Print Step Two provides 55 pages with models and space for skill practice in a series of exercise sessions that include fluent movement control as an objective. The pages are presented in a sequence based upon related movements. The process for each letter is reviewed, the letters are applied to words in activities designed to enhance patterning of the words, and understanding of legibility skills. Correlation of practiced skills is expected and will reinforce the exercise sessions conducted with these pages. This strategy is easily applied during the typical grade-one spelling and vocabulary lessons.
When letter patterns are automated and well controlled to allow easy production of sets or words across the page, more children may begin to apply good paper holding skills. As word patterns are established to allow more automatic flow, expect to see print letters begin to slant forward when good position skills are applied. It is a good sign. Mastery of position skills that allow fluent production will be the most important goal in print Step 3. Fluent writing is not the same as careful lettering.
The objectives of each exercise session include improving control while ensuring all have automated letter production and concepts for good legibility like place in space, spacing, size and down-stroke consistency. A daily directed practice session provides regular opportunity for practice of anchoring and movement control to improve legibility.
When the child is unable to chant as strokes are produced, it indicates the child is looking at the pencil as it creates the trace. To move smoothly, the child must learn to look ahead to goals within the sequence. The color separations in the movement models enhance that learning. Control of fluent movement improves with rhythmic practice resulting in more accurate product. Independent practice rarely includes the rhythm challenge. Until the patterns are well established, practice must be “directed” to include the fluency challenge.