I have a set of mini drawers that I keep different "levels" of handwriting in. The first level is the sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog!" on large handwriting paper. The second level is the same sentence but on regular lined paper. Next comes, "THE FIVE BOXING WIZARDS JUMP QUICKLY?" on large handwriting paper. Level four is the same wizard sentence on regular lined paper. Level five is the alphabet in cursive and level six is the fox sentence in cursive on handwriting paper. The fox sentence in cursive on regular lined paper is level seven, and level eight is the student's name in cursive on regular paper. To pass a level, a student must fill the page with the letters/sentence in legible handwriting. Then they "graduate" on to the next level. This set of handwriting levels helps students master basic to more complex handwriting and they feel accomplishment as they graduate from each level. I used to spend about a half hour a week on handwriting levels, but now that cursive handwriting is no longer part of Oregon state standards, I just pull intervention groups for students who need help with their fine motor skills/printing.
There are a wide variety of pencil grips available for purchase. Through a grant I wrote, I got my entire school a set of the little Steno pencil grips, like these-
I also have these available for just my students that have difficulty with fine motor skills. They have more cushioning and also help students grip their pencil ergonomically.
Detailed Coloring Sheets
Before detailed coloring sheets became popular a few years ago, the only ones that I could find were created by Dover Publishing. I love them because I chose pages that correlate with whatever we're learning about, and they each include a little informative paragraph that explains what is happening in the illustration.
Either use a handwriting font on Word or go to a website like https://handwritingworksheets.com/flash/printdots/index.htm to create customized worksheets. My students love pages of their name in cursive, sentences I've written about our class adventures or interests of theirs. This offers higher levels of engagement because they're interested in what they're writing; it's not just random sentences!
What Works Best for You?
What are your favorite ways to practice handwriting and fine motor skills? What do your students or your child like the best? What made the most difference in your own fine motor skill development? Leave a comment below, share this post, and subscribe to make sure you don't miss any new teaching goodness that comes out!