Big Strokes for Little Folks


INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THE AUTHORS' WEBSITE AT: http://www.concentric.net/~paul1/bigstrokes.shtml

Big Strokes for Little Folks is a totally remedial intervention program for children ages six through twelve who exhibit moderate to severe difficulties performing the following basic printing skills:
entry-level letter formation
letter placement
spacing to form words and sentences
writing without reversals

The work contains an extensive pre-writing section to develop the following skills:
left to right and top to bottom visual motor sequencing
visual-motor sequencing
visual closure
geometric shape drawing
basic line conceptualization
application to constructional activities

The work presents a wide variety of tactile and kinesthetic activity suggestions to develop printing skills.

Big Strokes teaches the therapist, and then the teacher, to develop a customized writing approach to meet each student's specific learning style.
Alternate letter formation worksheets for each letter are offered to assist both right-handed and left-handed students. The book is highly visual and can be used with a hearing-impaired or deaf population.

Big Strokes has been used with children whose IQ's fall in the EMR range. Learning disabled students respond very well to this approach.

Big Strokes is always therapist directed and can be used with integrated service delivery models, or with a direct pull-out service delivery model.

Big Strokes contains 133 reproducible worksheets as well as a separate manual with activity suggestions for the therapist and the collaborating educational team. It is the result of sixteen years of my work as an occupational therapist, working within the school system.

My book can be purchased from The Psychological Corporation/Therapy Skill Builders. It is presently used throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, United Kingdom, Japan, India, and other countries around the world.

UNIQUE FEATURES OF BIG STROKES FOR LITTLE FOLKS
It offers the only workbook which contains alternate worksheets for left-handed students.

It offers extensive strategies to teach children to write from left to right. This is especially useful for left- handed students.

The book acknowledges that some left-handed students will still follow different letter formation strategies, even after remediation. This is why the alternate left-handed worksheets are offered.
Big Strokes matches the different writing styles of the individual student. Many alternative letter formation choices are available for each letter. So, for each letter, there are several worksheets for the student and therapist to choose from. The book even has worksheets which allow for "bottom up" legible letter formation as a last resort.

This work remediates ENTRY-LEVEL handwriting formation in students who exhibit moderate to severe letter formation delays.

The half-circle is used when found easier than the circle, and always used as the first stroke in commonly reversed letters.

Big Strokes contains an extensive visual-motor prewriting section to develop line, stroke, and basic shape formation and sequencing.

The book contains an extensive prewriting treatment plan for therapists which incorporates visual training, cognitive-perceptual training, and gross motor activities for basic letter formation.

There are a variety of different construction activities used to teach the child to motor plan each letter prior to writing the letter.

The book makes extensive use of kinesthetic and tactile construction materials for training.

The letter worksheets allow for flashlight tracing as well as tracing, imitating, copying, and writing from memory.

Big Strokes provides ample space on its worksheets to practice letter writing many times.

By using this approach, the therapist directs the remedial treatment. There are therapeutic treatment plans as well as educational practice lessons. In this way, team collaboration is encouraged.

The worksheets are composed of thick, wide-ruled paper, without the customary dotted middle line. For added boundaries, the therapist can lay Letraset tape over these thick gray ruled lines.
Big Strokes offers therapeutic activities to improve ideation and diagonal scanning for diagonal line formation.

The book contains a special problems section, which offers ideas about how to develop laterality, letter and word spacing.

Big Strokes contains an extensive appendix listing compatible textbooks in the areas of fine motor, ocular-motor, perceptual-motor, and sensory integration.

The work presents a Skill Timeline which shows the ages at which mainstream children develop specific prewriting and handwriting skills.

The book offers suggestions on how to take handwriting samples from students ranging from kindergarten through third grade.

The worksheets shows stroke direction using icons (or pictures), rather than confusing directional words.

Big Strokes uses two color inks to better illustrate overlapping line segments in specific letters.

Other graphic strategies are used to limit visual figure- ground confusion on the worksheets.

Auditory and picture cues are used (among other methods) to develop the proper sizing of tall and descending lower-case letters.

Extensive constructional and visual activities develop the required visual-spatial and visual-locative skills needed to properly locate the intersection of line segments to form letters.

This book was written primarily for the occupational therapist. Although it can be used collaboratively, it is a clinical intervention approach requiring the interpretation and analysis of an occupational therapist.

Big Strokes was written in consultation with a developmental optometric vision training specialist.

Big Strokes for Little Folks can be used with students whose cognitive level ranges from the average intelligence to the educable mentally retarded.

You can order Big Strokes for Little Folks, direct from The Psychological Corporation under Catalog #0761643672-BTS, by fax (800.232.1223) or by phone (800.228.0752).

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