Teacher Tips: Handwriting & Fine Motor Skills

Handwriting is one of those skills that is often overlooked.  Yet, when you grade their assignments, it is evident that more time should be spent on handwriting.
When I began teaching, many years ago, we had an actual block of time to teach handwriting.  I wrote letters and sentences on the overhead which modeled correct letter formation.  Students copied what I wrote on handwriting paper.

More and more was added to our schedule and something had to go. Handwriting was one of the first things to go.   You can still teach handwriting skills by integrating it with your other lessons.
It seems like there is always a few students that need to work on proper grip.  Give those students something small to hold - like the ball in the picture above - to hold. You can introduce this during your small group lesson when your students are writing. 
Some students hold their pencil in the wrong place. Wrap a rubberband around a pencil to show students where to hold their pencil. You can use grippers, too. There are a variety of grippers on the market.
  • The C.L.A.W. gripper helps students hold their pencil correctly.
  • My former O.T. loaned me these grippers.  I loved them so much, I bought my own set.  

Try a variety of pencils with your early writers.  My first Ticonderoga is my favorite fat pencil.  Golf pencils are the perfect size for small hands.
During small group lessons, use marker boards with dotted lines. Model how to write sight words or vocabulary words (like I used to do during my handwriting lessons). Your students will write the words on their dotted lines board after you model it. Encourage your students to use lines and spaces correctly.

Have you used makeup sponges for erasers?  They don't take up much work space and are the perfect size for small hands.
Do you need handwriting supplies?  I am going to host a giveaway of the supplies above on my FB page.  You can enter on my FB page - on the post with the picture above - if you would like to enter.

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