Month: January 2007

Fascinating Stuff About Handwriting

The past two days, I attended the Zaner-Bloser handwriting workshops. Yesterday was Manuscript, and today was Cursive.

Did you know that handwriting is the gateway to learning to read? It’s true. And also, I can tell you why the letters are referred to as uppercase and lowercase!

Back in the days of typesetting, the uppercase letters were stored in a case that was up high, because they were not used as often. The lowercase letters were stored in a case that was low, and easily accessible. Hence, the names uppercase and lowercase! :)

I learned that it takes a LOT of fine-motor development to be able to write legibly. With a four-year old son who is an emergent writer, I am now armed with all sorts of knowledge to help those little muscles of his grow. Things such as Play-Doh, playing with a Magna Doodle, putting pennies or checkers in a stack all develop the fine-motor skills needed to write legibly.

When learning handwriting, children actually have to learn 52 letterforms, not only 26. Once cursive is in the mix, make that 104 letterforms. Children have to learn to recognize these letters, the sounds they make, and the roles they play in words and sentences. Then they have to learn to write these letters. It’s a tall order!! And a fancy one. I’d had no idea that occupational therapy played such a large role in handwriting. And that handwriting played such a large role in literacy.

I learned the proper way to hold a pencil, to position my paper (of course, I’ve been doing it wrong!!), why chalkboards are better than dry-erase boards for teaching handwriting, and the way to teach it to children using the three primary learning modalities–kinestetic, visual, and auditory. I also learned it’s best to start big, then work down to writing on paper. Teach muscle memory, so that when kids get it, they’ll have “automacity,” which means they will be able to focus more on their thoughts, rather than the handwriting process.

Zaner-Bloser has been around for a VERY long time. It was one of the first three handwriting companies. Its letterforms been simplified over the years—the cursive Q no longer looks like a big, floppy 2, for instance (this, at the request of the US Postal Service!)—but it’s still one of the very best programs out there.

If any of you are teachers of handwriting, what programs do you use? How do you feel about it?

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Love Languages

I did a meme similar to this ages ago. Here’s my new results:

The Five Love Languages

My primary love language is probably
Quality Time
with a secondary love language being
Physical Touch.

Complete set of results

Quality Time: 10
Physical Touch: 8
Words of Affirmation: 7
Acts of Service: 3
Receiving Gifts: 2


Unhappiness in relationships, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. Sometimes we don’t understand our partner’s requirements, or even our own. We all have a “love tank” that needs to be filled in order for us to express love to others, but there are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others.

Take the quiz

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Amy Tagged Me!

Thanks, watchwhat! I feel ♥ed!

What is yours?
Explain yourself
Culinary: Spaghetti Screw it, I don’t feel guity about it at all! Literary: YA Novels They’re easy to read and get to the point much faster than adult novels. Audiovisual: High School Musical It’s cute! Musical: Jessica Simpson I like her latest CD. *cowers* Celebrity: Adam Brody He’ll always be adorable, no matter what.

Now I tag:-
swankivy helenatural davidd caragirl and soopagrrl

To complete this quiz, go HERE.

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Sick = No Fun

I started to feel nauseated around 11pm. I thought it was the fried-food smell in my apartment–sometimes that scent throws me off. I burned a Nag Champa and went to bed. The Nag Champa did its job of covering the smell, and it also did its relaxing me trick. But the nausea was still there, just hiding under the Nag Champa magic. I was able to ignore it enough to fall asleep.

About 2am, I woke up, throwing the covers off of me, feeling REALLY bad. I knew something had to happen, just wasn’t sure what. Then I was all too sure. :( Doubley-sure, if you know what I mean.

I think Ramen noodles need to be excluded from my diet forever and ever and ever. :(

I took the morning off from work to recover, and will be heading out into the freezing cold 19ºF temps in a few minutes. Ack.

Still feeling tired. I don’t do it that often (thank goodness), but upchucking is really, really exhausting. Blah. Add that to the fact that there is no food in me (you’ll understand why I’m scared to put some in), I could totally sleep for another six to eight hours.

But now it’s off to work time. See ya.

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