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<p>DS was in a toddler Montessori program last year and started in Primary this year when he was 2 years, 8 months. He will turn 3 tomorrow. 3-4 weeks ago I met with his teacher for a parent/teacher conference. She shared some things that I wasn't surprised to hear, and even some of his accomplishments that I had no idea about. All in all it was a good conference. However, I've been thinking about one thing she mentioned.</p>
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<p>She said that DS has begun word building with words like rat, fan, etc (which I had no idea). She said that most children, after building the word would then write it down on paper. DS, though just isn't there yet with writing. She sends him papers weekly of him tracing his name, as well as other words pertaining to whatever he studied that week. She said that "he's a good little tracer... when he wants to be." He just doesn't have much interest in it right now. I don't see that as a big deal because he's really not even 3 yet. She said that while his intellectual abilities might be more advanced, his fine motor skills are that of a 3 year old boy. She said that he needs to work on his pincer grip still. My impression is that she's just encouraging him to keep trying to trace (an activity I don't think he is particularly interested in). She did say that one of his favorite activities is forming the letter shapes out of playdoh. She said occasionally he is "willing" to write on the chalkboard, but more often ends up using the materials inappropriately and making a mess with the chalk dust. He does not hold a pencil/crayon/marker appropriately, but rather holds it with a fist grip. I haven't seen him doing any sort of sewing (like he had begun in his previous toddler program) and thought that might be something interesting to help him fine tune those skills, with the end product as motivation to keep trying. I don't think he's very interested in puzzles, at least he's not at home, so knobby puzzles don't really entice him much.</p>
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<p>He really just wants to read. He sounds out words, builds words, etc. He just doesn't care about writing. I wanted to put together my ideas and talk to his teacher again about what she's doing to encourage him to work on those fine motor skills, without stifling his strong desire to learn to read. He is very focus when interested, but quick to become his own entertainment if he's board. I'd really like some insight into what works might be interesting to DS, while strengthening his pincer grip and fine motor skills. Thanks in advance. :)</p>
 

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<p>I would let the teacher know you are fine with him not working on writing at this time.I remember ds's primary teacher said if ds wanted to paint all day he could.He never did,but that was allowed if he wanted too. It has been a few years,so I forget my time in his primary class,but I do recall sewing,zipper,buttons,letters in sand.</p>
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<p>The kids seemed to like the life skill activities the most-serving themselves food/drink,sweeping,washing dishes.The teacher suggested things but moved on if there was no interest,and this was at age 5.Ds wasn't even interested in reading till lower el.</p>
 

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<p>He doesn't have a good pencil grip, so she wants him to do pencil-based works? Sigh.... If  he can't hold a pencil properly, it means he's not ready for the pencil-based works. If he's still using a fist grip, he doesn't have the fine motor skills of a three-year-old yet, and he's not going to get a chance to build those skills if his teacher continues to insist on him skipping works.</p>
<p><br>
Some pencil grip building works, off the top of my head, knobbed cylinders, transferring with tongs, clothespins. For hand strength, wringing out cloths, playing with clay.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285150/3yo-in-primary-writing#post_16126820"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>He doesn't have a good pencil grip, so she wants him to do pencil-based works? Sigh.... If  he can't hold a pencil properly, it means he's not ready for the pencil-based works. If he's still using a fist grip, he doesn't have the fine motor skills of a three-year-old yet, and he's not going to get a chance to build those skills if his teacher continues to insist on him skipping works.</p>
<p><br>
Some pencil grip building works, off the top of my head, knobbed cylinders, transferring with tongs, clothespins. For hand strength, wringing out cloths, playing with clay.</p>
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<p>I was paying better attention to him writing today. He wanted to sign his name on a Christmas card. He used a fat marker because that's what he had handy. I noticed that he didn't use a fist grip like I assumed he was still doing, but that he was holding it with all of his finger tips and his fingers sort of outstretched. Therefor, he ended up trying to write with the side of the marker tip, rather than the point. It made it very difficult for him. I don't really know how else to describe it. It still isn't an appropriate pencil grip, but also not a fist grip. He loves the clay and I am supportive of that work. I agree that more emphasis needs to be placed on clothespins, etc.</p>
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<p>What I'm wondering though is can they not begin "writing" either in sand or with the movable alphabet before they are ready for pencil writing? He seems ready for those activities and enjoys building words, but is just not ready for actual writing yet.<br>
 </p>
 

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<p> He seems ready for those activities and enjoys building words, but is just not ready for actual writing yet.<br>
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<br><br><p>You hit the nail on the head. Let him decide when he's ready and interested.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kittykat2481</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285150/3yo-in-primary-writing#post_16127970"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285150/3yo-in-primary-writing#post_16126820"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>He doesn't have a good pencil grip, so she wants him to do pencil-based works? Sigh.... If  he can't hold a pencil properly, it means he's not ready for the pencil-based works. If he's still using a fist grip, he doesn't have the fine motor skills of a three-year-old yet, and he's not going to get a chance to build those skills if his teacher continues to insist on him skipping works.</p>
<p><br>
Some pencil grip building works, off the top of my head, knobbed cylinders, transferring with tongs, clothespins. For hand strength, wringing out cloths, playing with clay.</p>
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<br><p>What I'm wondering though is can they not begin "writing" either in sand or with the movable alphabet before they are ready for pencil writing? He seems ready for those activities and enjoys building words, but is just not ready for actual writing yet.<br>
 </p>
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<p>Absolutely. Sandpaper letters, then the sand tray, for shapes of letters, moveable alphabet for building words while the skills for forming letters are developed. Works that strengthen the hands to get ready for using a pencil. The metal insets for building strength and control in using a pencil.</p>
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<p>Is his teacher certified? And if she isn't, is there a certified teacher on staff to guide her?</p>
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<p>(Because what I'm sharing is just what I've picked up from reading around here and browsing through places like <a href="http://www.infomontessori.com/language/written-language-written-language-exercises.htm" target="_blank">http://www.infomontessori.com/language/written-language-written-language-exercises.htm</a> )</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285150/3yo-in-primary-writing#post_16131861"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kittykat2481</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285150/3yo-in-primary-writing#post_16127970"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285150/3yo-in-primary-writing#post_16126820"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>He doesn't have a good pencil grip, so she wants him to do pencil-based works? Sigh.... If  he can't hold a pencil properly, it means he's not ready for the pencil-based works. If he's still using a fist grip, he doesn't have the fine motor skills of a three-year-old yet, and he's not going to get a chance to build those skills if his teacher continues to insist on him skipping works.</p>
<p><br>
Some pencil grip building works, off the top of my head, knobbed cylinders, transferring with tongs, clothespins. For hand strength, wringing out cloths, playing with clay.</p>
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<br><p>What I'm wondering though is can they not begin "writing" either in sand or with the movable alphabet before they are ready for pencil writing? He seems ready for those activities and enjoys building words, but is just not ready for actual writing yet.<br>
 </p>
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<p>Absolutely. Sandpaper letters, then the sand tray, for shapes of letters, moveable alphabet for building words while the skills for forming letters are developed. Works that strengthen the hands to get ready for using a pencil. The metal insets for building strength and control in using a pencil.</p>
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<p>Is his teacher certified? And if she isn't, is there a certified teacher on staff to guide her?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(Because what I'm sharing is just what I've picked up from reading around here and browsing through places like <a href="http://www.infomontessori.com/language/written-language-written-language-exercises.htm" target="_blank">http://www.infomontessori.com/language/written-language-written-language-exercises.htm</a> )</p>
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<p>She supposedly is certified, although I'll admit that I don't know by which organization. I believe the school itself is "recognized" or something by AMS, but I know their teachers are all certified by different organizations. Most of the pictures on the school website were taken in his classroom (right before he started in the fall) so you can see that they appear to be on the right track. <a href="http://www.montessori.com" target="_blank">www.montessori.com</a></p>
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<p>I was thinking along the lines of what you said though, about the movable alphabet and the sand tray, etc. I emailed the school director and she is planning to observe him in the classroom (and the teacher) at the beginning of the year, and then make suggestions to the teacher/follow up with me after that. I will say that I'm very pleased that the director has always taken my concerns very seriously, and DS loves his teacher, so hopefully we can get back on track with this.<br>
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<p>Also, at home I've re-done his art area and he has a new-found interest in writing and coloring on paper and the chalkboard.</p>
 

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<p><span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"> Sounds like your ds is going to take care of things himself.</span></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285150/3yo-in-primary-writing#post_16132720"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"> Sounds like your ds is going to take care of things himself.</span></p>
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<br><br><p>Isn't that how it always goes though? You'd think after 3 years I'd have learned to leave well enough alone, and trust that things will work out. Right about the time I started worrying that he wasn't walking yet, he stood up and ran across the room. And when I was worried because he wasn't babbling, he smiled and said a whole sentence. I'll just keep providing what I can at home and trust that he won't go to first grade unable to write his name. I am still interested in the director's observations, mostly because I think a few behavior issues that have popped up could be remedied with the proper work (the sand tray would be highly interesting to him, for instance). Otherwise, he's happy and learning, right?</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kittykat2481</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285150/3yo-in-primary-writing#post_16132873"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285150/3yo-in-primary-writing#post_16132720"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"> Sounds like your ds is going to take care of things himself.</span></p>
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<br><br><p>Isn't that how it always goes though? You'd think after 3 years I'd have learned to leave well enough alone, and trust that things will work out. Right about the time I started worrying that he wasn't walking yet, he stood up and ran across the room. And when I was worried because he wasn't babbling, he smiled and said a whole sentence. I'll just keep providing what I can at home and trust that he won't go to first grade unable to write his name. I am still interested in the director's observations, mostly because I think a few behavior issues that have popped up could be remedied with the proper work (the sand tray would be highly interesting to him, for instance). Otherwise, he's happy and learning, right?</p>
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<p>Well, in this case you were worried that someone else wasn't leaving well enough alone. So I think you have learned to trust that things will work out. <span><img alt="thumb.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif"></span><br>
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