Step 1: Learn the action word pattern.
Teach the pupil to say the action words as they appear on the screen with the animation. When the child can say the pattern, as the words appear, move to the next step. The goal is rhythmic movement. Match the words to the movements.
Step 2: Learn how to write in the air.
Teach the child how to write in the air with the animated strokes. They should not touch the screen. Use the pointer finger as a magic pencil. Chant the action words aloud and write in the air with the animation. It is a good idea to vary the muscle groups used to make the movements. Try using the opposite hand and then the elbows. Gross patterns are not muscle group specific.
You will note that the letter disappears and the start point blinks three times prior to the movement sequence. This is consistent throughout. The rhythm is the same at each level but movements are twice as fast at level two. A few repetitions of the sequence at level one will have you wanting to say the words at a faster pace. That is the advantage offered by rhythm in the pattern. Move to level two and notice how much better the sequence flows and feels.
Step 3: Work through several repetitions at each level then try it with pencil and unlined paper.
When the child can say the action words and move with the image, it is time to try the same thing at the school desk with a pencil and paper. Unlined paper will be best for initial trials - or perhaps a "magic slate." We want large letters first. Establish the internalized pattern before introducing demands for small size or lined paper. Remember that poor position can block good movement. Be sure the child says the action words so the pencil can move with the voice. The vocal is a critical indicator. When movement guidance is visual, the voice won't work because movement is not rhythmic. Slow or fast, the vocal guidance of movement allows rhythm into the pattern. Later on, the brain will be able to scale the movement sequences to various speeds for application. If the voice won't work have the pupil try with eyes closed. Then try again to get the voice with eyes open. I use a command sequence to focus on the vocal: "On your mark, Get set, Say it."
We provide two levels of writing speed for each form in each style on the CD. This offers a game-like challenge for the student. Level one presents a link to the second level. The goal is gross motor patterning of the correct letter building process including a rhythm for the movement sequence. The impact of lowercase letters on reading skills leads us to focus on these forms first.
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