Letter-Join: A teacher's guide

Paul Main

Find out how the platform Letter-Join can be used to promote handwriting learning.

What is Letter-Join?

Letter-join is an innovative handwriting program designed by teachers for teachers. It offers a wide range of teaching materials, including classroom presentations, handwriting activities and worksheets. The program uses either a printed font, a cursive font with a lead-in line, or a cursive script font.

It uses a unique combination of print and cursive fonts, allowing children to practice both styles of handwriting. The letters are designed so that children can see the difference between print and cursive writing. They can then practise writing the letters correctly in both styles.

Letter-join comes with a range of activities, including classroom presentations, handwriting activities and online games. There are hundreds of worksheets available in both print and cursive fonts.

Letter-join, which has been developed to support the UK National Curriculum, can be used with students in Early Years (EYFS), Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2) and track their progression in handwriting skills. 

Ultimately, the program will help students focus on the content rather than the process of writing.

How Letter-join Benefits Pupils

Letter-join has specific objectives for students at each learning level: 

EYFS: Develop writing skills with pre-cursive patterns and cursive letters. This includes letter formation, capitalisation and punctuation symbols.

KS1: Developing pupils’ skills in legible handwriting. This involves practising good pen control, legibility and accuracy.

KS2: Accomplishing neat handwriting and fluent handwriting. This involves developing fluency, speed and accuracy. Children with neat handwriting can share a picture gallery of their handwritten words with their friends and parents.

As pupils write with automaticity, they will develop a more personal handwriting style and will learn to write at different paces and pay different attention to neatness.

Staff support for using Letter-join

Classroom Posters

Letter-join’ s Gross Motor Skills posters improve fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. They are great for practicing letter formation and tracing letters. The posters are made from high-quality cardstock and are durable enough to withstand regular use.

Phonics posters (Phases 1-5) teach phonics and reading comprehension. Each poster has a different theme and includes a variety of activities to reinforce learning. 

Number and Alphabet Frieze posters help children learn numbers and alphabets. The posters include a variety of activities to help children practice counting and recognize numbers. They are made from high-grade cardstock and are durable and easy to clean.

Teachers can create their own word animations for children to watch and practice at home and school. 

Letter-join cursive handwriting instruction
Letter-join cursive handwriting instruction

Video Instructions for Class Teachers

Letter-join offers a series of videos that teach you everything you need to know about the website. These videos cover all aspects of the website, including how to use it, how to create letters, how to send out emails, how to track their handwriting development, and how to manage your school.

Packed with information and ideas on using Letter-join from EYFS to Keystage 2, our 44 page guide will quickly get school staff familiar with the many digital and paper resources.

Lesson Planners

Seven lesson planners are included with Letter-join resources. These lesson planners cover all subjects from Early Years Foundation Stage through to Year 6. Each lesson planner includes a set of activities and tasks designed to develop the skills needed to write well. The lesson planners can be used by teachers to plan individual lessons or by parents to create home learning opportunities.

Features of Letter-join

  • Letter-join is used with the interactive whiteboard. It allows learners to trace letters, patterns and words on the screen while listening to a spoken commentary on how each letter is formed. This helps learners understand the mechanics of writing better.
  • It also provides an alternative way of learning where the learner can watch the animation of the letters of the alphabet being written out on the board instead of having to write it out themselves.  Before tracing a letter in each family of letters, children can watch the engaging animations and hear the verbal pathways.
  • Letter-Join’s Handwriting Assessments are based on the National Curriculum and are aligned to the Standards for English and Mathematics. They are available for all Key Stages 1 to 6. The Reference Document, supplied along with, provides a handy list of resources for the staff to help with the assessment. However, alternative tasks can be used if preferred. 
  • As with all Letter-join activities, your class teachers' preferred font styles and preferred letterforms for f, k, w, x and z will be applied in all the worksheets, animations and lessons. 

KS2 Handwriting Recovery Programme 

For older children (those in upper Key Stages 2 and above) with poor handwriting habits, Letter-join offers a KS2 Handwriting Recovery programme. This programme is great for delivering intervention to pupils who have challenges in forming or joining letters properly. The programme provides a series of exercises to improve handwriting and speed up the recovery process. 

Resources Included with Letter-join

Printout sheets

Hundreds of printed worksheets to be used by students who need to complete the documents themselves and get real handwriting practice. However, if you prefer, you can also create customised versions of these printouts. Among other materials, the sheets include alphabet reference sheet, outline letters that comply with the DfE guidance on phonics teaching and supplementary Lesson Planner. 

Word Animator

This tool allows you to create animated images from text. It works by taking a word or phrase and animating it using the letter shapes. The letters move around and change shape until the animation ends. Letter-join's fonts are used.

On-line Word Processor

The Letter-join word processor is a tool used by many teachers and students to create documents using their chosen Letter-join font. 

Fun Dictation Exercises

Dictation is a skill that every schoolchild needs to master. It helps children learn to read and write fluently and it also helps them develop their vocabulary. But many children struggle to achieve these objectives because they lack the practice.

The dictation exercises designed to help you teach your pupils to write fluently, accurately and quickly. The exercises cover different topics, such as numbers, punctuation marks, symbols, capitalisation and spelling. Each exercise comes with its own set of instructions and examples so you can easily adapt it to suit your needs.

Worksheet Generator

With this tool, you can create handwriting worksheets for any subject. These worksheets include spelling lists, sentence sheets, poster templates and many others. You can choose any of the seven Letter join fonts to produce these worksheets.

Once you have completed creating the worksheets, you can download them as PDF files. You can print out the worksheets and hand it over to your pupils. 

Warm-up Exercises

The warm-up exercises develop children’s handwriting skills. It helps pupils to improve their letter formation and pen grip, while developing their fine and gross motor skills. The exercises are simple enough for young children to follow, yet challenging enough to keep older children engaged.

Letter-join staff support
Letter-join staff support

Letter-join's Phonics Resource

Children need to practice reading and writing using phonics so that they can develop the skills needed to become successful readers later in life.

Learning to write letters correctly is just as important as learning to read. Letter-join has developed a unique system that combines handwriting and phonics.

With Letter-join, children can learn to write letters correctly while practising the sounds of English. They can do this by choosing a phase of letter-joining and selecting a phoneme or graphemes for children to hear and practice the sound.

They can then practice writing the selected phoneme or graphemed word in their chosen font.

By combining handwriting and phonics, Letter-join provides children with a fun, interactive way to learn to read and write

Editable Handwriting Policy

Every school has its own unique set of requirements for the way students write. Therefore, Letter-Join offers a curriculum-based handwriting policy that's editable. 

A handwritten letter-join provides a great opportunity for schools to create a positive image of their institution by showcasing their commitment towards education and encouraging students to use penmanship as a means of expression.

Pricing for Letter-join School Subscriptions

8 classroom accounts with access to PCs, IWBs and iPads/tablets at school and at home costs £348 (+ VAT) in the first year and £248 (+ VAT) in subsequent years. Home access is included with the school subscription. The Letter-join Tablet Edition is available for free with all school subscriptions.

Letter-join handwriting practice
Letter-join handwriting practice

Home Edition

It’s an exciting time to be a parent. You want your child to succeed in school and beyond. But it can be difficult to find the right resources for your child. That’s why Letter-join includes everything that is relevant and useful. 

If your child's school does not have a Letter-join subscription, you can get the standalone version of Letter-join Home Edition for PCs and tablets for one year is £35.00 and encourage independent learning of your child.

Parents can enjoy a Letter-join 30 Day Free Trial before their purchase.

The desktop and tablet editions provide the same user experience.

Conclusion

Letter-join is a fun way to improve handwriting skills. It helps children learn to write letters correctly by using a variety of different activities. The program includes hundreds of worksheets in both print and cursive fonts.

It provides a range of activities, such as letter formation, tracing, copying, drawing and matching. These activities develop fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. 

It can be used by teachers to assess class pupil's progress in handwriting. Teachers can use it to record students' handwriting and then compare it against previous assessments. This helps teachers identify areas where pupils need extra attention.