Handwriting Instruction: Key to the future or Subject of the Past Tara Kulak OTR/L OTD Program Chatham University Learning Objectives Participants will: • Gain knowledge about the importance of consistent handwriting instruction. • Gain knowledge about handwriting and the skills needed in successful development of handwriting. • Understand the role handwriting plays in acquisition of further academic skills. • Understand and compare the roles of the teacher and occupational therapist in handwriting instruction. • Review Handwriting Without Tears handwriting curriculum and how it supports development of handwriting skills. • Assess current knowledge of handwriting instruction and new information gained from presentation. Handwriting Facts • Handwriting is an essential skill. • 30-60% of academic day in elementary school is spent on fine motor activities including handwriting. • 85 % of all fine motor time in 2nd,4th & 6th grade classrooms was spent on paper and pencil activities. • 42% of kindergartner’s fine motor time is spent on paper and pencil activities. • 37% of preschool student’s day is spent on FM activities with only 10% spent on paper/pencil. (McHale & Cermak, 1992) (Marr, Cermak, Cohn & Henderson, 2003) Handwriting Facts • 10-30% of elementary school students struggle with handwriting (Karlsdottir & Stephansson, 2002 as cited in Feder & Majnemer, 2007) • Poor handwriting can lead to decreased academic success and low self esteem (Feder & Majnemer, 2007) • 98% of occupational therapy referrals in the school are related to student difficulties with handwriting. (Tait, 1998 as cited in Marr & Dimeo, 2006) Handwriting in the Classroom • Teachers do not feel adequately prepared for handwriting instruction in the classroom. (Graham et al., 2008) • Handwriting instruction in the classroom is often overlooked to focus on other areas of the curriculum (Cahill, 2009) • Handwriting instruction in the classroom is important for student success (Cahill, 2009; Daly et al., 2003; Edwards, 2003; MacKay et al., 2010; McHale & Cermak, 1992; Olsen, 2008; and Schneck & Amundson, 2010) Expectations and Skill Acquisition of Handwriting • Expectations of pre-k & kindergarten students has increased. • Important for teachers to give students opportunities to acquire prerequisite skills for writing. • Lack of automaticity will slow down a student’s ability to generate writings. Role of Teacher and OT • Teacher • Facilitator of Daily Handwriting Instruction • Expert in Student Performance • Collaborator with OT if problems arise • Occupational Therapist • • • Support to students in the classroom Expert on skills needed for acquisition of handwriting skills Collaborator with Teacher Overview of HWT • Multi-sensory handwriting program • Created by Jan Olsen, occupational therapist. • HWT curriculum draws from years of research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory tools ands strategies for the classrooms to utilize (Lust & Donica, 2011; Marr & Dimeo, 2006; and Olsen, 2008) • “Handwriting Without Tears is suitable for children of all abilities and learning styles,” and the incorporation of “manipulatives, instructional exercises, and workbook format ensures success for all children” (Olsen, 2008, p. 6) • HWT “teaches the easiest skills first and then builds on what the children have learned. Such instruction helps children develop good consistent habits for size, letter formation, and letter placement. Thus, they will master handwriting more quickly” (Olsen, 2008, p. 5). • Explore website of Handwriting without Tears: www.hwtears.com Handwriting in the Preschool Classroom • Get Set For School • Informal readiness handwriting program • Emphasizes readiness skills to prepare for formal handwriting instruction. • Helps get preschool students ready for kindergarten. • Helps develop: – Language proficiency – Social skills – Fine and gross motor control – Color and shape awareness – Letter & number recognition – Counting Essential Components • • • • • • • Time Management Building Music, Circle Time and Fingerplays Playing with Dough Drawing & Painting Color and Coloring Get Set for School Workbook Get Set for School Workbooks • Large step-by-step models easy to teach and finger trace • Page design is lefty friendly with multiple models • Black/white pages with left-to-right illustrations avoid confusion • Emphasizes developing those foundational skills needed for formal handwriting instruction. Mat Man & Wood Pieces • Letter Building Kit- Wood Pieces • Big lines • Big curves • Little lines • Little curves • Letter cards • Blue mat • Mat Man •Teaches body awareness • Develops counting skills • Develops drawing skills • Promotes social skills Music, Circle Time & Fingerplays • CD that incorporates concepts of preschool program • Helps engage children • Unlocks language • Provides motor component Roll A Dough • Helps develop small muscles in the hands. • Feel & see size and shape differences. • Children enjoy playing with the dough. Colors and Coloring • Help recognize colors • Naturally promote a good grip and finger strength. • Delight children and encourage them to move their fingers to flip the crayon to a new color. Online Tools • Link to access online toolshttp://www.hwtears.com/hwt/online-tools – Digital Teaching Tools – Screener of Handwriting Proficiency – A+ Worksheet Maker Lite – A Click Away- Expanded – Video Library – Classroom Downloads – Online Seminars Handwriting Web Sources & Videos • Check Readiness Pre-writing and writing readiness assessment: • http://www.hwtears.com/files/prekassessment/Check_Readiness_Assessments_WB.pdf • Check Readiness Classroom Observation Checklist: • http://www.hwtears.com/files/prekassessment/Readiness_checklist_AK_Dec30.pdf • Video using Wood Pieces: •http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage &v=lxE2b2lrBfQ • Overview Video of Get Set for School •http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage &v=QsRUkNN_IWs What have you learned? • What percentage of time is taken up by fine motor activities in the preschool classroom? • True or False- Handwriting difficulties is the most common reason for occupational therapy referral in the school setting. • How much time should be spent on handwriting instruction in the classroom? • Name 3 roles the teacher and occupational therapist play in handwriting instruction. • Who created the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum? • Name 3 types of media that can be used to teach the readiness skills needed for formal handwriting instruction using the Get Set for School Program. Conclusion • Handwriting is still an important aspect of our lives. • Studies support that handwriting practice is beneficial to developing overall handwriting skills. • Handwriting practice can be supported through daily practice in the classroom. • Important to incorporate handwriting into curriculum to allow for adequate acquisition of handwriting skills. • The key to success is building a strong foundation through the use of a readiness program Survey Handwriting Instruction PowerPoint Survey After participating and at the completion of this presentation, please take a few moments to complete this survey. Using the following scale- 1 = Strongly Disagree 2 = Somewhat Disagree 3 = Do not agree or disagree 4 = Somewhat Agree 5 = Strongly Agree I have an increased understanding of the importance of consistent handwriting instruction. I have increased awareness of the roles of the teacher and occupational therapist. Handwriting instruction is important for student success I have increased my knowledge of the Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) curriculum. I have increased my knowledge of the HWT preschool curriculum. I feel more confident in implementing handwriting instruction in my preschool classroom. I have increased my knowledge of the multi-sensory media (wood pieces, stamp & see, etc.) used in the HWT curriculum. I have a better understanding of my role in handwriting instruction. I have a better understanding of the role of the occupational therapist. I am more likely to incorporate consistent handwriting instruction daily. Please provide any additional comments: 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 References Cahill, S.M. (2009). Where does handwriting fit in? : Strategies to support academic achievement. Intervention in School and Clinic, 44(4), 223228. Daly, C.J., Kelley, G.T., & Krauss, A. (2003). Relationship between visual-motor integration and handwriting skills of children in kindergarten: A modified replication study. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57(4), 459-462. Edwards, L. (2003). Writing instruction in kindergarten: Examining an emerging area of Research for children with writing and reading difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36(2), 136-148. Feder, K.P., & Majnemer, A. (2007). Handwriting development, competency, and intervention. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 49, 312-317. Graham, S., Harris, K. R., Mason, L., Fink-Chorzempa, B., Moran, S., & Saddler, B. (2008). How do primary grade teachers teach handwriting? A national survey. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 21, 49-69. doi: 10.1007/s11145-007-9064-z References Lust, C., & Donica, D. (2011). Effectiveness of a handwriting readiness program in head start: A two-group controlled trial. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(5), 560-568. Mackay, N., McCluskey, A., & Mayes, R. (2010). The log handwriting program improved children’s writing legibility: A pretest-posttest study. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 30-36. Marr, D., Cermack, S.A., Cohn, E.S., & Henderson, A. (2003). Fine motor activities in head start and kindergarten classrooms. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57, 550-557. Marr, D., & Dimeo, S.B. (2006). Outcomes associated with a summer handwriting course for elementary students. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60 (1), 10-15. McHale, K., & Cermak, S. (1992). Fine motor activities in elementary school: Preliminary findings and provisional implications for children with fine motor problems. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 46, 898-903. References Olsen, J.Z. (2008). Handwriting Without Tears Research Review. Handwriting Without Tears. Retrieved January 28, 2013, from http://www.hwtears.com/hwt/why-it-works/research Olsen, J.Z. & Knapton, E.F. (2008). Handwriting without tears: Pre-K teacher’s guide. Cabin John, MD: Handwriting Without Tears. Roth, K. & Guinee, K. (2011). Ten minutes a day: The impact of interactive writing instruction on first graders’ independent writing. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 11(3), 331-361. Schneck, C. & Amundson, S. (2010). Prewriting and handwriting skills. In J. Case-Smith & J. C. O’Brien (Eds.), Occupational therapy for children (6th—ed., pp. 555-580). Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby Elsevier.