Helping Your Left Handed Students

Today is August 13th... did you know it is also International Lefthanders Day?  An estimated seven to ten percent of the world's population are left-handed and International Lefthanders Day brings attention to the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominately right-handed world.

Chances are you have a student or two in your class who is left-handed.  Here are three simple strategies you can use in the classroom to support his/her writing efforts.

Supporting Your Left Handed Students

1.  Cutting with Scissors: Left-handed children often struggle with learning basic skills such as cutting with scissors because they are given the wrong tools to use.  When using standard scissors, left-handed children often appear clumsy or slow.  There are scissors made especially for left-handed children.  The blades on these scissors are reversed to help children see the lines they are cutting and to provide better hand control.

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2. Writing Grip and Paper PositionLeft-handed writing requires a correct grip and correct paper positioning. If they are made to write like right-handers, but using their left hand, they often end up with a very cramped position and a “hook” wiring style that is painful and slow.  This video shows the correct grip, posture, and paper position children should use.

3. Classroom Seating Arrangement: When setting up your classroom seating arrangement, be sensitive to the needs of your left-handed students. Even simple things like sharing a desk can be made complicated – always put the left-handed students on the left-side of the shared desk.  If you don't, you will run the risk of clashing elbows and arguments all day.

What other simple tips can we add to this list?  What are some strategies you've tried and found successful?  Share them in the comments below.

The Chalk Box Kid
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