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E is for Explicit Teaching


Listen... ALL the research shows that reading and writing instruction must be systematic and explicit. (Vanderbilt University, Teaching Exceptional Children, International Journal of Teaching and Learning, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Journal of Occupational Therapy Schools & Early Intervention, and many more). They all have common findings, that reading and writing instruction is effective when it is explicit.


What this means is a child is NOT just going to be able to pick up and pencil and be able to write beautiful letters, words, and sentences.


Explicit means intentionally instructing students with clear guided instructions on everything from letter formation to pencil grip, to line placement and size. Several studies even found that the curriculum choice does not make a significant difference, but rather the use of an EXPLICIT curriculum as well as practice of handwriting skills.


Further, we cannot just teach a student handwriting in Kindergarten and assume that is enough. Each year the student grows and develops and continues to need EXPLICIT instruction to continue handwriting development building upon accuracy and speed.


Though Occupational Therapy and Handwriting Tutoring may often look like fun and games, a program is being implemented to build the student's gross motor and fine motor skills for handwriting. A handwriting curriculum is being used to explicitly teach each individual letter and number, line placement, size, and sentence skills. Let us know if you want to learn more about explicit learning at kelli@handwritingsolutions.org.

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