Sunday, June 14, 2009

Name Card for Practice in Writing

This is the name card I wrote about earlier. I prefer to use Print Shop Deluxe but my desk top computer, which is where PSD is installed, is working like molasses in winter. Thus I had to use my baby laptop and MS Word with Word Art. Blah. I prefer my old school PDS but one cannot be choosy in a pinch--and I was in a pinch this time!

Before you start, get some card stock instead of regular printing paper. I have a tabletop laminating machine which I use with the 8.5 inch by 11 inch laminating film. The film is thicker than the film on the large
laminating machine used in most schools. This with the card stock will make a far sturdier card.

You may need a black marker if you're using MS Word or MS Works which is why I prefer
PSD. But you probably can't find PSD anymore. So I will continue as if you're working in what most people already have on their computers.

Depending on the level of the student, I will use just the first name or first and last name. After opening a blank document, on the tool bar go to "FILE." In "page set up" choose "landscape.

Now go to "INSERT" on your tool bar. Choose "PICTURE" and slide over to "Word Art." In Word Art" find the hollow, colorless letters (which may be style 7 in Windows
XP you will see if you roll the cursor over it). Click on this style and a dialogue box will pop up.

At the top left of this box in the gray area you will see the word "Font." Choose "Comic Sans." This is important. This font looks more like a beginner hand writer's font. Consistency in font is very important for beginning readers and writers. Also use a capital letter for the first letter of the first and last names only. Reading matter for beginners should keep this form as word shape also aids in reading. If you use all caps all words have the same rectangular shape. Besides it is better for the children to get used to writing their name using initial caps with lowercase which is more natural.

Once you type the name(s) in the dialogue box, click "OK" in the dialogue box. The hollow letters should appear on your document. You can drag the corners to stretch
it or shrink it. I like to place a few lines underneath for practice in writing on lines. I didn't do that on this one because I wasn't sure the students would be that advanced yet

I had to look on line for the hollow shapes to place beneath the lines. In
PSD they were in the graphics collection.

Before laminating, I had to go over the lines in the name with a black felt tip pen.

On the photo you can see where the student used a red dry erase marker to trace his name inside the hollow letters and to trace the shapes. At the end of practice each child wipes the marker off with a paper towel so the card is ready for the next day's practice. Make sure ONLY dry erase markers are available for the students to write with on these cards.

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