Using a visual-motor test

Our study was conducted over the course a school year with two preschool classes. Nine students in the morning class received the Paw Prints curriculum, and seven students in the afternoon class received handwriting instruction based on the teacher’s preference. Both classes had the same teacher. The groups were tested at the beginning of the school year with a visual-motor test called the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, Sixth Edition, and were re-evaluated eight months later. This test was chosen due to its link between a child’s ability to copy shapes and writing letters.

Results

The Beery scores of the children in both classes showed improvement. However, the students in the morning class improved their percentile rank by an average of 35%, while the students in the afternoon class improved their percentile rank by an average of 8%.

Based on these results, it is suggested that the students in the morning class who had the benefit of using Paw Prints showed greater improvement in their ability to draw the lines and curves needed to create letters than those in the afternoon class.

References
Amundson, S., & Weil, M. (1994). Relationship between visual-motor and handwriting skills of children in kindergarten. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 982-988.
Case-Smith, J., & Cornhill, H. (1996). Factors that relate to good and poor handwriting. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 732-739.
Daly, C., Kelley, G., & Krauss, A. (2003). Relationship between visual-motor integration and handwriting skills in children in kindergarten: a modified replication study.American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 459-462

Sarah and Alissa were privileged to present their research at the 2014 AOTA Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

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