•  Spacing and Organizing Writing


    Spacing

    • Teach a student to "finger space", placing his/her left index finger (if right handed) after each word he writes
    • For lefties, it's better to space with an object, such as a popsicle stick
    • Have child make his/her own finger spacer i.e.: decorate a popsicle stick or tongue depressor,  Call it a "spaceman"
    • Have a student place a dot with a stamp marker or highlighter after each word as a spacer, or to make a small dot with the pencil; later
      he/she can erase the dots
    • It's better to have large exaggerated spaces, especially for young writers.  Using 2 fingers to space may be a good way to start.
    • Try graph paper, enlarge the boxes if necessary on  a copy machine, and write one letter in each box with one box in between
      words.
    • "Readispace" paper, made by Mead, has short vertical lines on each writing line for writing and spacing letters evenly.
    • To increase awareness and also for fun, challenge your child to read sentences that don't have spaces in between words.  Have
      him/her rewrite the sentences correctly after marking where the spaces should be.
    • Have child edit his/her work by checking if there is finger space between each word when writing has been completed.
    • Use visual models of what ideal spacing of writing should look like.
    • Use fun terminology-Spaghetti & Meatballs i.e.: spaghetti between letters of a word and meatballs between words.

    Organization and Awareness of Margins

    • Highlight or thicken the left margin to increase the student's awareness of where to begin and continue sentences.
    • Highlight the right margin if the student tends to cram in words at the ends of the lines.
    • Teach the student to place a ruler at the left margin; remind him/her to return to the ruler to continue sentences.
    • Highlight the left margin green (for go) and right margin red (for stop).   
    • Have child edit his/hear work by checking if writing is organized appropriately within the margins.
    • Use visual models of what ideal organization of writing should look like.