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  • Becky Cothern

Why Good Handwriting is Important and How to Teach it

Think about when you learned how to write letters? Most likely it was in preschool, kindergarten, and maybe first grade. We spend hours writing letters over and over. But is it really important in a world that is moving more towards technology? YES! Learning good handwriting skills is more than just writing for others to read- it also builds alphabet knowledge (the number one predictor of a successful reader).

When developing good handwriting, students have to focus on the parts of each letter and how the parts come together to form each letter of the alphabet. When taught correctly the repeated motions of writing letters will not only develop good writers but good readers as well.

Teaching handwriting should be purposeful and systematic. Just as we teach students to read by breaking reading down to its smaller parts words, chunks and letters; we need to break down writing to its smallest parts-lines.

Tip #1

Teach students the lines they will use to write each letter. Vertical, Horizontal, and curved lines make up the smallest building blocks to good handwriting.

Tip #2

Let students experiment with putting the lines together to form letters. Students need to see how a vertical line and a curved line can make a “J” and so forth.

Tip #3

Students need to develop fluency with putting the lines together so it becomes one fluid motion. When we write letters we don’t write them in pieces but as one fluid motion.

Tip #4

Continue practicing to develop proportion and fluency of writing. Repetition of writing each letter is how we master good handwriting.

To help teachers and parents I have developed the Ultimate Alphabet Handwriting Resource. This resource contains 7 products to systematically develop good handwriting. Each activity covers at least one of the tips for becoming a better writer. Enjoy!

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