Handwriting ideas for my nonwriting 5th grade son

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by mshutchinson, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Nov 17, 2005

    My sons writing is atrocious. His printing is pretty bad too.
    I noticed a couple years back that he holds the pencil almost at the lead., I've encouraged him to back up and loosen up his grip, but he just hasn't been able to consistently do so. I'm surprised he doesn't have callouses.

    I also bought those..gripper things, they have dents that position the fingers in a more effective and controlled position. He just couldn't get used to using them.

    I often have him rewrite the same thing 2 or 3 times - it takes FOREVER! so it's legible. Even he can't read his stff someimes.

    He's in the fifth grade now,and this has been a problem for about 2 years. Any ideas?
     
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  3. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Nov 17, 2005

    There are several different types of grippers out on the market. I have recently seen one that is quite large, but feels really comfortable in the hand. Maybe you try a different type.
     
  4. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Nov 17, 2005

    BTW, my son has poor handwriting too. He is a sophomore in college and his handwriting looks like something done by a third grader. I mentioned it to him once and he didn't seem to care much.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 17, 2005

    I have had students in the past who have illegible handwriting and printing, and for whom the physical mechanics are difficult. Luckily(?) they were identified students and we were able to write their IEPs to indicate that they were to use the computer whenever possible. I know that it isn't always possible, but perhaps the use of a computer would help somewhat--especially as he gets older and the written demands increase. My daughter (in grade 6) does most of her assignments on the computer, and my son in high-school uses it for everything he has to turn in.
     
  6. bonteach

    bonteach Companion

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    Nov 17, 2005

    I teach 5th grade. There are a number of good handwriting programs out there. One that the OT at our school advocates is called Handwriting with out tears. But I always encourage fifth graders to learn how to type. Ask his teachers if it is ok. But once he gets to middle school he will probably type everything any way. There are lots of fun typing tutors, some are available through Scholastic Book clubs. Good luck
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 18, 2005

    I gave a paper back to a 5th grader one time and asked him to rewrite it. He answered, "Rewrite it? I can't even read it!" Teachers are very good at deciphering poor handwriting because we see it so often. There is a limit to how many times a student should rewrite, unless he/she isn't showing any effort. Let him do his best, use the computer when possible. Have you considered OT (occupational therapy)? They could diagnose any underlying disorders that impede his handwriting.
     
  8. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2005

    Does anyone know what the gidelines are for qualification for OT. My son has been ineligible for services that are determined by test scores. In NY they score from 1 to 4 (hihhest) He scores a 3 pretty consistently- which is just enough to garner no attention. (no enrichment, no remediation)

    I have a conference with his teacher Tueday, and I will ask here these questions, but I'dlike to be informed before I go.
     
  9. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Nov 18, 2005

    I second Handwriting Without Tears! I have seen some GREAT results in only a few lessons with my students who are the equivalent of 5th graders. The biggest difference with HWT is that they have a paper with only two lines instead of the typical three (two solid with the dash in the middle).
    For lower case letters, the kids have to "bump" the line at the top and bottom. It seems to 'open up' their writing. The three things that I use with my students are: The smallest-ruled HWT paper, a "desk strips" so they have a reference on what letters look like and the HWT Cursive workbook.

    There are three Cursive workbooks from HWT. They are slated for typical Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5 plus. I would use the Grade 3 or Grade 4 if you are just looking for handwriting work. The Grade 5 plus one is great, but they include grammar things in there. My students could really only concentrate on one thing at a time. Handwriting was challenging. But if your son could handle it, he might like the older one :).

    The website is http://hwtears.com
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 18, 2005

    I don't know if your school will offer testing by an occupational therapist. You may have to go private. It is sometimes covered by health insurance.
     
  11. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Nov 18, 2005

    I love handwriting without tears...but I hate hate hate the paper!! They only see it in their handwriting book and journal...everything else is the regular 3 lines...which for little ones is nessessary. With only two lines, they never know where to start!
     
  12. belovedrebel

    belovedrebel Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2005

    Sounds like a small motor skills deficiency to me. Does he have a hard time with doing projects involving moving small parts around, like building models? I overcame my small motor skills deficiency because I was obsessed with beading and sewing, and I had to thread those tiny little beading needles by hand, then thread beads onto the thread without puncturing the hand that held the beads!

    If this seems to be true with other do-by-hand type activities as well, you might want to see if the school will let an Occupational Therapist evaluate him. While my handwriting recovered over time, in 5th grade it was still clumsy and hard to read, so I learned to type, which was enough to both get me through my papers and to improve my small motor skills in and of themselves. After all, it takes small motor skills to type in the first place!
     
  13. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2005

    He doesn't do any small motor skills activities. He never has. Even as a little child, he hated to color and write, he never liked puzzles. He'd climb a tree or kick a ball as soon as he could walk- so, gross motor is fine.

    I've printed out some cursive practice sheet where you trace words and have had him do one sheet with 5-10 words nightly since Wednesday.
    When he traces, i'ts easily legible, but he goes off the lines a lot.
     
  14. 5thgraderocks

    5thgraderocks Companion

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    Nov 27, 2005

    The OT option would also be my suggestion. I have a student with in a similar situation. For some reason??? his handwriting is more legible when he uses ink. I have no idea why...but you could try it. I would have him master his signature ... just because that will be something he really will need. Good Luck!
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 27, 2005

    Oddly enough, he might just do better using one of those felt-tip chisel-pointed calligraphy pens, too: rotate the point so the chisel is at a 45 degree angle to the lines and have the student slow down as he writes. You might also check how hard he's gripping the pen or pencil as he writes; a really tight grip actually makes it hard to write neatly.
     
  16. belovedrebel

    belovedrebel Rookie

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    Nov 28, 2005

    I agree. It was for me. He may do much better with ink, in a roller ball style pen, preferably a thick one. I loved the Uniball pens, and switching really helped my penmanship. Now I like the pilot vball grip pens, and I carry one everywhere I go. The only time I use a regular ballpoint is when I have to fill out a carbon style piece of paper.
     

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