I do short daily handwriting sessions at my school, and the recommended resource we had was a booklet printed in green and yellow that split a standard writing line into 3 lines, to give space for ascenders and descenders. It looks like this:
I found my children could write very neatly on these lines. However, I was finding they were really struggling to apply the neat handwriting they were practising into their everyday writing BECAUSE the handwriting paper was laid-out so differently to a normal lined page.
1. I went to http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/ and printed out a handwriting sheet which has a dotted middle line for helping with sizing letters. I made this the main resource for when my children practised their handwriting, which got them used to this layout. This sheet is a lot closer to normal lined paper, which I think helped all my pupils apply what they were practising into their general writing.
2. As per previous idea 222, I introduced paired handwriting practice which engaged the children with the process of handwriting. They wanted to do well and help out their partner.
3. When our next piece of extended writing came round, I stuck a trimmed handwriting sheet into the book of any child who I felt needed the extra support. I think the results speak for themselves. In the example below, the first paragraph is written without a guide, then the guide paper has been stuck in.
Still needing some work on the size of some lower-case letters, but a big step forward. I could finally read their writing without needing to hire in an expert in hieroglyphics!
I had maybe three or four pupils who were absolutely BEAMING with how lovely their writing was and I was fortunate enough that the other children in my class decided to make a big deal of how wonderful it was too!
NEXT STEP: I’m going to print off some handwriting sheets that have the middle dotted line still but don’t have that little gap between each line, to help transition my pupils to writing as neatly as possible on regular lined paper.
I know using a guide sheet for handwriting isn’t really that much of a revolutionary idea, but I thought the difference it made was something worth sharing with others!