Archive for the 'Grippers & Surfaces' Category

Handwriting Worksheets: Beware!

MP900049596Handwriting worksheets vary according to the writing program that is being used.  Let’s look at the first of several worksheet “glitches” and how to fix them:

1. A worksheet has four lines for practicing a single letter..  A “model” letter to be traced is at the beginning of the first line but is not repeated at all.  Dots are placed for each letter on the lines.

Problem:  The child will trace the model letter and hopefully make the first independent letter correctly.  The second independent letter is modeled after the first independent letter.  The third independent letter is formed according to the second independent letter not the model. As the child loses focus on the model letter especially on the fourth line, the letter will more than likely be formed incorrectly.

Solution:  Place a model letter at the beginning of EACH line as well as in the MIDDLE of each line.  Make sure the model letter is traced correctly!  Once the letter formation is in the tactile (touch) and proprioceptive (body movement) systems, it’s almost impossible to change!

Note: This pencil grip is highly inefficient!  But that’s another blog!:)



A special thanks to each of you wonderful preschool teachers who attended my seminars these past two days at Woodwind Presbyterian PTAC conference!!!!! I hope I was able to show my gratitude for all you do working with these precious children as well as provide you with workable information for your classrooms.  Please if you have questions or would like copies of my power point presentation, e mail or call me (you are welcome to these even if you could not attend!).

Please let me clear up one misunderstood point.  In my handwriting class, I suggested using a special “monk” grip for low tone children rather than using a gripper for the pencil.  I seemed to have left the impression that I do not use or approve of grippers.  This is not true!  I love pencil grippers and they are very appropriate IF they are the ones that the child should be using.  Its very difficult to use the same gripper for all the children in one classroom.  I hope this clears up this misunderstanding.  Thanks! Please see my blog on pencil grippers posted earlier.



3. Can the student hold a pencil in a functional grip and maintain it? 
a. Does a pencil gripper help? There are many commercially available pencil grippers.  Its important to find one that “fits” your child’s fingers and is comfortable to your child.  Encourage the use of it with coloring and drawing first as an adjustment period. 

b. Does an inclined surface such as an inclined clipboard help? Using an inclined surface (like the old desks use to be) helps pull in the wrist muscles to help with an appropriate grip.  You can take a fat three ring binder, keep it closed, and place the ring side away from your child thus creating an inclined surface.  If this makes a difference order one from or a similar site.

c. Is the pencil grip better when writing on a vertical surface? Practice writing on a vertical surface such as an easel, a chalkboard placed on the wall or even painting with water using a smaller paint brush on the side of your house. This will help strengthen the arm and hand muscles needed for good writing. Sometimes the grip is better in this position because once again the wrist muscles are helping with the gripping.

Handwriting Questions

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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R