by: Michelle Yoder
Birds are made to fly and kids are made to move! Action is meaningful and exciting for children! In our experience as OTs, we have found that making fun noises while writing is much more fun and engaging for the children. Therefore, we use action words to describe our strokes. It is much more exciting to “zip” down rather than just write a straight, vertical line. So, for any vertical or horizontal line, we use the action word, “zip”. We use the action word, “zoom” to describe diagonal lines. “Buzz” describes any curved stroke. “Hop to the top” moves the pencil from the bottom baseline back to the top, to avoid re-tracing, which makes their work look messy and illegible. Once you and your children have an understanding of these action words, it will allow consistent formation of all letters.
Have your child draw a B in the air while saying these action words. “Zip down, hop to the top, buzz around, buzz around”. Now, put the pencil to the paper and do the same thing! You’ve got it!
Green means go! To increase accuracy and legibility, we use a green line at the top to facilitate top to bottom formation. Every child knows that red means Stop! Once they reach the bottom baseline, the red line indicates that it is time to stop. We provide these cues in both the boxes and three lines on our paper, on our magnetic and dry erase boards and muscle mover gross motor cards to foster carryover and ensure accurate formation.
Why do we use the three-lined paper with the middle dotted line? Great question! We’ll answer that next Thursday!