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Hands-on Handwriting: Wet, Dry, Try!


Today's post focuses on a technique for teaching letter formation. It can also be used to help reinforce letter-sound correspondences!


The Wet-Dry-Try method is derived from Handwriting without Tears, but it has become a widely used method for reinforcing letter formation. It's a multi-sensory, 3-step process. The directions are as simple as the title implies:

  1. Trace the letter with a wet sponge.

  2. Dry the letter outline with a cloth or tissue.

  3. "Try" forming the letter on your own with chalk.

I often add one essential component to this process with my students: While tracing, drying, and trying, I have students articulate the letter name and corresponding sound (m, /m/; c, /k/; s, /s/, etc.) This reinforces the speech-to-print connection for each grapheme. It is a fantastic way to help students retain letter-sound correspondence while also working on letter formation!


See my video below for a quick demonstration of the technique! I first shared this video on the Tally Tales Literacy Facebook page. If you like it, be sure to follow me there for more quick-tips, pictures, and instructional videos!



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