One of an early learner’s first academic accomplishments is being able to write the letters in their name. It is a very exciting time, but there are a lot of steps that go into name writing. We make sure to practice this skill a lot in many different ways, but this Name Writing Practice activity is one of my favorites. It’s perfect for your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom!
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Name Writing Practice in Pre-K & Kindergarten
As adults, we don’t even have to think about writing our names. But for a Pre-K or Kindergarten student, writing your name is a big task!
There is so much involved in writing a simple name, that it is important to break the task into smaller chunks. Not only does a child have to learn about letter formation, they learn about letter spacing and size as well.
Name writing practice includes learning how to hold a pencil correctly and having enough fine motor skills to maneuver the pencil properly! It’s a lot! That’s why I like to add one step at a time to build success!
Start Small and Use a Highlighter
We can’t expect a student to be able to write their name all at once, we must start small! First, just start with the first letter of their name.
I like to use a highlighter and write the first letter of each child’s name on their paper. Make it big! The bigger the letter, the easier it is for students to trace. The students can use a pencil to trace over the highlighted letter and should keep writing only that letter on their paper.
Don’t start with lined paper – just use blank paper at first, so students can write anywhere on the paper for practice. Staying on the lines is a lot of work for an early writer.
I like to use a highlighter instead of dotted lines for tracing, because students can see the whole letter.
RELATED RESOURCE: Alphabet Writing Centers
Build on Successes
Once students master each letter, you can get a strip of paper and write their entire name in highlighter. You want to make sure the strip of paper is still pretty big – the smaller the letter, the more fine motor skills needed to trace it.
After a student has practiced writing all of the letters of their name together on a big strip, you can increase the difficulty by making their name smaller or by adding lines.
This activity is so easy to prepare for your students, and it’s super easy to differentiate! If one student still needs a little extra work on the first letter of their name, they can practice as long as they need. But if a student is ready to write their entire name, you can easily whip up a name strip for that student and give them a challenge.
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