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Why Is Handwriting Critical to Reading?

Learn why handwriting is critical to reading from reading specialist Anne Glass in this Howcast video.


Hi. my name is Anne Glass. I'm a reading and learning specialist at a private school in New York City and I work with Kindergarteners through 3rd graders on Reading, Word Study, and Writing Skills. In addition to be a reading specialist and learning specialist, I'm also a parent and today I'm going to talk to you about topics in reading

Instruction in handwriting used to be an important part of kindergarten and first grade curriculum and even for older students as well. Unfortunately, it's somewhat of a lost art now and we encourage our children at a very young age to experiment with writing on paper. We support and honor inventive spelling. If children know the motor plans for the letters that they want to write, then they're going to be much more able to access the letters and the letter sounds to spell the words that they want to put down on paper. If the motor plans are automatic and they know them well, then they're going to be able to make the connection from the content in their minds to the words on the paper.

Handwriting practice is also critical for reinforcing knowledge of letter names and sounds. When you can learn a concept through multisensory means - and handwriting would be putting something in muscle memory, having the tactile feedback of the pencil on the paper while you say the letter name, while you practice the letter sound - all of those concepts and all of that knowledge is going to be much more secure, and your child is going to become more fluid and automatic at the word-level sooner. And that word-level automaticity is really foundational to acquiring later reading skills and becoming a good, fluent reader who can construct meaning from text.

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