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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Grab these free lowercase alphabet tracing cards for a quick literacy center that you can use any time of the year!
The end of summer always means one thing for kids; back to school time. For many, it’s a big change to get back into a routine and there’s that heady mix of excitement and anxiety as students walk into your classroom for the first time. While the first six weeks are spent building classroom community and building routines, you’ll also want some familiar academic activities to ease them back into learning.
These trace and erase handwriting practice pages are easy to use and will help to develop and refresh their letter formation skills from the previous year.
How Do Traceable Letters Help With Literacy?
One of the biggest goals of any early literacy programs is to move students from simple mark making to being able to express themselves with their words on paper. To be able to do this, they need to master the letter formation for each and every letter in the alphabet. As with all early literacy skills, the key to success is repeated practice, and using traceable letters has to be part of your program. Not only does lowercase alphabet tracing teach students the correct way to form each letter, but also gives them reading practice to recognize each letter on the page.
Preparing Back to School Lowercase Alphabet Tracing Cards
These back to school handwriting practice cards are easy to use; just download and print off copies of the letters you’re studying that week. It’s a great idea to laminate them so you can use them for trace and erase or playdough activities.
Using Trace And Erase Cards In Your Centers
While repeated practice is the best way to help your students with their handwriting practice, it’s possible for them to become complacent if they’re required to do the same trace and erase tasks over and over again. To keep things fresh, try some of these alphabet tracing activities:
Use playdough – instead of giving students a dry erase marker to work with, try giving them a block of playdough. Initially they’ll just take a block and mold it into the letter shape, but you can encourage them to roll it out in a “worm” and use that to follow the arrows on the traceable letters page.
Describe a letter – as with any literacy center, students will enjoy it more if you can turn it into a game. For this activity, have students work with a partner, and take it in turns to pick a letter and describe how to draw it without saying the name of the letter. For example, they might say “start at the top and draw a straight line down then go halfway back up and draw half a circle” to describe a “b”.
Match to letter sounds – another early literacy goal is teaching students that letters have both names and sounds (and in some vowel cases, multiple sounds). You can run a small center in which you call out letter sounds for students to trace, and they have to translate the sound that the letter makes to the form it takes on page to be successful.