The handwriting workbooks were getting dull. Make-your-own copywork sheets were eating up an awful lot of printer ink. And in both cases, the ducklings weren’t taking as much care with them as they should have.
Then I remembered something my sister had picked up at a second-hand curriculum sale–two personal-sized whiteboards. The only trouble was, they had this grid all over them. But on second thought–maybe that could actually help!
So I tried them. I explained with these boards, they only had to make one copy of the assigned thing–but it had to be a good one. They could copy and erase as much as they needed until they were satisfied. I was careful to copy along the gridlines so that I could easily point out where the letters were uneven heights or widths. I selected words or phrases according to their abilities, letters I noticed them having trouble with, or even personal requests.
Last week on our shopping trip we picked up a pack of multi-colored markers to make it even more fun. To keep D1 from slowing down too much and to help her look at words as a whole for better spelling, I told her she could only switch to a new color when she came to a new word.
So here’s what our copywork looks like now:
This was inspired by a morning project–which they did all on their own, while I was listening to an online class–of coloring a number of real and imaginary planets, stars, moons, and rockets and taping them all over their room. D2 still needs to work on that “perfect copy” idea, but he’s doing pretty well for five. The extra little blank space at the bottom usually gets filled with decorations. (In fact, the only reason it’s not filled is that I erased D1’s name off of it.)
It turns out these boards were actually designed for use with Algebra 1 students. But they work also great for Grade 1 students. (Oh, and we’ve done some math on them, too.)