We try to make writing as fun as possible at Moston Lane and we like to write in all our areas of provision. By the end of Reception, we aim to get the children to be able to write short sentences independently that they can read back themselves, forming all their letters correctly and the write way around.
One way we try to get the children excited and prepared for writing in Reception is by completing a daily warm up before our write away practise. The children love doing this as it is fun and enjoyable and they also understand that they are doing this to warm up their muscles in their shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers for super writing! In Nursery the children are encouraged to warm their muscles up before writing by using their 'finger gym' and completing 'dough disco' which the children love!
The children have daily phonics practise, which helps them to ‘segment’ (sound out) words for writing and eventually they begin to apply their phonics skills independently to write simple words and phrases. We encourage children to use their phonics knowledge when writing and to write the sounds they can hear rather than focussing solely on spelling. Any practise of this at home would really help your child’s writing skills develop and would be good to use when completing your child’s homework.
Every day we encourage the children to go to the ‘finger gym’ where there will be a challenge that requires them to use the small muscles in their hands and fingers to complete a task. This helps make their fingers and hands strong in preparation for writing. Some of these activities include using small lego, tweezers, tying knots, screwing and unscrewing, threading, pinching activities and many more!
In Early Years, we have so much to explore and take part in that we understand sometimes the children do not want to sit at the writing table to practise their writing skills, so we make sure we have writing opportunities in all the areas of the provision! The children enjoy writing indoors on whiteboards, clipboards or in materials such as sand, foam or gloop – it does not always have to be on paper! They also love writing outdoors on the easels, chalk on the floor, paint brushes and water on the wall, or using sticks in the mud! We also encourage to write about anything they are interested in rather than forcing writing upon them, such as if your child enjoys a book about aliens then explore this further such as writing a letter to an alien or describing their own alien they design.
To help with spelling tricky words we say the letter names and clap the words to help the children remember them. We also enjoy singing tricky word songs on you tube, you could practise these at home, please see the links below.
Phase 2 tricky word song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2dx65u59aw
Phase 3 tricky word song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R087lYrRpgY
Phase 4 tricky word song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NOzgR1ANc4