We have decades of “best practice” and Visible Learning research
1. Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting practices are consistent with decades of visual learning research documented by Dr. John Hatti. We give children high-expectations, crystal-clear, achievable learning targets, provide feedback, and then children learn to self-evaluate. Mastery of each phase of handwriting fluency is acknowledged and celebrated. (See excerpts from Visible Learning.)
Kindergarten-friendly handwriting creates a Growth Mindset
2. We consciously nurture a Growth Mindset for our students by using carefully chosen words that empower learners. Children know what their next learning target is (I’m remembering to make a lowercase “u”), set goals, work hard, take pride in doing quality work, and think about how they learn: This is the beginning of metacognition!
Wow! How did you train your brain to remember that letter!
Integrated handwriting instruction can prevent reading failure.
3. This authentic, meaning-centered approach instruction honors Marie Clay’s respected research and insights into preventing reading failure: We build on what is known. Handwriting is taught in an authentic context: first using each child’s name, then using real words that have personal meaning to a child, and finally using high-frequency “heart word” sentences that build stamina for the Writing Workshop. We teach systematically and intentionally.
“Saying and doing” increases handwriting proficiency and multiplies our teaching effectiveness!
6. We recognize that “saying and doing” increases retention of new information up to 90%. This approach to handwriting develops Common Core vocabulary and speech and language skills. Children verbalize handwriting directional language “curve up, around, and close” as their arms form the letter “O” in the air using “sky writing.” Combining directional language and consistent movement patterns takes advantage of how the brain learns best.
Our diverse kindergartens often represent a 4-year developmental span
7. This handwriting approach recognizes the diverse nature of most Northwest kindergartens. Entering students often represent a 4- year level of literacy readiness! Kindergarten-friendly handwriting differentiates learning with intensive individual coaching during the handwriting process. This is especially honoring of English language learners and developmentally younger students: All deserve joyful, multisensory teaching and learning.
Drawing and writing word work pages are introduced after several months of systematic handwriting instruction: They are not used to “teach handwriting!”
8. A-Z handwriting, phonics and word work pages are NOT used to “teach handwriting” but rather to provide a review of handwriting, in context, once children have mastered name writing and the pink “heart word” sentences (such as “I love you,” “I see the dog,” and “I like my cat”). This approach has direct transfer to our Comprehensive Writing Workshop.
Kindergarten-friendly handwriting builds stamina for Writing Workshop
9. Kindergarten-friendly handwriting is one part of a powerful Comprehensive Writing Workshop Model (as documented in Nellie Edge Online Seminar #2). It was developed and refined BY kindergarten teachers FOR kindergarten teachers. Evidence-based research in diverse kindergarten classrooms documents the success of this approach. The results speak for themselves.
Teachers’ high expectations encourage quality handwriting
10. Teacher expectations are huge in teaching all new skills—especially handwriting! Children KNOW if teachers expect them to do quality handwriting or if sloppy work is acceptable. They will rise to meet the
expectation of a knowledgeable, caring teacher. Kindergarten handwriting instruction is much more than teaching efficient movement patterns for letters. We pay special attention to how we talk to and encourage children to focus and work hard. Handwriting is where we first have the opportunity to develop the children’s focus, metacognition, self-evaluation skills, and to develop their pride in doing quality work. Our approach to teaching handwriting aims to integrate foundational literacy skills while developing a “growth mindset” that will support children in doing well in school—and in life!
Growing Kindergarten Writers
The goal of Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting is to grow powerful kindergarten writers who have the stamina and motivation to write, illustrate and publish books. They learn to meet—or exceed—Common Core Writing Standards. This approach to intentional kindergarten handwriting instruction provides a framework for teachers to take all of their writing programs to a higher level.
Our children chant, fingerspell,
and write t – h – e e – n – d The end!
Nellie Edge Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting, Phonics and Word Work is Not:
- Mindlessly copying over of one letter (the brain habituates after several repeated letters).
- A one size-fits-all approach (While there are important whole group and small group lessons, much of the essential handwriting instruction is seen in brief teaching moments of close individual coaching and positive support.)
- Isolated drills separated from authentic writing and drawing work.
- Rigid, scripted lesson plans.
Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting is one part of an authentic and comprehensive writing program.
For teachers already using our Kindergarten-Friendly approach to handwriting:
- Consider rereading The first 20 page photo essay in the Teachers’ Guide: Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting, Word Work and Phonics by Nellie Edge
- Read Chapter 3 in Kindergarten Writing and the Common Core: Joyful Pathways to Accelerated Literacy.
Online Video Tutorials + Resources
See how easy it is to study with Nellie Edge Online Seminars!
Grow Your Kindergarten Writers Build Stamina for the Writing Workshop
• ABC Phonics
• Kindergarten Handwriting
• Authentic Sight Word Work
Nellie Edge teaches you essential skills designed from 30 years of experience. These proven early writing strategies keep learning active and authentic.
- Three 1-hour video tutorials with practical content you can use right away
- Multisensory ABC and Phonics Immersion
- Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting Matters!
- Authentic Sight Word Work
- Watch, study and review at your own pace
- $159 of classroom resources ready to download
All three only $117 or individual $59 ea. With unlimited access.