Presentation on theme: "Handwriting in the Classroom"— Presentation transcript:
1 Handwriting in the Classroom AT Ideas and SolutionsSarah Crosbie, MS.Ed, OTR/LLet’s think what a special needs student may have to face when presented with a simple writing assignment
2 Handwriting is a lifelong skill that affects every academic area in school. Handwriting or written communication is the number one concern on IEP’s today.Students who struggle to write often miss content while focusing on mechanics.
3 Writing is…..The physical act of dragging a trail across a piece of paper.
4 Physical Sequence Random shapes and scribbles Coloring Crayon drawing Letter formationPrinting words and sentencesCursive words and sentencesTyping
5 Sample Handwriting Continuum Pre-KBody awarenessSensory motor/gross motor experiencesFine motor and manipulative tasks to strengthen fingers and handsTeach foundational strokes and basic shapesWork on vertical surfacesDrawingKindergartenContinue to teach/reinforce Pre-K skillsProper pencil gripProper postureTeach age-appropriate shapesUse multi-sensory method to teach upper case letters and then lower case letters with correct starting points and directionalityBasic sentence writing** Children in Kindergarten spend 42% of fine motor time on paper/pencil tasks
6 Sample Handwriting Continuum 1st GradeDaily handwriting lessonsProper pencil grip & postureIncrease automaticity of letter formationPunctuation , grammar, spellingAppropriate sizing and placement2nd GradeReview and refinement of letters and numbersWord and sentence skillsPractice smaller letters and narrower linesIncrease speed.
7 Sample Handwriting Continuum 3rd GradeReview of manuscriptIntroduction of cursive letter formationsSentence and paragraph skillsRefine sizeIncrease speed4th GradeCursive masteryIncrease quantityIntroduction to Keyboarding
8 Sample Handwriting Continuum 4th – 8th GradeReview and refinement of cursive/manuscript in contentNeat connections, appropriate spacingSpeedSelf-evaluation of skillsDevelopment of personal style
9 Barriers To Teaching:Handwriting instruction is difficult- most teachers/ therapists are trained in one method and prefer using that methodNot standardized within districts or states
10 Physical Issues Gross Motor/Fine Motor Proprioception/Kinesthetics High Tone (Spasticity)Low tone (Flaccidity)Proprioception/KinestheticsBody sense in spaceEye-hand coordinationVisual Acuity
11 Low-Tech StrategiesThe LoTTIE Kit (Low Tech Tools for Inclusive Education)Highlighter tapeSee It Right (colored filters for visual impairments)Ergonomically shaped pensPage holdersPencil GripsKeyboard LabelsMagnifiersPaper Writing Guides
12 Problem: Student demonstrates poor sitting posture when writing Provide proper seat and desk heightGood base of support for armsNon-skid surface on chairWarm-up exercises to activate muscles needed to maintain good postureAttach “posture card” to desktopLow muscle tone? Seek advise from OT/PT non-skid materials..footrests 90/90/90 desk should be right height to offer base of support for arms…posture card is visual cue…seated push-ups, wall push-ups, calisthenics, blackboard, easel, standing helps improve shoulder stability, increase attention and improve wrist /hand position
13 Problem: Student demonstrates poor pencil grip when writing Encourage use of dynamic tripod graspEarly intervention is optimalUtilize adaptive pencil aidsPractice cutting with appropriate scissor graspTry writing with broken crayons or small pieces of chalkWrite on slanted surface to increase wrist extension and visibilityTake into consideration students age, cooperation and ability to cooperate..tough to change grip when beginning 2nd grade (but not impossible)…scissor great exercise for pre tripod..show different aids
14 Adaptations and Modifications Improve ability to hold and manipulateEnlarge handles or writing utensils with wooden dowels, foam hair curlers, pipe insulation, film canister, tennis or plastic golf ball.
15 Problem: Student has difficulty with spatial organization when writing Color-code marginsIf students have trouble staying within lines, try increasing or decreasing space between writing lines.Use a spacer to measure space between words (finger, ice pop stick)Use graph paperEmphasize lines on paper with visual or tactile cuesDraw a green vertical margin down left of page and red down end of line. teach green means go and red means stop…zaner bloser has software program that lets you print out lines in many different styles , height, etc.
16 Problem: Student shows poor letter formation when writing Always demonstrate how to write a letter.Have student repeat aloud verbal directions for forming a letter as he writes it.Be sure they understand directional termsHave student write on chalkboard or other vertical surface to reinforce directionality and prevent confusionProvide daily practice to reinforce skillsLoops and groups..up, down, over, across..self talk is very helpful .. Self-correction “pick out your favorite 3 letters/words and tell me why you like them” on horizontal surface down means toward self up means away from self
17 Problem: Student shows letter reversals when writing Reversals are common in kindergarten and 1st grade, should diminish in 2nd grade, and be infrequent in third.Letter/word reversals are, for the most part, due to a weak memory, the lack of enough previous experiences, or a lack of left-right awareness.Place cue card of letters typically reversed on student’s desk for easy referenceUse multi-sensory activities to learn and practice letter formation (textured letters, sandpaper, sand, shaving lotion)If the child is confused about his own left/right, use a ring, watch, ribbon or band on his writing arm. Reversals common In young children and usually diminish around 6 or 7 in don-disable students ..Use cartoon drawing to help depict this concept..trace over textured letters with fingers with eyes closed and then open. Have him repeat aloud verbal direction for forming the letter..when writing letters in air stand next to student
18 Problem: The student writes too slowly to keep up with the class Student’s ability to form letters automatically is not adequate. Continue instruction/remediation.Reduce the writing loadProvide keyboarding instructionSpeed should not be addressed until letter formations have been learned..compensatory strategy
19 Problem: The student hates to write Identify areas of difficulty so that remediation can begin.Teach handwriting separately (not with written assignment).Emphasize quality of handwriting not quantity. Reduce the writing load.Comments on students paper should emphasize the positive.All alternatives- oral reports, typing, videoMake writing fun!Talk to student, listen to his reasons..the more you know about handwriting ,the more you’ll know of how much of this is behavior or a disability..separate mechanics of writing and formation of ideas..fun activi..tic tac toe with letters..list writing ..journal writing..
20 Handwriting Curriculums Handwriting Without Tears:D'Nealian Handwriting :Zaner- Bloser:Hooked on Handwriting:Callirobics:Write-On Handwriting:Palmer Method HandwritingLoops and Other GroupsBig Strokes for Little Folks