Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Multiple Opportunities to Practice Pencil Grasp

One of my teachers always has her supply baskets full of sharpened pencils.  Nothing like a freshly sharpened pencil to start the day off right.  One of my sweeties had a few extra minutes to work after a project one morning, so I thought I'd bring over the teacher's pull-out drawer of extra pencils to see if we could help her teacher by sorting out her "good" pencils from those that have seen better days.  Yes, I did ask her first if I could do this with the student.
After testing each pencil to make sure it was usable, we measured the length and kept pencils that were at least 4" long.  Those less than 4" can be reserved for students who will benefit from using stumpy pencils, like those used with the Handwriting Without Tears program.

By testing the pencils my student practiced correct pencil grasp many more times than she might normally have done with our usual projects.  Of course, there were lots of compliments from me when I noticed the excellent grasps.

My other motive for trying out this activity was to see if the student could stick with the pencil testing for more than just a few minutes.  Her teacher and I had discussed the student's behavior that morning and I recommended providing the student with classroom jobs, to encourage her to care for her classroom space and use her energy productively.  One other task she tried was rearranging the display area in the classroom's library corner, which she performed with very little supervision from me.  I'll be looking for other jobs that she can do with little assistance and make a list of them for her teacher to try.  

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