Catch up and keep up: letter shape

The current situation presents an opportunity for consolidation and catch up for those children who may be some way off where they need to be in terms of their learning. Where to start?

Consider those essential skills which underpin all learning. For many children, the skill of writing is acquired with minimal instruction. In reality, this is a deeply complex skill and one of the most challenging acts of coordination we have to learn. The brain rewires to write, just as it rewires to read.

It’s helpful to strip any skill back to it’s foundation. The ability to write begins with memory of letter shape, of course fine motor grip and posture also come into it.

Letter shape comes before sentence structure.

The beauty of the writing 8 exercise is that students can practice even if their fine motor skills are a weakness.

Writing 8: part one
Writing 8: part two

The template and instructions for the alphabet writing 8 can be found for free on Teachers pay Teachers: link below.

How to teach handwriting, some pointers:

Link to demonstration on Vimeo:

Many schools use a figure 8 tracking exercise but do not integrate alphabet work in it:

6 thoughts on “Catch up and keep up: letter shape”

  1. “Where to start?”
    A very good place to start is to start from the beginning.
    Get a strong foundation for kids who have disengaged from learning to read.

    Teach them the proper pronunciation of phonemes. Many so-called dyslexic kids shut down from learning to read due to confusion as a result of being taught the pronunciation of phonemes wrongly.

    Do read my posts on my blog at

    and then let us discuss.

  2. Rebecca Thompson

    Thanks for this.
    I can’t find the link to the 8 stages as on this website is it an ‘invalid link’ and can’t find it on the teachers pay teachers either. Any ideas?
    Thanks, Rebecca

  3. Pingback: Journey of a dyslexic writer – thinkpix

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