Being able to write in preschool is not a necessity, but there are certainly skills that every child can work on in preschool that will set them up for future writing success.
Pre-K Pages has a great overview of the skills involved in learning to write, and notes that the focus first needs to be on developing the fine-motor skills that make it possible to hold a pencil properly and with enough control to form letters.
Another key in learning to write is properly forming letters, which means that you start every letter from the top rather than the bottom. This is said to make it faster to write and allow the writer more control.
She also talks about something that is really important to me, which is not forcing hand dominance on students. As the mom of a leftie (who has been strongly left-dominant since she first picked up a crayon) I know how important this is and appreciate the reminder for teachers that kids need to learn their own way. If you force them to use their right hand when they are meant to be left handed, it just makes everything harder.
Do you teach writing early on? I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you do with little ones (and if you agree with the proscription of lined paper).
[Photo via Pre-K Pages.]