A pizza cutter led to Less Stress for Handwriting Lessons... here's how!
Where has LegiLiner been? You may have been wondering or you may not have noticed, but since winter break we have done something amazing. But more about that in a minute…
When I was a new teacher, I found myself in several schools and with many different skill levels of students. Not only that, but I had teachers that had school bought handwriting curriculums, sped teachers with adaptive curriculums and high schools with no handwriting curriculum. In fact, many of the middle schools had given up handwriting and moved on to typing and dictation. I kept hearing “they don’t even teach handwriting anymore”. But I did! Was I behind the times? Should I move on to just accommodations? I was leaning towards that with my older students until I met a high school teacher that worked on functional life skills: things like signing your name and filling out a job application and making a list. It was like a big “A-Ha!” went off in my head! This is what is needed!
As my love for helping students with functional handwriting began to grow, I found myself being overwhelmed at all the options. One child had a workbook. One child was in the same workbook year after year, and yet another child had no workbook. When asking teachers what they have tried, they replied, “We’ve tried all of them” and so the teacher had basically given up. Once, I tried a new spacing method with a student, but the parent became upset that I was making a change! I was just trying to help!
How do I go through one day without a consistent plan? It was sporadic and random. I teach a PreK student, jump over to a High School, and then back to 4th grade or Kindergarten? Sometimes I had a group and sometimes I had a 1:1, but what was my common thread? They all needed functional handwriting skills. But how do I stay relevant to the older grades and get bored students to participate? How do I deliver handwriting to all the different levels in one day without losing my cool? (Spoiler- I did actually lose my cool a few times in the car.)
Since I had many students that used the standard dashed handwriting line, in 2017, I made a stamp that looked like a pizza cutter and started using it to draw handwriting lines. If I could just use it to draw lines on their current worksheets as I pushed into classrooms, I could address their handwriting practice needs without a workbook, it was relevant and it was more functional! As you probably can guess, the teachers went crazy and LegiLiners were born! Kids were asking for lines on their papers when they didn't even need them. But how does that apply to where we have been the past 6 weeks? Read on!
Based on teacher desires, recommendations and varied curriculums, and as I continued to grow my collection of LegiLiner patterns, I still had a missing link. I was stressed from all the inconsistent sessions. Walking into the rooms with the same workbooks, without a plan or hoping the teacher had a worksheet for me to do wasn’t working. Some teachers expected me each day and others had forgotten that it was the OT day. (CAN YOU RELATE?) With elementary schools on a 5 day plan, middle schools on a 6 day plan and high schools on a split schedule, how could you expect my teachers to keep up when I COULD BARELY KEEP UP????
One day, after a very long IEP meeting that had gone well beyond my dinner hour and a confrontation in the parking lot, I lost my cool. Why am I putting up with all this? It is so stressful! But, alas as I calmed down, I realized I’m here for the kids. I’m saw many of their sweet faces flash before me and really want to help these struggling parents. (After all, I was one of them too!) So, dealing with a pandemic, having students in person and virtual, I had a brain dump session that night. I decided to just pick a worksheet for the next day’s session because I was exhausted. It happened to be an ice skate, so I printed 15 copies and went to bed. To my amazement, with all the different LegiLiner patterns in my pencil case, it was an easy, peasy day. (I needed that after that irate parent.) I could draw each different students’ specific LegiLines on my paper or theirs. I was adapting and flexible as I went. I was dying to share this with all of you, so, WORKSHEET WEDNESDAYS were born. For two years, these have been a great tool, but recently, I realized I was actually using a “3 step framework” pattern. Not only was I using these worksheets, but I had a plan. I had less stress (Let’s be honest- I still had those certain parents), but I had an easy, peasy framework to follow.
NOW, I want to share this with you. Thanks to all of you for using WW over the last two years, and now you get first dibs at my easy peasy done for you 3 STEP LegiLiner signature lesson plans. As I continue to add a new Signature Lesson Plan every week, this VIP membership resource will continue to grow.
For a limited time, the first 100 people to trial our membership will get a LegiLiner Small Square. a 3 pack of flip stamps and 2 BONUS lesson plans as a thank you for growing along with me. There are currently training videos, PDF resources and hundreds of worksheets on my web site and I will continue to add a weekly lesson plan on the VIP site. You can also sign up on our email list to get these delivered weekly to your email inbox. We hope you find our signature lesson plans valuable in helping you to deliver less stressful handwriting practice using our proven 3 step framework. Polly
Click here for the VIP membership details.