Peterson Directed Handwriting
By Randy Nelson
Letters are taught much like you would teach a line dance or aerobic exercise routine. The strategy is easy to use. The teacher handbook provides a daily lesson outline that focuses on process instruction – where to start, which way to go AND how to move.
The basic lesson includes four steps: Illustrate & Describe, Air Writing, Finger Tracing and finally, Write & Say. “Action Words” create a rhythmic template for the movements during all four steps.
The student text provides movement models for “finger tracing” and models that communicate how the movements will be made on practice paper. Trace movement models with the pointer finger, moving with the voice as the Action Words are chanted in unison with the teacher. The challenge to move rhythmically enhances the internalization process greatly. In step four we “Write and Say” on practice paper. As rhythm and timing improve it translates into improved control of the movements. The writing on the practice page improves as a result. In short, we teach the fluent type of movement from the beginning. Skills practiced in handwriting exercises are easily correlated into all other written work – one sub skill at a time. The child learns how to make improvements in applied work by setting specific goals.
Our web site offers tremendous support in the form of presentations that amount to a methods course. The presentations are available to all for free by selecting links on our Information Directory page. Many use animations to make key learning points. We also provide a Resource Library loaded with pdf files ranging from curriculum information to posters for correlation of specific skills. Here again, the support is free to all. Get the Scope & Sequence file from the Curriculum section of the library on your first visit. The document will provide you with invaluable information about the processes your child needs to learn – and how they affect the learning of all written language skills.
When you are ready to learn more about teaching handwriting, please spend some time with us on the web. http://www.peterson-handwriting.com. R.N. Email Rand Nelson for access to free help with evaluation and coaching.