Aloof on letters…

How much emphasis is placed on handwriting in schools?

With AusVELs rolling out their new ideals and guidelines for teaching and learning for the new generations of learners I have searched high and low for progression points that ascertain to handwriting.

handwriting picture

I have found 3 mentions in Early Years; Foundation, Level 1 and Level 4. Does this answer the drop in student handwriting in schools? As I decipher  yet another piece of students writing trying to find the elusive ‘finger spaces’ among other things is there much demand or emphasis on accurately forming letters?



I, myself do encourage correct formation of letters and students improvement in handwriting as a whole as I feel in later years students do need this skill. Should we be over looking the necessity of legible handwriting?

Level 1

Level 1

I feel handwriting should be a focus of Early education and precedence should lay in improving handwriting. This allows students to feel pride as there are so many more occasions when I am hearing  ‘I hate my handwriting’, ‘I need to improve on my hand writing’. 

Why are we not assisting students to improve their handwriting goals? 

My students create goals at the beginning of each year and each term. Lately, we have been writing social and academic goals for each day- this has provided students an active goal to work toward each day. It is taped to the top of their tables so they can see their goal in sight each time they sit down to complete a task or are at their tables. So many of those goals have been about handwriting.

‘I will work to improve writing my lower case d’s by using the dotted lines to help me’.

‘Today, my goal is to write using finger spaces and lowercase p’s instead of all capital p’s’.

Since the beginning of the year, my students in grade 4 have been working on their handwriting. Students have been practising their joined-letters, however many students have had to go back to basics to even improve the techniques of where to start and finish when placing their letters on the dotted thirds.

Level 4

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 4.01.07 pm

Students have a handwriting booklet where they practice letter writing conventions each week and in their spare time. They actually have taken a shine to this challenge and I am needing to catch up to them and they power away completing tasks and handwriting sheets with ease. However, application of the technique and method can be quite a chore for some students. This is where a more directed teaching approach has been needed to assist these students to achieve their handwriting goals.

Handwriting book

Student’s handwriting booklets contain a combination of sheets such as these good ol’ gems and other tasks to boost the placement and formation of their letters.

The more directed approach uses dotted thirds enlarged for the whiteboard. This saw many students improve their letter placement and just where to begin when forming their letters.

dotted thirds

Guided handwriting dotted thirds activity.

Other methods we are implementing in the classroom are use of the ‘Kids Therapy Network’ coloured dotted thirds. Where Sky, dirt and grass method is implemented. I will upload a video of just how we use this method in the very near future.

Coloured thirds copyI wonder:

1) How much emphasis is placed on handwriting?

2) With the advancements in technology is there still importance placed on improving students handwriting?

3) Should there be more teaching time focused on improving handwriting standards?

I’ll put those thoughts out there in the #blogosphere.

Keep Smiling.


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