Thursday, April 19, 2012

Multisensory Handwriting Instruction     March 2012

Easy Ways to Make Handwriting Instruction Multisensory

Goodbye to boring handwriting drills. Hello to fun and achievement for all!
Multisensory teaching strategies will help engage all of your students’ senses in a fun, interactive way. This approach creates a dynamic classroom environment where all children succeed, regardless of learning style or background.
Here are some strategies for creating dynamic classrooms and taking advantage of students’ natural inclinations:
  • Use large step-by-step visual directions to teach letter formation.
  • Demonstrate at the board or easel using large arm movements and props so students can see easily and follow along.
  • Use large, clear illustrations that promote left-to-right directionality.

  • Use Wet–Dry–Try (see video) activities on a slate or blackboard for repetition and fun without boredom.
  • Provide opportunities for finger tracing and coloring.
  • Encourage building activities that teach letter formation and promote motor skill development.

  • Use consistent, child-friendly language for memorable lessons.
  • Incorporate music and different voices to engage students and teach various language arts skills including rhyme, letters and numbers, words, sentences, and more.
  • Play Mystery Letter games (PDF) with your class to delay auditory letter cues and break bad habits.

  • Incorporate music and movement to teach letter formation, social skills, and body awareness and to help children develop motor skills and coordination.

Use multisensory instruction with any letter, word, or sentence lesson and watch your classroom come alive. The hands-on approach is also great for learning cursive connections, size, and placement. See our hands-on products.
It’s easy to give fun, memorable handwriting lessons in just minutes per session. It’s okay to sing, be silly, and create your own activities. The important thing is to captivate your students and encourage them to participate. You will be delighted with how quickly and easily they learn.
Classroom Tip:
The Hand Activity
(Taken from the Kindergarten Teacher’s Guide)
Beginning printers are still figuring out letter size. They are still learning the difference between capital and lowercase letters. You see this when they write “cows” like this: “cOwS” or “Jacob” like this “JaCOb.” You see that when they float a descending letter like "g" or "y" or "p."
hand activity
You can help them. Here is a delightful hand activity for teaching correct size and placement of capitals and lowercase letters. This is fun for a child or a whole class. It captures their attention and gets them moving. As you use the activity you can see them mastering letter size and placement!
Directions for Letter Activity:
  1. Point to the Wall Chart to show the letter (Any letter – Aa, Dd, Gg for example)
  2. Children hold up the right hand for the lowercase
  3. Make a fisted hand for small letters (a, c , e, I, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, z)
  4. Point the index finger up for tall letters (b, d, f, h, k, l, t)
  5. Point the thumb down for descending letters (g, j, y, p, q)
Directions for Word Activity: (Any word - dog, ship, game, etc.)
  1. Show a lowercase word on the board or in a book.
  2. Read the letters in the word together from left to right.
  3. Use one hand to show the hand position for each letter as it’s named.
Note: Don’t use this activity for children learning sign language because it may create confusion.

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