Laying the foundations of handwriting success is one of the most important parts of early childhood education. But how do you ensure that you’re teaching early learners to grip a pencil or pen in a way that will help them become successful hand writers?
This is a topic that’s near and dear to the heart of Diane Eldridge, RN, COTA, whose career has focused on helping children of all ability and grade levels to achieve success in writing readiness, as well as printing and cursive handwriting skills. Diane’s experience in both private home tutoring and with Prince William County Schools as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) has provided plenty of her with plenty of insight about what strategies work to lay the foundations for handwriting success, as well as best practices for identifying and remediating poor grip.
Diane recently hosted a webinar for Pre-K through 2nd Grade educators about how to teach and remediate grip. The webinar, which comes with a useful, downloadable reference guide starts at the beginning of pre-writing instruction to identify why grip is important for handwriting success. From there, she shares her ideas about implementing pre-grip instruction and discusses specific strategies and activities that help children develop grip. These include multi-sensory strategies to help early learners like practicing letter formation in the air, in sand, water, or other media to anchor the shape of the letters in their memory before pencil touches paper. And, of course, how to identify and remediate poor grip to give a child a second chance not only at handwriting success, but overall academic success.