The Effect of Handwriting Without Tears on Montessori Four-year-olds’ Handwriting Ability

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Date of Award

12-2017

Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education

Department

Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Alisha Brandon

Department/School

Montessori Early Childhood, Education

Abstract

The action research question for this study was, “What effect would the addition of a program by Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) called, Transition to Kindergarten, in a block everyday have on the development of handwriting skills of my four-year-old students?” Beyond utilizing the HWT program, the reviewed literature on handwriting instruction expounded on six major themes: brain benefits of handwriting, blocks of handwriting instruction (speed and legibility), name writing (gross & fine motor skills), the connection between writing and reading, and phonological awareness. This project was conducted in a private Montessori school in South Florida, where six preschool participants (age four) were studied and evaluated for six weeks. Data was compiled by using a presentation log, attitude scale, and a self-generated rubric to track the following: pencil firmness on paper, directionality, letter formation, spacing, line usage, circle closure, name writing, and copying a sentence to a line. The researcher’s overall results were positive when assessing handwriting attributes of formation, size, neatness, speed, posture, pencil grip and helping hand position. Future implementation of the action research project will be introduced to the entire preschool as a new addition to the handwriting curriculum.