Writing their Name!
The first thing we do at school after your child is dropped off and you have said Goodbye is what we call an "Opening" usually it has something to do with the letter or theme for the week. It is a small activity that can involve coloring, using scissors and glue or something similar. (Normally the parents read the directions (if there are any) to the child and then this is when they say goodbye and transition out of the classroom.)
We encourage the kids to write their name on it, and this is the first step in being able to do this skill. The most important part of being able to write their name is encouragement even if they can only make a "mark" on the paper. We start with them being able to recognize how to write the first letter of their name. We are not looking for perfection at this point we just want to be able to recognize what letter it is that they are writing.
Some need help with how to shape a letter and some need help with how to hold a crayon. We use a couple different types of crayons. We have regular round ones for our kids who hold them correctly to start with and then we have bigger triangle ones for our kids who need help with getting their fingers into the right position or their finger muscles have just not developed enough yet.
We make the rounds of the classroom checking with and encouraging each child. Helping them learn the proper positioning if we need to.
Our goal is that by the end of the year you could look at the name they wrote on the paper and know who wrote it. Why do we care about this?
It is because their Kindergarten teacher needs to know who's paper it is that they are looking at and this is a necessary ability to know by the end of preschool.
This entire activity doesn't take longer than 10 minutes and usually only just a few minutes for most. Who wants to sit and color perfectly when there are books to look at? You see after they finish their opening they get to go to the book center until we call them to line up for our morning activities.
They are learning knew things every day and I cannot even tell you the fun of watching it happen.