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young red-headed boy outside writing in a notebook
Dr. Joanne Meier
Sound It Out
Joanne Meier

My budding author and her (lack of) pencil grip

My daughter Anna LOVES to write. It’s something she’s always enjoyed doing. Her kindergarten class has Writer’s Workshop several times a week, and she eagerly publishes her stories. During our school’s Author Share later this month, Anna’s planning to share a book of short stories she’s penned.

She has fantastic skill with dialogue, word choice, and even a surprise ending or two. Where she lacks skill is with her pencil grip! She uses this two-finger-over-pencil, grasp mid-way-up-pencil technique that I’ve never seen before.

I’ve combed the research (nothing very relevant or recent), Googled the topic, talked with my friend who is an occupational therapist, and reread some stuff I’d seen about pencil grip.

In the end, it appears as though Anna’s grip preference is something she will likely outgrow (although I won’t deny feeling a little worried; we’re heading into first grade this fall!).

In the meantime, some strategies I’ve read about include providing her with small pieces of chalk or crayon that force her to grip with her fingers instead of her fist, engage in lots of fine motor work, and using a triangular pencil grip (seemingly sold everywhere). The fine motor skill isn’t the challenge; Anna attended a terrific Montessori preschool and spent LOTS of time using materials such as these (opens in a new window) and these (opens in a new window).

I’m seeking your help here too – has your child, or a child in your class struggled with grip issues? If so, what worked?

About the Author

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Publication Date
May 8, 2007

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