Beginning Letter Formation
From the beginning, during modelled and shared writing sessions, the teacher should explicitly demonstrate letter formation orally describing how each letter is formed emphasising orientation. They should provide a supportive climate in which children are encouraged to ‘have-a-go’’ for example, using white boards.
Teachers should ensure that children have ample opportunities to experiment with writing in a range of purposeful contexts, for example, during play – telephone notes, invitations, appointment books; cross-curricular opportunities – personal recounts, instructions.
As each child’s co-ordination develops and as letter-like shapes appear in emergent writing, specific guidance on correct letter formation should be given. Teachers should ensure that children hold pencils and writing tools effectively and attention should be drawn to posture.
As fluency develops (in Year 2) children may practise writing longer texts, for example, jokes, rhymes, songs. Care must be taken to ensure that such practice should not become a meaningless copying exercise.
Remember that not all children will be ready at the same time. Instruction should take place with individuals or small groups. Teachers need to:
• Intervene at the child’s point of readiness; • Scaffold the learning;
• Work from where children are.
In this way teachers can ensure that children move confidently from scribble to script.