Occupational Therapy Tips for the Classroom

Welcome back teachers!!
As everyone is getting in gear to begin the new school year, I’d like to provide reminders that can be helpful for creating good habits. Students need frequent reminders in order to create those good habits for learning. At the beginning of this new school year take a moment to check posture, grasp and build in warm ups for penmanship practice.

*Classroom furniture should allow students to have feet flat on the floor
*During writing tasks, encourage students to sit with straight backs, feet flat. Check to see your students have a 90 degree angle at hips and knees. Desk height should be 2 inches above resting student elbow position. If you notice “chicken elbows” the desk is too high and this may impact printing quality

*Students in early grades can use short crayon pieces. This encourages a good pinch grasp between the thumb, index and middle finger.
*Students can use a paperclip, tissue wad or cotton ball to hold against the palm with the ring and pinky fingers, leaving the other three available for proper placement

*Games such as Simon Says and Hokey Pokey encourages understanding of right/left sides of the body which impacts good formation of letters
*Vertical and horizontal mazes help top-to-bottom and left-to-right concepts
*Build in hand warm up exercises before any writing activity such as finger tug of war using a popsicle stick or rubber tubing, tight fists with alternating shake out of the hands, and Itsy Bitsy Spider finger play

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