Often when it comes to assessing a learners handwriting teachers tend to base it on letter formation and how neat, or legible, the writing is. And although these are important elements, this relies on the teacher looking at the end result. Teachers also need to assess how the learners write, all the steps and micro-movements that go into writing – What is the pencil grip like? Does the learner tire out quickly? How fluently did the learner write …all these (and so many more) aspects need to be considered. Teachers must continuously assess the process of writing to pick up any poor habits or weaknesses that need to be addressed.
Then the teacher looks at the product, what the learner has completed – it could be sentence, paragraph or any worksheet or activity that requires the learners to write. Now the teacher can assess how legible the handwriting is – it is clear and easy to read? Are the letters formed correctly – are the letters the correct size (a learner who mastered the pre-writing shapes should not have a problem here)? Did the learner write on the line? Are words and letters spaced out correctly?
Foundation Phase is the time that learners acquire and master handwriting skills, it is important that teachers are constantly vigilant to how their learners are writing, identifying any weaknesses or poor habits and providing guidance, support and PRAISE to help our learners become fluent writers.