Friday, October 12, 2012

Handwriting Strengthening Idea

Have you ever seen these plastic O's? I found them at RAFT (Resource Area For Teachers). Their mission statement is: "RAFT transforms teaching through the use of engaging ‘hands-on’ educational activities that inspire the joy and discovery of learning."

I saw these O's on a shelf and picked them up just knowing that I could come up with something to use them for. Then, I found these plastic tweezers and an idea began to form.

It got even better when I found the plastic container with the dividers.

I am always looking for ideas to help improve student ability to grasp a pencil. I just kind of put the three of these items out for a center to see what the students would do with them. I was pleasantly surprised!

They started to sort the pieces out (and some were even counting them).

Then they used the tweezers to organize the colors into more stable groups. They LOVE this activity and ask for it each day. It is such a simple activity,  but they truly enjoy it. I love that using the tweezers helps to strengthen the same muscles they are using for handwriting.

Other ways my students use these plastic O's:

String them in AB, ABB, and ABA patterns
String them by color in groups of tens to 100
Use them as game pieces

If you had these in your classroom, how would you use them?
Do you have activities you do to strengthen handwriting muscles for your students?

I'd love to hear!


  1. I love this idea! I am always looking for ways to work on fine motor skills. These would be wonderful for sorting. I can't find the Plastic Os on the website. Can you give us a link?


  2. RAFT collects things others do not want to use any longer and resells them to teachers. I have searched for days on line to find if anyone else sells these plastic beads and I have had no luck. Another idea is to use the small square plastic alphabet beads and sort them according to letters. If I visit RAFT soon and they are selling them again, I will get the exact name of them for you.


I would love to know what you think!

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