Picture a race. Participants poise themselves on running blocks at the starting line. Once the race begins, they progress toward the checkerboard flags. It doesn’t matter if you are crab-walking the distance, skipping, hopping or running. You are headed toward the Finish Line.
So are we.
Go Lines mark the place where students should make their first letters. Finish Lines connote the end of the line. It’s a kinesthetic way of reinforcing left to right directionality across the page.
Whenever a student’s pencil marks are moving toward the Finish Line, we call it a forward movement. Writing in general progresses forward. If they write in the direction of the Go Line, it’s called a backward movement, because… for all you Candyland players… they are moving back to Go!
The Student Workbooks and Letterbox Worksheets both contain green Go Lines on the left side of a set of Writing Lines and checkerboard Finish Lines on the right side of the Writing Lines.
For some children, I may actually place a strip of green highlighter tape down the left side of their desks. (Don’t use floral tape… it will stain your clothing!) Down the right side, I’ll place a masking tape strip with a grid running the entire length. Together, the children and I color in alternating boxes to make a Finish Line.
And for some, I’ve simply drawn the same starting and ending lines on a blotter*. The kids color them in accordingly.
Go Lines and Finish Lines eventually morph into left and right margin lines, respectively. But for your youngest students, this is a helpful way of preventing or correcting reversals.
* Blotters, you ask? Tell you more soon.