Work with child on writing name

My daughter, who just finished kindergarten and will be going into first grade in the fall, has difficulty spelling her name. Can you tell me some ways that I can work with her this summer so that she will be able to write her name when she returns to school? -- Parent Teacher

Your daughter's first-grade teacher will definitely expect her to know how to write her first name and most of her last name. You should be able to help your child accomplish this goal before school starts. Incidentally, she should be able to write all of the letters of the alphabet, too.

You can work with your daughter using the steps below to help her learn to write her name. She needs to master each step before going to the next one.

--Get a copy of the alphabet letters the school is using. They should show the direction that each letter is formed.

--Teach her how to print the letters in her name, starting with her first name. The letters can be taught in any order. She also needs to know the names of the letters.


--Teach her the capital letter for only the first letter in her name.

--Print her name. Have her trace these letters many times. She may find it easier to write using a marking pen.

--Write her name using only dots. Then she should connect the dots.

--Print her name, and have her copy it under the letters you have written. She should say each letter as she writes it.

--Have your child write her name without looking at the model.

--Teach your child her last name in the same way.

Science activity 7

When you think of growing plants from seeds, you naturally think of growing them in soil. In this week's activity, you will investigate hydroponics -- growing plants in water -- to determine if water or another liquid is best for growing bean seeds.


1. Fill glasses or plastic cups with 8 ounces of water, club soda, milk, iced tea, vinegar and orange juice. Write the names of the liquids on each cup.

2. Divide the seeds into six piles of the same number of seeds, and put one pile in each cup.

3. Place all the cups in a tray so they won't tip over in a spot where there are no drafts.

4. Make a chart to record how many seeds germinate (sprout; begin to grow) each day. Record this information each day.

5. After one or two weeks, make a chart to show the average length of the seedlings in each cup.

6. Remove the seedlings from a cup and place on a paper towel.

7. Measure the length of each seedling in a cup and figure the average length of all the seedlings in the cup. Record this information on the chart.

8. Repeat for each cup.


9. To complete the experiment, study the two charts and answer these questions: (1) In which liquid did the seeds germinate the fastest? (2) In which liquid were the seedlings the longest?

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