Realizing that when kids have not been taught handwriting skills, problems frequently crop up in students' written communication. In other words, students who struggle with the mechanics of writing, because they have not adequately learned the mechanics of writing, have difficulty expressing themselves in writing because they must expend an inordinate amount of brainpower attending to the mechanics of forming the letters on the page instead of attending to the creative authoring skills.
Then, of course, there's the problem of not being able to take quick and legible notes in class which starts to become a problem at the high school level. As a result, teachers are going back to the time-honored practice of teaching handwriting skills as a sequence of basics skills and giving students sufficient practice in mastering those skills to the point of automaticity.
I'm only kidding. You don't really think that educators would ever do anything so sensible. No, there's an exciting new way to teach writing--Handwriting Without Tears-- in which kids learn handwriting skills through the use of:
wood blocks, puppets, songs and even dances.
Personally, I like the puppets the best. I almost had to resort to the hand puppets myself to get through the trauma of drafting this post.
I suspect that HWT will be popular with educators; it's directed to all their pet biases--silly manipulatives and activities. The hand-puppets are a bonus.
Read the whole story here and visiting Hand Writing Without Tears here. You'll also want to check out the obligatory "Research" paper in which nine of the ten pages are devoted to research that wasn't conducted on writing programs that weren't Handwriting Without Tears. The Handwriting Without Tears research is confined to two master's theses, one unpublished.