So working in elementary schools – I know that teachers are busy busy busy! When I screen a student, or talk to a teacher about a student, or even while working with a student on my caseload I am ALWAYS thinking about how we can carryover success within the classroom, what strategies the teachers can implement, and functional, quick, simple & easy tools to help the teacher work with that student.
If a suggestion or strategy is too complicated – the teacher will not be able to implement it as effectively, the student won’t understand how it works, and then it will get pushed to the side and never looked at again!
I have found that one of the easiest suggestions and strategies that can help a student with their handwriting is PAPER!
If a student has fine motor weakness or decreased coordination – have very wide lines (like kindergarten or 1st grade paper) may be too large for them. If a student has decreased visual motor or perceptual skills, have regular notebook paper may be too visually cluttering. If a student has decreased executive functioning and organizational skills – think of how overwhelming an entire blank sheet of paper may be after the teacher explained a multi-step project!
If you have bottomless resources, you can buy specialty notebook paper. A few of my favorite resources:
But repeatedly buying paper can be expensive and sometimes you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for! Now I am no computer genius and my soon-to-be husband (9 days…eeek!) is busy writing his PhD and I can’t ambush him with a million questions. So I googled, tried (and failed) and tried again. And I have found a simple, quick & easy way to create custom paper!
Want to give it a try? Here we go!
- Open Microsoft Word & a new blank document
- Click Insert, then Table, and then Draw A Table
- Click on the top corner of the document and draw a single rectangle box across to the top of the paper
- Put your cursor inside the box and select a font size for the height of the box (I learned that 5 pt font is about a college ruled font and 11-12 pt font is about first grade size with 2 boxes together)
- Once you have you height decided hit Tab multiple times to fill up the page with the boxes
- Click Ctrl + A to select entire document and then click the Border Button (looks like a grid) and click Left Border then Right Border to take away side margin lines
- Now here is where you will need to customize the paper for you!
- Go to Table Tools – Design at the top
- Choose Line Style (dotted or not – automatically not dotted) and Line Weight (smaller number is thinner & larger creates thicker line) – then click Border Painter. Now you cursor looks like a paint brush and you can simply click the lines that you want to looks like you just chose.
- If you want to add highlighted or shaded lines, place your cursor on that line, click the Shading button to choose your color and then click Shading and it will color that line for you!
The options are endless and for that it may take you a few tries before your satisfied with the finished product!
If you think you’d like help determining what type of paper a student might benefit from or if you’re still struggling with these steps- leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help you!