- If they are gripping the pencil too hard (usually the same kids who press down too hard), buy the fat pencils or pens or have the kids write with fat markers. It's hard to grip too tightly when your hand is so small in comparison. (From a fine motor perspective, all kids should use the fat pencils at least through first grade and maybe into second.)
- If they are writing too light or too heavy, put aluminum foil under their paper for instant feedback. Kids who are writing too hard should aim for a "clean" sheet of aluminum. For the kids who write too lightly, have them try to make their writing come through to the aluminum.
- Make sure all of the kids are sitting at their desks in a "ready to write" position. This should be facing forward with feet flat on the ground. The key is to have a 90 degree angle of the hips, a 90 degree angle of the knees and a 90 degree angle of the ankles. Shorter kids may need something under their feet (like a book) to provide this support. You can't have good fine motor control if your trunk is not stable.
- Light and flowy writing is sometimes a result of kids who are using their whole arm to write rather than just the muscles in their hands. Mature handwriting envolves a static arm and a dynamic hand. If their forearm is moving in the air while the pencil in stationary in their hand, they need to rest the forearm on the desk and work on only moving below the wrist.
- For a weird pencil gripper (not the usual tripod grip), have them write with broken chalk or crayons...I'm talking small pieces. The only way to hold it is with a tripod grip...try it yourself and you'll know what I mean. This will show them the correct way to hold a pencil.
- Practice forming the letters the correct way. Most students that have poor handwriting also form their letters incorrectly.