In the past several years there have been many changes in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms. The expectations within the early childhood classroom have greatly risen.
The focus on reading and accompanying writing in the early childhood years has moved pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students to early involvement in journals and draft books, with many students engaged in these experiences from the very beginning of the school year. It has become apparent that letter formation can either hinder or help the writing process.
It is imperative that parents and teachers use every opportunity to assist children in acquiring the prerequisite skills for writing as well as practice correct pencil grasp* and letter formation. Without these skills, there cannot be automaticity when students begin to write. This lack of automaticity will slow down a student’s ability to generate writings.
The following resource was put together to assist parents in a number of ways. It will offer information on the developmental stages of writing and strategies for developing the prerequisite skills for handwriting. It was modified from its original form which was prepared for teachers by teachers and staff developers of the Frederick County Public schools, Frederick, Maryland, July 2003.