Instruction Influences Handwriting Automaticity in Children

Instruction Influences Handwriting Automaticity in ChildrenInstruction Influences Handwriting Automaticity in Children

Reading and Writing published research on handwriting automaticity of 177 Australian children in 23 classrooms at the end of kindergarten and the amount and type of writing instruction they experienced before entering first grade.  Individual child level data (e.g., handwriting automaticity and word-reading skills) were collected and teachers were asked to complete a survey assessing the amount of time and types of writing activities developed in their classrooms (e.g., teaching basic skills and teaching writing processes).

The results indicated:

  • a total variance of approximately 20% in children’s handwriting automaticity attributable to differences among classrooms when gender and word-reading skills were controlled for.
  • large variability in the amount and type of writing instruction reported by a subset of participating teachers.

The researchers concluded that handwriting automaticity was associated with the teaching of revising strategies but not with the teaching of handwriting.   Many different strategies were used to teach writing and the skills being taught, from turning sounds into letters to the planning of ideas to express in writing.  The researchers will now examine the students’ development of writing skills across time points to understand these initial results further in order to identify classroom-based practices that will lead to improved writing skills.

Many schools use specific handwriting curriculums to help reduce variance among classrooms for handwriting instruction.  At Your Therapy Source, we offer three handwriting tools and curriculums to help support handwriting instruction.

This Handwriting Bundle for PreK-5th Graders was created by school based occupational therapist, Thia Triggs of Print Path. This Handwriting Without Tears© -style letter font, uses 3-lines to best support your students. There are Go-Dots, Gray-Boxes, and Simple Arrows that inform rather than confuse learners. Best practices include research based methods incorporating application of developmental and motor learning theories to benefit your struggling learners.  Get 8 of the best handwriting instruction downloads for your multi-leveled interventions!  FIND OUT MORE.

Handwriting Heroes digital download is a highly effective, and easy to implement program for learning how to write lower case letters accurately and fluently. This powerful teaching tool is designed to accelerate handwriting instruction.  This handwriting program includes everything you need for consistent handwriting instruction for lower case letters.  FIND OUT MORE.

Handwriting on the Wall© WINTM Write Incredibly NowTM

Write Incredibly Now ™(W.I.N. TM) is an exclusive U.S. trademarked handwriting program of Children’s Special Services, LLC and designed by Susan N. Schriber Orloff, OTR/L!  It breaks manuscript into three forms and cursive into four using colors instead of directional cues, as well as gross and fine motor games. You get both the manuscript and the cursive programs in reusable workbook form for multiple use. There are games, activities and follow-up suggestions so that the child can individually continue the program after the 12 hours are “over”.  There is plenty of room to add your own creativity too!!  FIND OUT MORE.


Malpique, A. A., Pino-Pasternak, D., & Valcan, D. Handwriting automaticity and writing instruction in Australian kindergarten: an exploratory study. Reading and Writing, 1-24.

Murdoch University. Later literacy success hinges on early handwriting lessons.  Retrieved from the web on 8/10/17 at

Instruction Influences Handwriting Automaticity in Children