commonly believed. ‘If you have to stop and think about how to form a particular letter, that increases the likelihood that you're going to lose something you might hold in your working memory,’ said Mr. Graham” (Viadero, D., “Penmanship problems hurt quality of student writing, study suggests”, Education Week, February 2001).
Children in elementary school spend 31% to 60% of each academic day on fine motor tasks including handwriting. Handwriting is the primary way for these students to communicate with and to display what has been learned to the teacher. In the classroom environment, elementary school students use handwriting in almost all subject areas and are graded on their written output. Past studies showed that when teachers were given papers to evaluate, varying only in their degree of legibility, the papers with better handwriting received better grades (Hammerschmidt, S. L., & Sudsawad, P., Teachers’ survey on problems with handwriting: Referral, evaluation, and outcomes. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, (58), 2004).
Typically, elementary school children spend up to half their school day engaged in writing tasks, some of which (e.g., paper and pencil tests) are performed under the constraints of time. Therefore, a child's ability to write in a manner that is both legible and efficient, directly affects his or her school performance and academic advancement (Rosenblum, S., Parush, S., & Weiss, P.L., Computerized temporal handwriting characteristics of proficient and non- proficient handwriters. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, (57), 2003).
Legible handwriting is necessary for children to carry out many academic activities, and difficulties with handwriting can interfere with related writing processes such as planning and generating ideas. "(O)ne of the most serious effects of poor handwriting occurs when the quality of handwriting detracts from the student's ability to convey information and ideas" (Handley-More, D., Deitz, J., Billingsley, F. F., & Coggins, T. E., Facilitating written work using computer word processing and word prediction. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, (57), 2003).
Handwriting is one of the most important skills that children acquire and use throughout the school years as part of their occupation as students. . . . When handwriting skills are deficient, children suffer various consequences related to their academic performance and social interactions, thus limiting their successful participation in everyday school activities (Preminger, F., Weiss, P.L., & Weintraub, N., Predicting occupational performance: Handwriting versus keyboarding. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, (58), 2004).
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