starts with that letter (D=dada, M=mama, A=Ati (her friend's name) and so on); she knows about 6, but I'm not in too much of a rush to teach them.

    Thanks for another great giveaway!

  9. I am a follower (the girl who painted trees).

  10. I have your button.

  11. This is hard to master! We are working on "tracing" letters! Thank you for all the tips!

  12. My 2 yo is left handed, so although I am a former teacher, I don't look forward to handwriting.

    Great giveaways!

  13. These are some great ideas. I know how important handwriting is. I am a former 5th grade teacher, so being able to read legible handwriting is a must! I should probably get started on some of these activities with my own 3-year old.

  14. My children's school uses Handwriting without Tears. This post is perfect for me because my 3 yr old is just starting to recognize letters and my kindergartener needs help with numbers. She's writing alot of them backwards so I just want to give her some extra practice.

  15. Hi Ladies,

    Your blog rocks! I love it. I have added it to my Technorati favorites. I am visiting from the UBP.

    The Divine Miss Mommy

  16. I'm loving your posts; can't wait until our little guy is old enough to really enjoy them!

  17. Thanks for the mention Katie. I have to admit this is our first year using Handwriting Without Tears, but I absolutely love it. Take care. Trish

  18. I am loving all your great ideas!

  19. Wow! These are great tips!! We are just entering this stage of life over at my place :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. How cute! I love your site and will be back often :-)

  21. The entire vain of my existence as a second grader was to learn how to write in cursive. I'm excited to teach my kids to print neatly, it's not even taught in our classrooms in Mi anymore!

  22. These are really great ideas. I have one student who still has great difficulty writing letters. LOVE YOUR BLOG!