Saturday, May 17, 2014

A "Bright Idea" for Handwriting

Hi everyone! I'm back for another "Bright Ideas" link up. In case you are a new follower, this is a monthly link up with over over 100 other bloggers with some simple "bright ideas" to share. No sales pitch, just great teaching ideas. You can find my last post here.

I had a few different ideas for this month, but I decided to go with a simple, yet effective strategy that I've been using this year with a few of my students. All you need is a small paperclip. Do you have students who squish all their words together? Do they have a hard time making spaces between their words? Lack of spacing is totally normal in the beginning stages of writing, but I usually have one or two that continue to struggle with this.  I've worked with a few students  this year (ranging from first grade to third grade) who needed some assistance with using that appropriate spacing between words. It seems to be a spacial awareness thing because they have to consciously move their hand in order to make a space, and then sometimes the space is huge. I tried a bunch of different things to help them until one day I discovered a paper clip. It all happened because I had left a small paperclip out on the table and a student started playing with it. I said, "Okay, you can use that but I get to choose how you use it." It ended up being the perfect solution to his spacing problem! He writes a word, then slides his little paperclip over to make the perfect sized space between his words. 

He used it for several months and now he doesn't really need it anymore. He truly needed something physical to help him get used to making spaces between words. I started using it with other students and it seems to work with each of them and not get in the way too much. 


It's also easy to grab and easy to clip onto paper to use again later. Plus I always have little paperclips laying around. I was worried that this "bright idea" may have already been used or thought of by someone else, but it certainly was an "ah ha!" moment for me. I hope it can be for some of you too! 

There are 130+ blogger participating in this Bright Ideas Blog Link Up. That's 130+ fabulous ideas at your fingertips! Click on the links below to see more ideas and tips. They are labeled by topic and grade level. Enjoy!

For more ideas, follow me here at my blog or on Facebook. :) 


  1. What an awesome idea!! I teach my students to use "two finger spaces" but they are so tricky for left handed writers. I will definitely try the paperclip!

    Luck's Little Learners

  2. Love this idea. I was gifted a class set of "spacemen" but I had a couple kiddos who lost them so using a paper clip would be such a great idea! Can't wait to put this in use in my classroom. Thanks!
    Amanda :)
    Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten

  3. What a great idea! And teachers always have paperclips. I really like that you can clip it to the paper or writer's notebook for storage. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.