Fine Motor Skills

Years ago, sometime around 1989, as a fairly new teacher, I had an extremely smart and competitive class of second-graders. One student had A’s in almost every subject. She worked hard aiming for the goal to have the highest grade point average. The one subject that she could not conquer was Penmanship. I recognized early that she
• worked hard
• was not lazy
• did not rush
• practiced often
• tried her best
• had great parental support
I was at a loss as how to help her. I thought if you did all the things she did, you would have good penmanship.
As I grew in my knowledge of teaching, I learned that to improve penmanship skills I needed to improve fine motor skills—like using hard clay to mold shapes.
This school year, I found the best answer yet for improving fine motor skills. We call it brachiation. You will know it as monkey bars! Our students began hanging for three seconds. We increased five seconds every week until they could hang for one minute 10 times a day. Then they began making trips across the monkey bars. We did not practice penmanship, but the improvements to penmanship were phenomenal!
So, this summer, put down your pencil and paper for a while, find some good old fashion monkey bars, and get to working on your penmanship skills!

Leave a Reply