Opinion
Teaching Letter to the Editor

Reader: Advertisements Show Students Using Improper Pencil Grips

October 27, 2014 1 min read
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To the Editor:

Recent issues of Education Week included a Renaissance Learning advertisement and an American Reading Company advertisement each showing a student using a very poor pencil grip.

According to Virginia W. Berninger and Beverly J. Wolf’s Teaching Students With Dyslexia and Dysgraphia (2009), students should “use a tripod grip in which the pencil rests on the first joint of the middle finger with the thumb and index fingers holding the pencil in place and the pencil held at a 45-degree angle to the page. ... The pencil should point toward the shoulder of the writing arm for both left- and right-handed students.”

An awkward grip is tiring and affects letter shapes. A good way to get a proper grip is to put the pencil with its point toward you, pinch the pencil with your index finger and thumb, lift the pencil, and it will fall back into proper position.

Judith R. Birsh

Education Consultant

New York, N.Y.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 29, 2014 edition of Education Week as Reader: Advertisements Show Students Using Improper Pencil Grips

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