We have decades of “best practice” and Visible Learning research.
Name writing experts celebrate!
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.
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. Fingerspelling, letter recognition, and beginning sounds of words are intentionally reinforced.
Handwriting and drawing instruction are intertwined.
4. Our arts-infused handwriting curriculum teaches children to write, draw, fingerspell, focus, do quality work, and enjoy expressing themselves! There is direct transfer to our Comprehensive Writing Workshop Model. The 30 Essential Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting Lessons are multisensory, meaningful, and memorable—the children are NOT copying workbook sheets!
“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 Language and Speaking and Listening 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 handwriting cues and consistent movement patterns takes advantage of how the brain learns best.
Our diverse kindergartens often represent a 4-year developmental span.
7. This approach to handwriting recognizes the diverse nature of most Northwest kindergartens. Entering students often represent a 4-year span 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 children deserve joyful, multisensory teaching and learning! They are not used to introduce the goal of good handwriting.
Kindergarten Handwriting, Phonics, and Word Work practice 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 movement patterns, 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 authentic approach to handwriting has direct transfer to a Comprehensive Writing Workshop in Kindergarten.
Kindergarten-friendly handwriting builds stamina and fluency for Writing Workshop.
The multisensory handwriting pages allow teachers to differentiate learning and provide individual coaching for hard-to-accelerate learners after the “30 Essential Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting Lessons” have been introduced and practiced. The practice books may or may not be needed for all students.
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 facilitate quality handwriting outcomes.
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 so we can easily read their writing. 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 proficient 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 intentional approach to kindergarten handwriting instruction provides a framework for teachers to take their writing program to a higher level.
Our children chant, fingerspell,
and write t – h – e e – n – d The end!
Nellie Edge Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting is NOT a traditional handwriting program:
This research-based handwriting model is NOT mindlessly tracing over one letter (the brain habituates after several repeated letters).
- A one-size-fits-all approach (While there are essential whole group and small group lessons, much of the important 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.
- Tracing over dots: research shows the brain works much harder when it is asked to copy letters from a model, rather than merely tracing over dots.
Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting is one part of an authentic and comprehensive writing program. Knowledgeable kindergarten teachers can integrate many of these principles into their existing practice without purchasing any resources. However, based on what works in real classrooms, we have updated and expanded our handwriting program to include 30 Essential Beginning Handwriting Lessons, a stronger Parents as Partners program, and more direct instruction in letter recognition and beginning sounds of words.
There are 3 ways to receive Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting:
- Purchase on our TpT store
- FREE with Nellie Edge Writing Workshops - fall workshops TBA
- FREE When you study Nellie Edge Online Seminar (NEOS) #2): Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting Matters! All resources and updates are included.
Take a Master Class in Kindergarten Writing Foundations this summer!
Nellie Edge teaches you essential skills designed from 30 years of experience in step-by-step videos:
Seminar #1: Multisensory ABC and Phonics Immersion
Seminar #2: Kindergarten-Friendly Handwriting Matters!
Seminar #3: Authentic Sight Word Work
WITH EACH SEMINAR YOU'll RECEIVE:
- Unlimited Access to Online Video Tutorials
- Companion Teacher's Guide
- Coordinating Classroom Resources - ready to use!