‘Buddy’ Help for Printing

I was at a conference the other day and had two teachers come by and ask how to get children to print letters starting from the top rather than the bottom.  This is a tough habit to break and needs on-going practice and monitoring.  How does a teacher do that with 20 or so children in the room?  What I often suggest is using your ‘buddy’ class to help out (you may need to train the ‘buddies’ on proper printing!).  When you are doing your letter practice pages, have the older buddies sit with the little ones and ensure they are forming letters correctly every time.  Have them repeat the chants ‘start like a cookie’, ‘come down to your tummy’, ‘down, back up and around’. This will help the younger ones internalize the correct formations and prevent them from practicing the wrong formations.  As teacher, you can circulate and perhaps offer a simple reward as you catch the partners doing it right!