OSWEGO, NY – For some children learning how to write is a frustrating and discouraging task.
However, that anxiety should be relieved as the Oswego City School District is preparing to introduce ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHandwriting Without TearsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â in Universal Pre-Kindergarten through second grade classrooms.
Oswego City School District Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Chamberlain said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe are very excited about the implementation of this new program. We hope that this consistent district wide approach starting in pre-kindergarten will give our student students the foundation they need in developing good handwriting skills. The program is fun and engaging for students. Our teachers seem very excited about this new approach.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Jan Z. Olsen, founder and creator of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHandwriting Without Tears,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â noted, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThere has been a resurgence of the used of handwriting in schools and teachers use these fun techniques to teacher pre-school and younger grade level children. The techniques provide the foundation for learning and writing.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Olsen, a pediatric occupational therapist, started the program in 1977 when her son was having trouble with handwriting. Drawing on her occupational therapy background and her innate problem-solving skills, Olsen used a common sense, fun-filled approach to develop unique instructional techniques to help her son and some of his classmates to improve their handwriting.
It didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t take long for other parents, teachers and schools to request her assistance and the result is an internationally known program that has been used by more than two million children.
The multi-sensory handwriting curriculum appeals to various learning styles, focusing on skills children master at various development stages and ages.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHandwriting Without TearsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â eliminates and prevents letter and number reversals, as well as helps children understand size and placement of letters.
The curriculum teaches readiness, printing and cursive.
It consists of easy-to-use workbooks, teacherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s guides and multi-sensory teaching aids including sing-along compact disks, wooden shapes, magnetic stamping screens and slate chalk boards.
This summer several Oswego teachers will be involved in the workshops to help implement the system. Teachers will be ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œstudentsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and will stand, sit and sing along as they learn how to put this program into operation.
Letters are taught from the easier to the more difficult.
Literacy Director Laura Ryder noted, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis creative program was brought to Oswego through the efforts of a volunteer committee that was formed last spring. The committee looked into various methods of teaching handwriting and unanimously voted to bring this writing experience to us.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â