Fun Foundations for Handwriting. DVD. 81 min. The TV Teacher. 2013. ISBN unavail. $30.
PreS-Gr 4, special needs–A technique known as “video modeling” is used to prepare all students to write their letters successfully. Developed by occupational therapist Marnie Danielson, visual demonstrations and rhythmic chants teach students (and teachers or parents) exercises to build gross motor skills, fine motor skills, focus and attention, and advanced handwriting skills. Each short segment features Miss Marnie leading a small group of students through a series of engaging games, such as “Obstacle Course,” “Save the Fish,” and “Tennis Ball Bob.” Each five-minute game is an ingenious way to build muscles that children with special needs or those with normal development must use to hold a pencil properly or develop hand strength. Clever short songs and chants make the experience pleasant, while addressing specific needs. “Push, Pull, Breathe” and “Squeeze & Breathe” are perfect to settle down and focus young children before story time. This practical program would be ideal for classrooms, homes, occupational therapists, student teachers, and professional development. Since the activities are brief, they can transform those tricky, transitional moments while addressing the needs of diverse students. More information—including research, results, and free downloads—is available on the publisher’s website (thetvteacher.com). Impressive, creative, and entertaining, this DVD could help improve the writing of all youngsters and be a groundbreaking resource for educators.–Lonna Pierce,MacArthur & ThomasJeffersonSchools,Binghamton,NY