Handwriting is a complex skill that involves the integration of fine and gross motor skills, visual memory and cognitive skills in order to produce legible handwriting with fluency and automaticity.
By explicitly teaching handwriting skills regularly, pupils are given opportunities to develop their:
- finger strength to grip their pencil correctly;
- hand strength to support their hand to move across the page while writing;
- sitting posture to write comfortably for increasing periods of time;
- eye tracking/visual processing to copy information from other locations or self-correct their own writing;
- visual memorisation through familiarity with letter formations;
- fluency to effortlessly write for increasing periods of time;
- legibility so their writing can be read and understood;
- automaticity to allow their working memory to focus on higher-level aspects of writing; and
- confidence in completing tasks.
Every day we expect pupils to take notes; complete class activities and homework; and write various texts, which all require the use of handwriting as a basis.
Without giving pupils the opportunity to practice and develop mastery in handwriting, we cannot expect them to produce a passage of writing, in any learning area, to the best of their ability. This is because their working memory is being consumed with processing how to form each letter or numerical correctly, the size and positioning of each letter or numerical, or how to join from one letter to another, instead of focusing on the learning area content.
When handwriting becomes a time-consuming and arduous task, pupils lose confidence in their abilities and lack motivation to complete any written task assigned to them.
As writing is the primary method pupils are expected to use to record information, a lack of confidence and/or motivation to produce writing can severely impact their learning across all areas of schooling.
The New Wave Handwriting series consists of five full-colour pupil books for Junior Infants to 3rd Class; two comprehensive teachers guides for Junior Infants and Senior Infants, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class; and three teacher resource books with photocopiable pages for 4th, 5th and 6th Class. For teachers of pre-school pupils, New Wave Pre-writing Patterns is also available, to develop pre-writing skills, directionality and handwriting mechanics in young pupils through tracing and colouring activities.
- A whole-school approach
- Skills for handwriting
- Verbal cues
- Assessment and recording
- Flash cards
- Gross and motor skill activities
- Desk cards
- Mechanics of handwriting
- Slope cards
- Multisensory activites
- Tips for left-handed writers
Click the images below to learn more.