I use this board often with the Ed Emberley Drawing books that I have blogged about. It has been my experience that kids who are working on pre writing symbols and lines, visual perceptual skills, writing and precision with a writing tool often love drawing on white boards with colored markers. Yes, there is less feedback to the hand when you are gliding across a smooth surface with a dry erase marker, but you can still work on holding a writing tool, using a writing tool to draw controlled precise lines/rounded corners/diagonal lines, drawing simple shapes, reducing overflow, and proportion. And at the end, as the kids are admiring their handiwork, I can often slip in a little writing such as a few words or simple sentence about their picture. None have balked at that yet.
- Work on diagonal lines for letters such as K, Y, X, W by drawing pictures that incorporate diagonal lines (whiskers, sharp teeth, legs, bird toes). Work on distal rotation by drawing pictures that incorporate small, colored-in circles (eyes, freckles, tassels, chicken pox). Work on rounded lines, such as needed for many lower case letters, by drawing pictures with rounded and wavy lines (ears, water, noses, hair). Sounds pretty basic, doesn't it? One big reason I like the Ed Emberley books is because I can quickly scan each picture looking for the feature(s) that I want to practice without having to make up drawing after drawing in my head. I'm not that fast or that good.
- Be short and precise with your verbal instructions as you model. Draw only one line or shape at a time and make sure they are following your instructions to the best of their ability. Drawings may start out looking rough, but typically improve over time with practice.
- Model how to start and stop on a line. I often just reach over and erase overflow with my finger and they quickly get the idea.