Circles and Loops Exercise
English is written and read much differently than the Chinese Language. English reads from left to right and top to bottom. Chinese is just the opposite (or so I am told). Some children seem to write as if they were following the rules for the Chinese instead of English Rules.
This exercise requires the use of a pattern.
In this exercise, it is important that students follow these simple rules: When drawing the dots, the pencil must move counter-clockwise and when connecting dots, the pencil should move left to right and top to bottom. Children who get letters confused will often try to do it differently. Parents must be vigilant to insure that dots are made with the tip of the pencil going counter-clockwise. Parents are to insure when the child works on the triangles and the squares that dots are connected with lines going from left to right and then top to bottom.
Some children have to learn to write cursive and some do not. This exercise is to increase neatness and speed in print as well as cursive writing. The materials needed will be our pattern, a blank sheet of lined paper (college rule preferably) and a pencil. The object of this exercise is to make a duplicate of the pattern in the least amount of time while maximizing neatness and staying within the lines and obeying the rules mentioned above. Mastery is achieved when the participant can reproduce a replica of the pattern that is as neat or neater than the pattern, while not making any mistakes and writing at a speed consistent with their peers in school.
This exercise is appropriate for students who have adequate fine motor skills, adequate near point (or developmental) vision skills, and who do not write well in print or cursive. The top half of the pattern is for print and the bottom half of the pattenr is designed to improve cursive writing.
Step by Step Instructions: Circles and Loops Exercise.
1. Print a copy of the pattern. For children with extreme difficulties it may be best to have them trace the pattern a 1 to 5 times before they do it on the blank paper. If they need to trace, just do one tracing a day. Record the time at the beginning of the exercise and at the end, so it can be measured and compaired in future trials.
2. For more advance children and for the not so advanced that have completed a few tracings, put the copy of the sample or pattern near the participant. Give them a blank piece of line paper and check for proper writing posture.
3. Have them start making dots across the page (just as in the pattern). Make sure that the tip of the pencil is moving in a counter clockwise direction. This is a very important point and some children must be monitored constantly because they easily revert to a clockwise direction.
4. When it is time to do the triangles, the child can do one triangle at a time, or do the two lines of dots and then return and draw the triangle (remember to draw lines left to right first (bottom of the triangle) before connecting the dots of the sides going from top to bottom (many children will attempt to complete the triangle by going from the far left dot to the top dot. The triangles are finished with a circle being drawn inside each triangle. To do it correctly, each line will touch the circle at the middle. It will likely require the participant several attempts before they will be able to get the circle touching the lines.
5. The squares are completed with similar instructions as the triangles. Lines are to be drawn left to right and top to bottom. Make sure that when the circle is drawn, the pencil moves in a counter clockwise direction and that it touches each line of the square at the midpoint.
6. The remaining lines are drawn with attention given to not over shooting or undershooting lines and that there is a continuous movement with the pencil. The drawings should resemble as much as possible the pattern. Some children may need to practice drawing in the air so that they can get the right movements to complete the lines on paper.
7. When the paper is complete, record the time. The goal will be to have a shorter time in future attempts. Check for accuracy and call attention to what the participant can do to improve next time. The participant should only do one sheet per day on this exercise.
Exercise: Circles and Loops Exercise.
Time: about 5 to 20 - minutes depending on the skills of the participant.
Recommended Frequency: once a day, 5 or 6 days a week until mastery has been achieved.
Materials Needed. A copy of the pattern or sample, a pencil and a blank college rule lined paper.
Pretest Assessment: participant has very sloppy printed or cursive writing or is unable to learn cursive writing. Yet, the participant has adequate near point vision skills and fine motor skills.
Mastery. participant can quickly and consistently complete the page without making any errors at a speed that is similar to same age peers.
Additional comments: It may take a while for some participants can be left alone or unmonitored while doing this exercise. So many participants will have the tendency to revert back to writing in a clockwise direction instead of a counter clockwise direction. With consistency the child will not revert back as the brain develops the neuro-pathways and muscle memory is achieved.
In neuro-development, changes in one part of the brain will often create positive changes in another part of the brain. We had one student who could not sleep well until she mastered this exercise. Maybe it was unrelated, but the participant was glad she was finally sleeping well.
For more information on neuro-development, please follow the links below:
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