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"Shining a Light" on Correct Letter Formation

Today, I want to share an easy little exercise that I have implemented to help address letter formation and some letter reversals. I work with so many students who struggle with correct letter formation. Many begin their letters from the bottom and push up, or they write strokes in a right-to-left motion. I consistently reinforce "top, down," and "left, right" during writing exercises.

However, I have also begun using the sequence c-a-d-g in a variety of multi-sensory contexts to help students retain the correct formation for these particular letters. I have them trace the letters into sand trays, trace letters I have written, trace sandpaper letters, write the letters "in the air," form and feel the letters with play dough, etc. It is also important to note that I have my students articulate each letter name and corresponding sound throughout the exercises as well.

The benefits of this practice include:

1. It reinforces letter-sound correspondence.

2. It provides a multi-sensory experience with letter-sound correspondences.

3. The repetition of c-a-d-g letter sequence promotes correct letter formation and helps correct letter reversals.

Check out the video below to see one example of this practice in action! For this particular exercise, I had prewritten the letters onto a sentence strip. I provided visual support with green dots (as the starting point for each letter) and directional arrows (to help guide the letter formation).

This student wore a finger light to trace each letter. My students LOVE these! You can buy an affordable party-pack of finger lights on Amazon that will last quite a while. They can be used in a variety of ways to add a multi-sensory component to daily activities, particularly when working on letter formation!

Final tip: Always make sure your students are still using their dominant hand when practicing "writing" that does not involve a writing utensil. They can often forget which hand is their "writing hand" when they are not actually writing. We still want to make sure we maximize the full benefit of these multi-sensory activities, so we must be attentive to their handedness.


Colorful Alphabets
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