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Teaching Tips, Multisensory Learning

Handwriting Matters!

You’ve heard that handwriting is an important skill for children to be taught. But why? What are the benefits of taking time out of an already-busy schedule for handwriting instruction? When it comes to handwriting, the benefits of implementing regular practice in your classroom are far-reaching and evident in the successful outcomes of your students. We’ve come up with a list of four ways that teaching handwriting can set your children up for success:

 

1) When students write something down, they process the information more efficiently.

 

In a study published in Psychological Science, research found “Longhand notetakers engage in more cognitive processing than laptop notetakers, thus selecting more important information to include in their notes, which enables them to study this content more efficiently.”

 

When children take notes via handwriting, they are able to extract the most poignant information being given, which helps them retain material.

 

Our student workbooks position children for successful note-taking through fun, developmentally appropriate letter writing activities that promote the fine motor skills needed to become successful at handwriting.  

 

2) When children can think and write at the same time, without worrying about the mechanics of writing, they also learn to express themselves.

 

Children are more fluent communicators when they have the foundational handwriting skills they need to express themselves without getting stuck on mechanics.

 

The right teaching tools make teaching the mechanics a breeze. In a recent survey conducted by Learning Without Tears, many teachers and OTs agreed that our new interactive teaching tool, HITT (The Handwriting Interactive Teaching Tool™) is:

 

  • Practical and easy to use
  • A great tool to complement our handwriting curriculum
  • Very engaging for students
  • Perfect to teach students and establish great habits from the start
  • Very informative and comprehensive

 

3) Handwriting helps children focus.

 

As cited in a 2012 study in the journal Child Development, “Handwriting supports executive function by engaging a child’s attention and developing their ability to focus.”

Manipulatives can also capture a child’s attention and help build vital fine motor skills in preparation for handwriting practice. Hands-on tools add a tactile and kinesthetic component to letter formation. Try our Wood Pieces Set for Capital Letters to focus your child on multisensory letter learning activities. Children build their way to letter literacy as they imitate the teacher with lines and curves.

 

4) There is a positive correlation between better handwriting skills and increased academic performance in reading and writing.

 

A study published in the Journal of Early Childhood Education and Development looked at 1,000 students when they were in Pre-K and then again in second grade. They found that Pre-K students with good fine motor skills—from handwriting instruction and practice—outperform their peers in both reading and math by second grade.

Children need ample opportunities in the classroom to practice handwriting. For additional handwriting practice, our Building Writers student workbooks offer structured practice to build core writing skills with narrative, information, and opinion writing activities. Building Writers student workbooks allow children to practice both the handwriting and writing skills they need to succeed academically.

 

Ready to learn more about teaching handwriting?

 

Are your students struggling with reversing their letters and numbers? Help them turn their reversals around—line by line, curve by curve! Whether you’re new to Get Set for School® and Handwriting Without Tears® or you’d like a refresher, our upcoming webinar, Moving Forward Not Backwards with Reversals, will give you fun and effective strategies for your handwriting instruction.

By Megan ParkerMegan Parker received her Bachelor of Science degree in English from Towson University. She has a background in writing for children that includes working in the editorial department at Girls’ Life magazine, where she wrote for the print magazine and website. She has versatile experience as a writer, editor, and copywriter, and her writing has been published in magazines and newspapers. When she’s not having fun creating imaginative content at Learning Without Tears, she loves to travel the world.

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