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Handwriting
The Way to Teach It

Second Edition


March 2003 | 128 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
`I found this a fascinating book to read, I could identify with my time at school when I would often write with my paper almost in at right angles to my body because I found this comfortable, and the teacher's insistence that the paper be "straight" in front of me. This then made me twist my body into a ridiculous shape, and would sometimes result in punishment for not "sitting on the chair correctly"….if only the teacher had understood the same principles as Rosemary Sassoon, who in this book emphasizes "flexibility and clear thinking about essential issues, rather than to impose solutions' - Spare-Chair

`Handwriting: The Way to Teach It should be required reading wherever Primary school teachers are trained, then perhaps there would be fewer young people still struggling to communicate in legible writing in Secondary school and later life' - Handwriting Today

`This is a comprehensive textbook, and an extremely accessible and practical guide which should be on the bookshelf of every practitioner. I recommend it highly' - Jeni Riley, Head of Early Childhood and Primary Education, Institute of Education, University of London

This book is an essential classroom guide to the teaching of handwriting. It covers all aspects of the subject: from whole-school planning, to classroom management and the teaching of letters in a highly illustrated and practical sequence; and from initial letter forms through to joined writing. The author presents many examples and imaginative ideas to make learning to write more effective and interesting for children and for teachers. This Second Edition includes material on problems which children can have with handwriting, and how to diagnose and remedy them.

The author offers strategies for better teaching, and her aim throughout the book is to encourage flexibility and clear thinking about essential issues, rather than to impose solutions.

 
PART ONE: PLANNING HANDWRITING ACROSS THE WHOLE SCHOOL
 
The Priority for Handwriting in the Curriculum
 
The Relationship between the Skill of Handwriting and Other Subjects
 
When to Introduce Handwriting in the Reception Class
 
The Choice of Handwriting Model
 
Balancing Movement and Neatness
 
How Much Emphasis on Joining
 
Display Writing - Both by Teachers and Pupils
 
Liaison with Pre-School Groups, Parents and Other Schools
 
A Policy for Left-Handers
 
A Policy for Special Needs
 
A Policy for Newcomers from Other Schools
 
Terminology
 
Assessment and Record Keeping
 
PART TWO: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
 
Layout of the Classroom
 
Balancing Whole-Class Instruction with One-to-One Attention
 
Posture
 
Appropriate Furniture
 
Paper Position and Its Effect on Posture
 
Penhold
 
Materials
Pencils and Pens, Paper Size and Lines  
 
Making Children Aware of the Importance of All These Ideas
 
PART THREE: A SYSTEM FOR TEACHING LETTERS
 
The Vital Early Years
 
The Concepts Behind Our Writing System
 
Different Approaches to Teaching
 
Explaining the Act of Writing in a Logical Sequence
 
Introducing Letters in Stroke-Related Families
 
Teaching the First Letter Family
 
Teaching the Second Letter Family
 
Teaching the Round Letters
 
Complex Letters and Emerging Problems
 
Name Writing
 
Designing Exercises
 
Starting to Use Letters
 
Lines
 
Drawing with Writing
 
Remedial Work Often Begins on Day One
 
Joining as Soon as Possible
 
Personal Letters Lead to Efficiency and Speed
 
What Handwriting Problems May Indicate
 
Layouts for Practice Cards
 
Recommendations from Research into Children's Handwriting
 
Some Personal Comments
 
PART FOUR: A NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT HANDWRITING PROBLEMS
 
Handwriting as a Diagnostic Tool
 
Problems That Show through Handwriting
 
Specific Problems for Left-Handers
 
Problems with Directionality
 
Perceptual Problems
 
Observing, Assessing and Dealing with Tremors
 
Fatigue
 
Gaps in Learning
 
Posture as an Indicator, as Well as a Cause of Problems
 
An Attitude of Understanding

`This is a comprehensive textbook, and an extremely accessible and practical guide which should be on the bookshelf of every practitioner. I recommend it highly' - Jeni Riley, Head of Early Childhood and Primary Education Institute of Education, University of London


This is really useful book that extend and encourage students' knowledge in understanding the principles behind handwriting in young age.

Mrs Svetlana Shivacheva
University Centre Croydon, Croydon College
April 21, 2015

This book will form the standard text for the teaching of handwriting on the PGCE course.

Dr Alastair Daniel
School of Education, London Metropolitan University
March 30, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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