A Handwriting with Katherine Thank You Note

A Handwriting with Katherine Thank You Note

from Katherine J. Collmer, M.Ed., OTR/L

 

 

thank you artsy bee pixabayThis summer, I was honored and humbled by the thoughtfulness of eight inspiring and knowledgeable Occupational Therapists who so lovingly shared their time and expertise with my readers on the Handwriting is Fun! Blog. Their willingness to jump in and give me a hand when I needed it most won’t ever be forgotten, for sure.

Most importantly, however, their words of wisdom in the 10 blogs they shared will help so many readers for years to come.

 

In that light, I wanted to take a moment to thank them personally and to share their work with you once again.  And, as always, thank you to my readers.  You are the foundation upon which the success of the Handwriting is Fun! Blog is built.

 

Thank you so much

Spaghetti and Meatball Spacing by Miss Jaime OT
Spaghetti and Meatball Spacing by Jaime Spencer, MA, OTR/L, Miss Jaime OT

 

Jaime Spencer from Miss Jaime OT,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Getting Away From Table-Top Activities by Rebecca Klockars, OT Mommy
Tips for Getting Away From Table-Top Activities by Rebecca Klockars, OT, OT Mommy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Klockars from OT Mommy,

Low Tech Assistive Technology: MacGyver Inspired by Rebecca Klockars, OT, OT Mommy
Low Tech Assistive Technology: MacGyver Inspired by Rebecca Klockars, OT, OT Mommy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Summer Handwriting Fun? by Stacy Turke, OTR/L
Is Summer Handwriting Fun? by Stacy Turke, OTR/L, On the Road with @stacyturke OTR

 

Stacy Turke from On The Road with @stacyturke OTR,

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Challenge of Moving Toward Self-Sufficiency with or without Assistive Technology by Eleanor Cawley, MS, OTR/L
The Challenge of Moving Toward Self-Sufficiency with or without Assistive Technology by Eleanor Cawley, MS, OTR/L, EleanorOT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eleanor Cawley from EleanorOT,

Learning and Retaining through Technology, by Eleanor Cawley, M.S., OTR/L
Learning and Retaining through Technology, by Eleanor Cawley, M.S., OTR/L, EleanorOT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help With Handwriting: A Screening Activity by Lyn Armstrong, OTR
Help With Handwriting: A Screening Activity by Lyn Armstrong, OTR, LynOT

 

Lyn Armstrong from LynOT,

 

 

 

 

 

 

An OT Advocate for Change - Handwriting gets the help it deserves, by Marie Toole, OTR/L
An OT Advocate for Change – Handwriting gets the help it deserves, by Marie Toole, OTR/L, School Tools

 

Marie Toole from School Tools, and

 

 

 

 

 

 

No child wants to fail!
Behavior and Transitions in School Settings by Cara Koscinski, MOT, OTR/L, The Pocket OT

 

Cara Koscinski from The Pocket OT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you!
 Thank you! I couldn’t have done it without you!

 

 

 

Katherine J. Collmer, M.Ed., OTR/L, owner, Handwriting With Katherine
Katherine J. Collmer, M.Ed., OTR/L, owner, Handwriting With Katherine
Katherine J. Collmer, M.Ed., OTR/L, is a pediatric occupational therapist who specializes in the assessment and remediation of handwriting skills and understands the link between handwriting skills and writing.  She can be contacted via her website, Handwriting With Katherine.
 
 
 
 
 
  
Disclaimer: The information shared on the Handwriting With Katherine website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter page, Pinterest page; in the Universal Publishing Handwriting Teachers’ Guides; on any guest blog posts or any other social media is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice or evaluation and care from your physician/medical team or any other qualified health care providers. Therefore, the author of these links/posts take no responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk taken by individuals as a result of applying the ideas or resources.
 
Photos are the property of Handwriting With Katherine, the authors, or the photographers on Pixabay and are not to be used in any fashion except as links to the appropriate blog or the Handwriting With Katherine website without the expressed, written permission of Katherine Collmer or the authors.  Use of the photographer’s work should include the link attached to their photographs.

 

Spaghetti and Meatball Spacing – Handwriting Tip From Miss Jaime OT

The “Summer Handwriting Fun” series proudly presents a Guest Post from the amazing Miss Jaime OT!  We are pleased that she has joined us in sharing fun and motivating activities that help children master their handwriting development skills.  Handwriting is a complex activity and involves many visual perceptual skills, one of which is spatial awareness.  Miss Jaime is here to highlight one of her special strategies for enhancing spatial awareness with handwriting.  I know you will enjoy her work!  Be sure to visit her site and comment on this article so that she knows how much you appreciate her!  Miss Jaime, you’re on!

 

Spaghetti 1Introducing “Spaghetti and Meatball Spacing

One of my favorite Handwriting lessons to teach to my kids is “Spaghetti and Meatball Spacing.” In order to write neatly, your letters and words need to be spaced properly. Children learn the concept of spacing as soon as they start learning to write. It can be easy for some children but hard for others. Some teachers teach finger spacing, but finger spacing only applies to spaces between words.   Children need help to understand the concept of spacing their letters within a word, too. I love to teach this with “Spaghetti and Meatball spacing.”

 

You may be thinking, “What on earth is Spaghetti and Meatball Spacing?” I don’t blame you! Spaghetti and Meatball Spacing is a lesson that I teach to help children learn how to space properly when writing. Teachers often ask me, “Why doesn’t Johnny remember to space his letters?” The truth is that children need to learn how to space their letters and words. They don’t just automatically “get it.”  Using the concept of “Spaghetti and Meatballs” can help a child to remember to space properly in between the letters and words.  It is a fun way to provide visual cues for proper spacing.

 

Spaghetti Spaces

 

The letters in a word need to be placed next to each other. They can’t be too far apart and they shouldn’t be touching. Children know that spaghetti is thin and meatballs are round. Using the concept of a stick of spaghetti is a great way to get kids to leave the correct amount of space between letters in their words. I like to use a real piece of spaghetti the first time I teach this concept to my students. It makes the kids laugh, which makes them excited to get started. Motivation is key for good handwriting! After I teach the kids the concept, I use Wiki Stix to reinforce “Spaghetti Spacing.” (Wiki Stix are wax covered pieces of yarn.)  I give each child two wikis (one for the meatball and one for the spaghetti). They can keep them in their supply box and take them out when they grab their pencil before a writing activity. I show the children to put their line of “spaghetti” down after each letter in a word.   After the children get more comfortable with it, they can write the word and then use the wiki to “check” to see if they have left the right amount of space.  Here are some examples:

"I can  use spaghetti after each letter as I write it. Now I can be sure I leave enough space!"
“I can use spaghetti after each letter as I write it. Now I can be sure I leave enough space!”
“Whoops! I think some of our letters are too close! We’d better use the spaghetti to check!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 " I wrote my name and then checked it with spaghetti.  The spaghetti was covering some of my y.  I forgot to leave enough space."
” I wrote my name and then checked it with spaghetti. The spaghetti was covering some of my ‘y.’ I forgot to leave enough space.”

 

 

Meatball Spaces

 

The words in a sentence need to have “Meatball Spaces” in between them.  I use a balled up wiki to be my Meatball when I teach about Meatball Spaces. The kids can place the Meatball after each word to make sure they leave enough space before they write the next word. Again, once they get more comfortable, they can use their Meatball to “check” that their spaces between the words are big enough. Here are some examples.

 

Meatballs 1
“I used meatballs in between my words to make sure I left enough space”
Spaghetti 5
“I can check my spacing with Spaghetti and Meatballs!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tying it all together

Children need to practice spacing their letters and words all through Kindergarten. Most children are able to grasp the concept of proper spacing after some practice, but children who have difficulty with spatial awareness need more help to really master spacing when writing. Teaching “Spaghetti and Meatball Spacing” is the perfect way to teach both spacing in between letters  AND spacing between words. Using the wiki stix helps to create a multi-sensory lesson that children remember and enjoy.  Try it – Everybody loves “Spaghetti and Meatballs!”

 

Happy spacing!

Miss Jaime OT

 

 

~Miss Jaime, O.T.

 

 

Biography

Jaime Spencer is a pediatric Occupational Therapist with fifteen years experience in Long Island, New York. She currently works in a public school with students Kindergarten to 5th grade. She also has ten years experience working in a sensory gym with preschool age children.  
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Utica College of Syracuse University and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Adelphi University. She was recently certified in Assistive Technology from California State University Northridge.
Jaime Spencer is the author of the Occupational Therapy blog www.MissJaimeOT.com

 

Summer Handwriting Fun Series #1

10 Tips for Summer Handwriting Fun
10 Tips for Summer Handwriting Fun
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