Friday, May 25, 2012

Fine Motor Sign in Systems

Photo of: coffee filter painting with paint daubers, Fine Motor Leads to Fine Arts

Welcome or Welcome Back!!
We've reached the 15th installment of my continuing series! Today I'm going to group together six different 'sign-in-systems' that I've observed in my "music-lady" travels -- all here into one spot for your ease in planning for next year. 

Let's get started with a brand new concept that I saw just recently up in NW Ohio, making my Author-visits throughout Bryan on behalf of their public library and Family Advocacy Collaborative. Expectation: sign-in at arrival to school. Materials: White Board + Dry Erase Markers. 

Here's what the process looked like for one preschool child: 

photo of: Preschool Handwriting, Fine motor in preschool

Here are some results from hard working students. Keep in mind that these pictures were taken at the end of May and this has been a daily procedure for the entire school year. Let's hear it for progress!!

photo of: Preschool fine motor development, Sign-in system

There were other students needing more 'real estate' for their names. This classroom is designed to serve children with special needs as well as their typical peers -- so there is an entire spectrum of abilities when it comes to Fine Motor.

photo of: Handwriting development in Preschool

Here's what the morning's worth of signatures looked like sharing the board. 
Yes, the names themselves are laminated cardstock with a magnet affixed to the back of the card. That way the name cards can easily be shifted around the board as the children enter the classroom and need more or less space for their assignment. 

photo of: Wipe-off Dry Erase Board for Morning "Sign-In" System in Preschool

I worked extra hard to document the afternoon's sign-in process. I wanted you to see the hard work, concentration, effort, focus and persistence that has developed by having a daily expectation of fine motor work. Work that is meaningful. Work that is appropriate. 

photo of: Dry Erase Board for Fine Motor Development in Preschool

I've been literally ALL OVER DA MAP this month, making visits to schools for a variety of end-of-the-year celebrations. Here's a system I saw last week up in Michigan. Clipboards loaded ahead of time with names ready for the signing-in. These were ready-to-go as I made my way about their building for my evening concert with families. Do you just LUV people who plan ahead and are organized?

photo of: Clipboard Sign in System for Morning check-in, Preschool

Now let's go for a ride on the way-back time machine and take a peek at the earlier 'methods' for signing into the classroom that I have shared here in previous episodes of Fine Motor Friday. Here's the first example I saw this fall. Pre-written names on paper. Child arrives and finds their name in the midst of their friends and traces it with a marker. These are preschool children in Ohio.

photo of: Self Regulatory Sign-in System for Fine Motor Development in Preschool

Next came this Louisiana preschool classroom where the children's names are recorded in their own spiral bound notebook. Arrive at school and clock in by writing your name. This is a simple way to see progress over time. Each child also has a couple of shapes to trace after they get their name written. Notice that some children are just working on their first name and other have more involved assignments. 

photo of: Fine Motor Development in Young Children, Daily Sign-in System for Preschool

This is a pretty brilliant set-up for a writing center in a VPK (Voluntary PreKindergarten) in FL that I had the opportunity to observe last winter just prior to our singing together. 

photo of: Fine Motor Center "Playing Office" by Writing Friend's names
Fine Motor "Office" Center, with friends names on index cards

All the children's names are on index cards and bound together on a ring. Child chooses which names of their friends that they want to write out while they are 'playing'  working playing in the office. All of the needed materials are organized in the office center for independent work.

Here's the most recent sign-in system cataloged here in my Fine Motor Friday series. This one's documented from my kindergarten visit to my very own WonderBoy's elementary school earlier this month . LUV LUV LUV LUV this one, too! The photographs of friends are a brilliant touch in making connections to our new friends and their names! This would be pretty brilliant for beginning the year..... getting acquainted. 

photo of: Kindergarten Fine Motor Development, Handwriting in Kindergarten

To improve 'auto-maticity' in the writing of letters is to increase the ease of expression of ideas in creative writing into the future. Having a 'sign-in' system  makes writing an expectation.  Someone on Pinterest repinning an image from this article called it a 'self-registration system' which I like. Incorporating an opportunity and the materials for practice in writing at an early age is to strengthen literacy skills for a lifetime!! 

photo of: 6 Different Fine Motor "Sign-in" Systems used in Preschool and Kindergarten, fine motor development

Are you giving this gift to your young students? 
Do you have some digital photos to share here with my readers? 

These MI envelopes were being prepared for sending home the end-of-the-year collection of goodies and make such a delightful portfolio-of-sorts with the children's drawings as a permanent gift for end of the year reflection. 

photo of: Portfolios in Preschool, Portfolio for Fine Motor

Note to self: I'll have to feature lots of 'FINE ARTS' ideas in a future post to balance this one. 

[**Spoiler alert. I just got this post all together and now today I have seen the ULTIMATE in sign in systems. 
So while I hoped to have everything here in one post, these ton of new pictures will have to wait, but they are fully deserving of their own post.] 

Have the children see your writing!!!!

photo of: End of the Year Rhyme, Teacher Appreciation poem

photo of: End of School Rhyme, Teacher Appreciation Rhyme

-- Debbie --

As always.... you're welcome to use the promo code: GREAT to receive a 10% savings on your purchases at my website
The entire collection of Fine Motor leads to Fine Arts series is housed in this click
Earlier editions have been devoted to such topics as rainbows and Mother's Day and explain my bias on this topic. ENJOY!!

This post has been added to TBA's International Blog Hop!

Smart Teaching


  1. I love the idea here. I reminisce the time when I am in my pre-school days.

    Monkey mia tour

    1. PreSchool is where it all happens!!! I LUV to get to spend time with the little ones. I appreciate your taking the time to say hello.


  2. Thank you for the ideas. I like the idea for the writing table. I have used the clipboard idea. What I have found however is that by the middle of the year, most children write their name well and become board with this. I started having a question of the day, either written on the white board or on large paper. We thin talk about the question and the answers. For example I might ask, "what book do you want to read today?" Then have a picture of the books titles or the actual books . Children sign their name in the column that they choose. This is great for graphing too. We have done favorite fruit, how you get to school, interesting places you've been, emotions for the day. It is really endless and gives a practical reason for writing your name. To help with the flow I ask parents who often spend more time with us in the morning to help out, or I tell the children what the question is and at least one of them always remembers.

    1. Thanks so much for leaving your thoughts here. I'm so glad to hear that your pips have things well in hand by the middle of the year. I LUV your ideas of the questions and their signing in with response to something thought provoking. That is a very meaningful manner to increase/encourage handwriting -- and as you say the graphing possibilities are awesome!

      Hope that visit here you share your thoughts often.


  3. Dear Ms. Debbie,

    Mabuhay! (Greetings from the Philippines!)

    Hats off! Your effort to share all these is deeply appreciated!
    Despite of the digital experience/opportunities that have beset us, there is still no reason not to use the old-hat stage teaching "antics" of writing on paper or on black/white board. What is important is that the strategy has been very effective on and/or highly-motivating to the learning child. However, to combine these and all the other strategies deemed appropriate to the child remains the best.

    I support you in your advocacy of being creative and resourceful a teacher.

    Thumbs up,
    Teacher Joy

    1. Teacher Joy!! From the PHILIPPINES!!! Welcome to my little banner under the rainbow! I'm grateful to you for your support and hope that you find inspiration here to share on your side of the world.

      I don't get a lot of comments -- let alone from abroad. I'm very grateful for your taking the time to leave me your thoughts.

      A very delighted Debbie

  4. I LOVE these sign in and out ideas for children to become familiar with the letters in their name and their name further down the road to be able to print it. Unfortunately, in Australia they have what is called the Early Years Learning Framework which is the worst possible way of teaching children and most paperwork i have ever seen. It involves teachers providing children with the things they are interested in and doing mostly ONLY that. You could end up teaching the entire year on one or two interests if they keep on going. It is dreadful. The paperwork has so much writing constantly through the day that there is not enough time to fully engaged or play at all with the children. This is being implemented through all of Australia at all of the childcare centers.

    Unfortunately, the sign in and out processes in which you provide here are not allowed as they are way too structured for children and we are not allowed to ask them to do something like that while they are in our care.

    Keep up the fantastic work, and feel fortunate you are teaching with your heart and that your children will be WHOLE-Y ready for school when they go.

    Best Wishes.


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Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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