Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of all Teachers' Christian Fellowship members.
Ten things I learnt from the TCF seminar on occupational therapy strategies - 14 May, 2016
- Handwriting is important for developing students’ learning. The act of forming letters and words when handwriting helps to develop the mind supporting both reading and written communication. It is a different thought process to typing!
- Students need to develop their writing skills so that letter formation is fluent and automatic rather than a painful struggle.
- When we teach handwriting we need to demonstrate, monitor and correct on the spot the direction of letter formation rather than just letter shape, size, speed or regularity.
- Correct pencil grip is vital to stop cramping and fatigue but only early correction will have much hope of causing a permanent change in grip.
- Short daily handwriting practice is necessary to develop good handwriting skills, speed and endurance.
- Even High School students need to be able to write fluently and neatly rather than just type.
- Coloured margins for young writers can remind them about line return and therefore where to start their next line.
- Five to ten minutes each day for Primary age children is needed to develop fine motor skills. ie. specific and structured activities promoting pincer grip, strength and tactile sense. Such things as squeezing balls, using tweezers, thumb to finger touch, finger games with eyes open and then closed, etc
- Preschool and Infants age children should be handwriting rather than keyboarding because of the neurological differences in these skills and their corresponding affects on reading and thinking.
- Learning touch-typing after handwriting is a valuable time saving skill.