Semester of Graduation

Summer 2020

Degree

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Early Childhood Education

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Structured fine motor lessons consisting of regulated fine motor materials and feedback is documented in the literature as a strategy for strengthening fine motor skills (Hamilton & Liu, 2017). The purpose of the present study was to determine (1) the mean duration of child engagement with fine motor materials within the classroom during free play, and (2) if direct intervention with fine motor materials, which promote pinch and grip strength, would impact handwriting performance. Children were observed during free play, interacting with materials. The hypothesis suggested interacting with fine motor materials, specifically promoting pinch and grip strength, would result in better handwriting. Data from pre- intervention writing samples and baseline observations were collected using a single case, multiple baseline, with interval recording. The Pinch and Grip Strength Intervention (PGSI) consisted of 10-minutes with 14 pinch and grip strength promoting choices. Results demonstrated that all children increased their engaged time with fine motor materials during the PGSI and increased name writing performance in all three children and increased compositional writing for two of the three children. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of developmentally appropriate interventions within the context of naturally occurring classroom routines to increase emergent writing in young children. Future research should focus on the intentional teaching of writing in young children using developmentally appropriate strategies.

Committee Chair

Cynthia Dicarlo

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