Inside: I explain how I teach printing throughout the Grade 1 year. Includes a free printing sheet.
This is a repost of how I like to teach printing. Over the last 26 years or so of teaching Kindergarten to Grade 2, this is usually the time of year when I really start focusing on printing with my first graders.
I love my printing practice because it’s tied into the McCrackens Spelling Through Phonics Program. This is an amazing program and I HIGHLY recommend it!
The first letter to be introduced is lower case m.
We practice saying the letter, the sound and feeling it in our mouths. I avoid saying “What do you hear?” and instead ask “What does it feel like in your mouth?” The kids will tell me things like, “My lips are pressed together” and “My lips tickle when I say mmm”.
Before we print the lower case m on our sheets, we practice it over and over again on our white boards. The kids say “mmm” while they print from top to bottom (I really have to stress this as many of them come into Grade 1 printing from bottom up). Sigh!
Can you see the little houses on the sheet?
We talk about how lower case m sits in the house but upper case m (below) goes into the roof. The dotted lines beneath are referred to as the basement. This helps the kids remember which letters are tall and which ones hang down.
The next day we repeat the whole process with upper case M.
You can also see in the 9 boxes above the printing, that the kids draw and colour pictures beginning with the focus letter.
I repeat this process every single day until we’ve covered all 26 letters! We don’t go in alphabetical order; instead I follow the McCrackens’ recommendations so that it links directly with our phonics practice. It starts out with m, s, f, t because these letters are all very different so it’s less likely the kids will confuse them.
If you’d like a copy of the printing sheet we use then just click here and it’s all yours. In the freebie I haven’t included the initial letter, but it’s easy enough to just print it in yourself.
You might also enjoy this post that tells a bit more about the McCrackens Spelling Through Phonics Program.