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    #244530 - 12/20/18 05:07 AM kindergarten age student/poor fine motor
    greenlotus Offline

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 582
    I know a family whose 5 year old's fine motor skills are so poor she is unable to produce work in kindergarten, and the teacher wonders if she should be kept in K again next year. As the 5 year old can verbally share what she knows, I wonder if there are iPad programs she could use in class so she isn't hindered by her handwriting issues. The teacher is open to all ideas. She doesn't want to hold back the child but can't move her to 1st unless she can show completion of K goals.

    #244536 - 12/20/18 11:54 AM Re: kindergarten age student/poor fine motor [Re: greenlotus]
    SarahMarie Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 10/18/16
    Posts: 31
    My 4 year old was having trouble with his fine motor. OT was suggested as an option, but we’ve just been managing it at home so far. We got him special grippers to help with his hand writing and proper grip. And we got activity books that he enjoys so he can practice. (He’s never really liked coloring.) We got some mazes and dot-to-dots. So far he has made a lot of improvement and is even starting to like drawing and coloring sometimes. You can also get her some squishy toys to help tone the muscles in her hands. Besides just opting for therapy the best thing they can do for her is lots of opportunity for practice in a variety of forms so she doesn’t get bored.

    #244554 - 12/21/18 07:13 PM Re: kindergarten age student/poor fine motor [Re: greenlotus]
    greenlotus Offline

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 582
    Thank you, SarahMarie, for all your suggestions. What we are now looking for are programs this child can use to show her work without relying on paper and pencil as it may be awhile before she can use a writing device. For example, the older kids are doing math with Beast Academy. What are math and English programs for 5 year olds online?

    #244602 - 01/02/19 11:14 AM Re: kindergarten age student/poor fine motor [Re: greenlotus]
    Emigee Offline

    Registered: 09/23/16
    Posts: 76
    Dreambox is a good online math program that goes from preK through elementary school.

    #244604 - 01/02/19 01:15 PM Re: kindergarten age student/poor fine motor [Re: greenlotus]
    ElizabethN Offline

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: greenlotus
    She doesn't want to hold back the child but can't move her to 1st unless she can show completion of K goals.

    What are the K goals she needs to complete?

    Presumably she can demonstrate reading mastery by reading aloud. Even if she can't do it fast or "right," if she can type a document, that would probably help demonstrate writing skills. It might need to be combined with being able to form individual letters, either very large (so she doesn't have to have very fine motor control) or in another medium like clay, or shaving cream on a tray (so she doesn't have to hold a pencil).

    For math, Dreambox is good and fun, but may not be well-aligned with whatever the goals are that she is supposed to meet in kindergarten. It would help to have an idea what those goals are.

    #244605 - 01/02/19 03:04 PM Re: kindergarten age student/poor fine motor [Re: greenlotus]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3983
    If this child's fine motor skills are poor enough that they interfere with demonstration of academic skills, then she likely should have some kind of formal accommodation plan, or even an IEP. The school district has a responsibility to child find, and accommodate, if necessary, even if the placement is a private school. And the school has a responsibility to accommodate, even if private. At this age, all one needs is a developmental delay classification (one or more major life skills below age/grade level, the list of which explicitly includes motor skills). Retention on the basis of one's disability, in a student who is otherwise appropriate for grade promotion, is a form of disability-based discrimination.

    The only K skills I can think of that couldn't be demonstrated with alternate (not paper/pencil) means are fine-motor skills--which, again, if she has a disability in this area, shouldn't be a reason for holding her back, but a reason for remediation and accommodations. I took a quick survey of some state curriculum standards for writing in K, and found that handwriting or other forms of written production are generally not in the frameworks until at least grade one, and not until grade three on the Common Core standards ( At the K level, the media of written communication are expected to be non-alphabetic ones, such as dictation, drawing, digital tools. Even if not in the US, I would not be surprised if similar frameworks pertain to the educational system in which this child resides.

    Her progress on academic skills really should be separated from remediation for fine motor skills. All she really needs is to be orally assessed instead of paper/pencil assessed. Check her reading skills with one of the many well-validated one-minute reading probes out there. Survey her letter ID/sound-symbol skills using a checklist relevant to the language of instruction. Have her point to letters to match instead of generating the letters with a pencil. Combine manipulatives (blocks, counters, whatever size or shape most suits her level of fine-motor skill) and oral assessment to check her numeracy and early math skills. Orally assess the little content that matters at K in social studies, science, wellness, etc. If she is at least average in ability, this kind of assessment should take no more than five or ten minutes a day, in a couple of days over the course of a week. If the teacher take those few minutes at the end of each marking period, she should have some good data on progress toward the kindergarten standards. If she wants to separately monitor her fine motor skills (writing, drawing, cutting with scissors, pasting, etc.), there are many K screeners out there for that too. Or she can even informally assess progress simply by saving dated work samples every couple of months.
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #244622 - 01/07/19 07:19 PM Re: kindergarten age student/poor fine motor [Re: greenlotus]
    greenlotus Offline

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 582
    Thank you all, this is very helpful.


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