How To Set Up a Handwriting Station

How To Set Up a Handwriting Station

Do you receive referral after referral for students with handwriting concerns?  Are the teachers you work with feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with so little time to offer handwriting practice?  We know students benefit from handwriting instruction and practice, BUT school districts do not make time for it anymore.  Most school-based occupational therapists deal with handwriting interventions on a daily basis.  Why not provide handwriting stations for your classrooms or home carry over activities to make it easy to encourage handwriting practice?  Read more to learn how to set up a handwriting station.

Step One:  Find a location in the classroom or at home.

Determine where you can set up the handwriting station.  Is there a free table in the back of the classroom where you can place the materials for handwriting practice?  If there isn’t always free table space, ask the teacher if you can use it some of the time.  You can make the handwriting station so that it can set up and clean up quickly.  For at home, a nice desk by a window would be best for natural light while practicing handwriting.

Decide if you can fit a larger handwriting station i.e. use a trifold board or a smaller handwriting station i.e. use a folder.

Step Two: Gather your materials.

Here are some suggested materials for the handwriting station: warm up hand exercises, multi-sensory letter recognition activities, handwriting practice pages, various types of adapted paper for differentiation with handwriting instruction, alphabet guides for proper letter formation, self-checking tips and of course sharpened pencils.  Small, short pencils are best if encouraging a proper pencil grasp.

Make sure that the chair and desk height are suitable for proper posture when the student sits down to practice his/her handwriting skills:

a.) the feet should have a stable base of support

b.) hips, knees, and ankles should be bent at 90 degrees

c.) desk should be 1-2” higher than bent elbows

Proper Posture Functional Skills for Kids

If you want to get started right away, the Handwriting Station Bundle includes everything you will need to create the workspace (except the folders and pencils).   This digital download packet includes 6 titles to help get your handwriting station up and running in no time.

Handwriting Station Bundle

Step Three:  Prepare your materials for the Handwriting Station.

If you choose to make the large handwriting station, decide what hand/finger warm-up exercises, handwriting templates and tips you will include on the tri-fold board.  Here is an example of the large handwriting station using the materials from the Handwriting Stations download (which is also including in the Handwriting Station Bundle).  Just print out the pages and glue them onto the large trifold board.

If you are creating a smaller handwriting station, print out your pages 4 to a page (change printer settings on PDF to print multiple and select 4 pages per sheet).  Cut apart the pages and glue onto the inside of a folder.

When complete the Mini Handwriting Station will fit nicely into a manilla folder.  These would be SUPER easy to send home with students to refer to during handwriting practice.  They are also great if the teacher does not have a designated area to place a handwriting station but the student could bring this folder to his/her desk.

Step Four:  Print handwriting practice pages and any supplemental materials.

Put handwriting practice books at the station or print the handwriting practice pages that the students need. Place the worksheets in folders.

In addition to handwriting practice pages, it would be excellent to provide blank adapted handwriting paper for differentiated instruction.  Some students write more legibly with certain line spacing, highlighted lines, different colored lines, etc.  By offering various choices, students may succeed more with faster, neater handwriting.

Step Five:  Create a schedule.

Explain to parents and teachers that evidence-based research indicates that students need traditional handwriting practice to learn proper letter formation and improve legibility.  Offer suggested times for when the handwriting practice should take place i.e early finishers, homework sessions, before lunch, etc.  It will be easier for the students to practice if it is a part of their everyday routine.

If you want to get started right away with a handwriting station in your classroom or home, check out the Handwriting Station Bundle.  It includes all the materials to create an awesome handwriting practice station!  FIND OUT MORE.