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Possibly dumb ?: lined vs. unlined paper


New Member

This might sound like a silly question, but I'm going to ask anyway :) I am student teaching in a Kindergarten class. When the kids do their writing work they used unlined paper. Usually their words end up all over the place (sometimes a few letters are tiny and others take up practically the entire page), which upsets and annoys my mentor teacher. I was thinking it would make sense to just give the students paper with lines on it to help guide them, but I am afraid of stepping on my mentor teacher's toes and insulting her! :) Does anybody use lined paper with their Kindergarteners? Is there any reason to stick with unlined?



Junior Member

We use unlined paper for free writing...Anytime they can pick what to write. Whenever I'm checking for expression and comprehension is the benchmark. We use lined paper when we have specific instructions and goal; writing and mechanics are the benchmark.

If your mentor teacher is annoyed by then why does she do it?

Once you are in charge of lesson planning and instruction time you should impliment your lesson plans accordingly. If you plans call for the use of lined paper then you should use it. If you are the one grading the papers you should be comfortable with the papers you are grading. After this break when we go back to school we will use almost all lined paper. I love using the paper that looks like this: We just make copies over and over again.


I start out in the fall with no lines but by November I give them paper to do their writing on that has lines drawn on it and encourage students to make their letters sit on the line. Near the end of the year I give them lined paper especially for beginning writers as the regularly lined paper is not spaced enough for many of the young ones. I do not worry or make a big deal about letters fitting exactly between the lines. This will come in first grade with more maturity, experience and eye hand control. I would agree with you that by now, the Kindergartners need some more structure for their writing.


Senior Member
I also start the year with unlined paper, then I give them lined paper when they seem ready, depends on the class to when I do this. I encourage them and model using the lines, but I dont' insist on it until the end of the year when they are getting ready for grade one.


Full Member
Lined paper

I am not sure what is best, this is my first year, I have been using lined paper all year except for drawing and things like that. The students are starting to get better about staying in the lines now.


New Member
Thanks for your responses, everyone! Maybe my mentor teacher is planning to give them lined paper soon, too.

I love that paper with the sky/ground lines!

Thanks again!