Poor paper holding often leads to bad habits that block fluency. A hooked wrist puts the writing hand at the side of the image area blocking efficient lateral movement. A tight, cramped grip on the pen causes the hand to cover the image area making fluent, goal-oriented movement very difficult to learn. These kinds of approach habits were consistently found in a 15 year study of hundreds of subject identified as LD/ADHD. The study revealed a very unusual perceptual difficulty called RPS (Reverse Positioning Sensation), encountered as a child attempts to learn how to write letters. The movements they see in teacher demonstrations do not coincide with the reversed sensations they feel as a result of the inverted pencil-holding posture.
This video demonstrates a very old, but very effective way to hold the pen or pencil which will help greatly when attempting to change poor position habits that defeat fluent movement. Incidentally, The research which identified RPS also showed that the reversed sensations which cause so much confusion for reading and writing, can be corrected when the student learns to hold the pencil, paper, wrist and arm in the proper position.
An adult victim of RPS shared a video with us to illustrate the physical marker and the difficulty with handwriting. The physical marker is rather astounding. Based upon study data, the RPS perceptual condition could be involved with half of the students in our learning support classrooms. Visit our Teacher Support/Research page to download the paper, a testing guide, a testing kit and a guide to remediation.
This YouTube video demonstrates the design intent of the textbook, it is also demonstrating the unique teaching method that makes it easy to teach smooth, fluent movement from the beginning or at any level with our color/rhythm models. It is that challenge, learning how to make the movements smoothly, that enhances the rate of internalization. The goal is to create patterns for the movements in the motor system. Once the "process pattern" is established, the child will be able to bring the letter from "inside the brain" and will no longer need to look at a picture of the letter in order to produce the image.
This YouTube video demonstrates the Peterson movement-based method for teaching print handwriting using fluent movement. It shows how to use the simple, inexpensive Grade One Pupil Book to lead "directed" lessons that are very effective and time efficient. Learn how to develop motor patterns by teaching the student to move the pencil with the voice. Learn how to direct practice exercises to improve control of smooth, rhythmic movement. Handwriting practice is challenging fun when movement is included as a goal. The strategy is not the typical trace-and-copy approach to learning.
A good pencil grip is more important than many people realize. But, it is not easy for children to learn to hold the pencil properly when they have a debilitating habit. The reason is simple. When they try a new grip posture, they suddenly use a lot of muscles that have no experience. They don't feel they have control. We need to get them to practice the new grip long enough for the brain to establish connections with these new muscles. This simple exercise stimulates the brain to make those connections. The video is designed for use with the children and teaches them how to do the exercise. The run time is about two minutes.