Monday, June 11, 2012

HWT Versus Teacher Designed Handwriting Instruction

A recent study was done comparing 8 first grade classrooms who participated in either a teacher designed handwriting program or the Handwriting Without Tears handwriting program.  The Minnesota Handwriting Assessment was used for pre test and post test scores.  The results indicated that the first grade students who participated in the teacher designed handwriting program had higher average post test scores on each of the subtests.  The handwriting skills of both groups did improve though.  When it came to special education students, there was no significant difference between the average post test scores for the students in the teacher designed program versus the handwriting without tears group.

Reference:  Colleen Schneck ScDOTR/LFAOTA, Sharon Shasby EdD.OTR/LFAOTA, Christine Myers PhDOTR/L Michelle L. DePoy Smith PhD.  Handwriting Without Tears versus Teacher-Designed Handwriting Instruction in First Grade Classrooms. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention. Volume 5, Issue 1, 2012 DOI: 10.1080/19411243.2012.675759

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Cheryl said...

It seems that most of the research seems to suggest that a program or curriculum, virtually ANY program, does improve handwriting skills. Unfortunately, our district (and individual schools) have no defined curriculum, no time allotted for HW, and so everything is widely varied between classrooms.

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

I agree it is the same here in NY state where I am familiar with some schools. There seems to be no time allowed for teachers to provide handwriting instruction just like there is no time for physical activity breaks. But at the end of the day, research shows that physical activity is associated with better academic scores and handwriting is associated with higher grades and better retention. Gets frustrating at times.

Connie Magee said...

Often teaching handwriting is just an issue of time spent on subjects that aren’t required in the Core Curriculum. When teaching time for handwriting was being reduced in our local school district, my teacher friend came up with an innovative way to pair technology with traditional handwriting -- a no-frills DVD video (available from that displays the drawing and redrawing of each letter in the alphabet. It made learning handwriting more efficient and faster because she could devote time to helping individual students instead of drawing letters on the board. Students got the best of both worlds, loved the video, and handwriting continued to be taught in the schools.