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Ready, set, go! Speed-based activities for handwriting

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Ready, set, go! Speed-based activities for handwriting

Writing Time 14/11/19

“student-writing-at-desk-in-classroom“

Handwriting fluency is a tricky skill for some students to master, involving a delicate balance of speed, accuracy and automaticity.

After fine-motor and basic handwriting skills have been developed in the lower years, upper years students should be provided with ongoing opportunities to apply and refine these skills so they continue to improve their handwriting fluency. This ensures students can write confidently, and are able to utilise their handwriting skills in other academic areas.

Of course, students can’t become handwriting experts without the right guidance. Try these activities to practise one of the key components of handwriting fluency – speed.

Conduct a timed challenge

A race against the clock is always a hit in the classroom. Remind students that although the activity is timed and they should aim to write as fast as possible, it’s essential they also maintain accuracy and legibility.

  1. Print a Blank Lines Worksheet for each student, available from Writing Time Online.
  2. Write a sentence on the board to demonstrate correct handwriting.
  3. Tell students to carefully copy the sentence as a sample of their best handwriting.
  4. Now it’s time to introduce speed as a focus. Have students write the sentence as many times as possible in two minutes.
  5. Ask students to peer review, or self-reflect on, their work and determine if the quality was on-par with the sample they wrote in Step 3. Tell them to be specific about how they could improve, such as spacing, loops, joins, etc.
Use music as a motivator

Musical handwriting activities are a fun way for students to practise their speed and accuracy. Have them copy a short text while listening to slow-paced, relaxing music; the focus is on accuracy and legibility. Next, repeat the activity using faster music, with a focus on speed and legibility. Ask students to compare the results and reflect on the differences between their two writing samples.

Before starting any handwriting activity, set the scene for success and project the 3Ps from Writing Time Online to model correct posture, paper position and pencil grip.

What methods do you use to practise handwriting speed in your classroom? Share your ideas on social media and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Want more?

If you’re looking for more ready-made, speed-based activities for your upper years students, check out the Writing Time Student Practice Books. Available up to Year 6, the upper years books consist of Australian Curriculum-themed handwriting activities for English, mathematics, science and history. There are also prompts for students to reflect on their handwriting, and intricate fine-motor art activities to keep them engaged.

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