We have been working on letter formations with our Grade 1 and 2 students this month and I have noticed many of our students with improper pencil grips. Many students tend to grip their pencil with too many fingers or with fingers extended straight out. This hampers finger movement and flexibility. I teach my students to pinch their thumb and index finger tightly together to form a circle with knuckles pointed out. Once they have formed this circle position, have them extend their thumb and index finger straight out then return to the circle.
Repeat this so they can feel the difference between the two. Also, encourage them to watch what they are doing so they can ‘see’ the difference as well. You can then have them try to pick up a small object such as a toothpick with fingers extended (difficult to do) and then with fingers pinched (easy to do). This emphasizes the increased flexibility of the pinched grip. Next, have them place their pencil between the pinched thumb and index finger so it rests in the ‘well’ between the thumb and first knuckle. Drop the middle finger down so it hides behind the pencil. Have them repeatedly raise and lower the middle finger so they can see it/not see it. Do these drills on a daily basis to reinforce the position. They will need frequent reminders initially, but it will pay off in improved neatness and proper letter formations.