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Join Our Research Effort - Primary Teachers, Parents/Grandparents Are Invited to Participate.

Click here to download a guide with details and tools.

The new federal core standards are pushing schools even farther away from teaching physical skills for written language and have created a lot of controversy. Thousands of teachers are concerned because they feel handwriting instruction has a positive impact on developing language skills, particularly reading. As you would expect, we feel strongly that the lack of handwriting instruction will lead to more illiteracy.

Do handwriting patterns relate to development of reading skills?
We hope that you will participate and submit data to help us answer this nagging question.

We have launched a study designed to find out if RAN/Letters scores will parallel handwriting fluency scores in primary students. If we can get data on a significant number of children the work offers to support teacher language arts efforts in several ways.

  • It takes only a couple of minutes to gather handwriting fluency information for the whole class using a timed writing activity. It would mean a teacher (or concerned parent) can easily and routinely gather objective evidence of progress with written language skill development. If handwriting fluency is shown to correlate with reading fluency, teachers and parents will have an easy-to-use tool for tracking progress frequently and objectively in a minimum amount of time.

  • Time for individual needs assessment currently is hard to find. The handwriting LPM test can also identify specific, individual needs, and allow quick correction to boost performance before less fluent children fall behind in spelling and reading.

  • Identification of a clear goal for language skill development that is easy to pursue with regular, concise practice exercises, will be easy for teachers to manage within the curriculum schedule.

  • The handwriting fluency goal will also make it easy for parents to support teacher efforts in the classroom if the connection is established.

Recent Supporting Studies
The theory we are testing is posed by earlier work on handwriting fluency conducted by volunteer teachers in K and grade-1 classes. The 2004 paper was never published except on the internet: "The Writing/Reading Connection," By Robert Rose MD (Retired).

You can also download the 2012 paper on Reverse Positioning Sensation (RPS) which clearly suggests that a lack of handwriting skill training may well be a cause of LD/ADHD problems. Get the paper along with testing/remediation materials from the same research page.

Your data can be submitted by e-mail or fax. The details are provided in the guide. If you will collect the data twice, in the fall and again in the spring, and submit before May 15th, we can make an initial report available this summer. Data gathering will continue through the 2015/16 school year.

Incidentally, I am offering a free e-workbook to each teacher who submits class data twice. The e-workbooks offer printable lesson pages that can be projected from the computer screen and printed/copied for pupil use during the lesson.

Thanks for your consideration.

Rand Nelson
Peterson Directed Handwriting
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