We are writers in Autahi. We all have something to say and ideas to share. Sometimes though, it's hard to get our ideas down in the written form. If you think about it, in order to write a simple sentence--aside from coming up with the idea--you need to be able to access the sounds that those words make, know which letters makes those sounds, know what those letters look like and then be able to physically make those shapes with your pencil. There are many skills that you need in order to write a simple sentence.
We have been working on all of this. For some of us this is brand new and holding a pencil is a foreign concept, while for others we are consolidating and correcting misconceptions about letters.
We use Casey the Caterpillar in Autahi to learn about letter formation, letter-sound correspondence and directionality.
This is a cheat sheet for you to see the language we use to make the letter shapes.
This is an excerpt from the story that contextualises the shapes. The open mouth refers to Casey when she hatches from her egg and is very hungry and ready to eat.
Every day in Autahi we practise the sounds that the letters make using this song and visuals to guide us.
We also practise the shapes on our whiteboards. We draw a tree trunk and branches reminding us of our directionality and size.
These letters all have tunnels in them.
These letters all have open mouths.
We used the sentence structure "I see a .." which had been in our poem all week and our new knowledge of letter shapes to write our own sentences. Some of us had a go at the word we could see and some of us drew a picture to show what we could see.
To support fine motor skills which are essential in writing and needed for simply holding our pencil correctly we have been having lots of challenges around the room. Here are some of them.
Using small tweezers to sort slippery objects.
Threading buttons and beads onto strings.
Fitting small pegs into holes.
Clipping pegs onto boards.
As you can see writing is multifaceted and requires a number of skills before you can begin to write!
We are very excited in Autahi to be on our journey strengthening our writing muscles!