The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Rhythm & Writing with the Get Write Crew Review by Debbie LottNikki Wilson, M.A. OTR/L
Rhythm & Writing
3316A South Cobb Dr.
Smyrna, GA 30080
Rhythm and Writing is a handwriting program designed by an occupational therapist. It includes a workbook and online videos that demonstrate the production of each letter. The program is organized very methodically, beginning with letters that are easiest to write and progressing to more difficult letters. Letters are also grouped by similarity of production. The first letters taught are made with only straight lines, with curved letters taught next.
The spiral-bound workbook ($19.99) is made of heavyweight paper and features a practice page for each uppercase and each lowercase letter and short stories that reinforce the directions for writing each letter. The workbook could be used independently, but the online videos offer a bit of extra fun and reinforcement.
The online videos ($49.00) are short, catchy, musical productions, with each letter or set of letters demonstrated over and over and accompanied by chanted or sung directions for writing the letter, such as “Long line down, jump up and around.” The 2-3 minute videos each cover one to three letters and are performed in a rap style and accompanied by animations. The videos were designed to be motivational, so in addition to the instructional content, each video includes additional verses, encouraging the student to “reach for the stars and for your dreams,” and “Don’t you second guess; you just do your best. Put your abilities to the test.” Other verses seem to be filler, leading up to the instructional content.
“Sweet! Just wait and see.
Sharpen yo pencils really fast.
Grab some paper. Relax.
The writing don’t stop.
Listen up, here’s what’s next.
Capital and lower case ‘s.’
Up around, across around and up…”
I used this program with a child with motor difficulties and some learning challenges and found it to be very effective. We chanted the directions for each letter as he wrote it, which helped him remember the letter and how to write it properly. He enjoyed the videos and the repetition was effective. I would have preferred for the videos to focus solely on letter production. I didn’t care for the extra verses, but I’m sure many children would find them entertaining. This is an example:
“It’s nice to be in your presence;
this time the essence of the handwriting lesson are the letters ‘e’ and ‘z.’
Is that cool with you? It is cool with me.
Now listen to Mo’ Rock kill the beats,”
My student made significant progress in his printing abilities while using the program. The repetition helped him remember how to correctly write his letters, and the workbook tracing practice was excellent. I did think that some of the word choices paired with the letters were not very age appropriate, however. Words like “technology, paralympian, chemistry, and college campus were not in his current vocabulary, so they weren’t as helpful as familiar words might have been in making an association with the letters and letter sounds, although our handwriting practice sessions sometimes turned into vocabulary lessons as well!
Overall, I feel that Rhythm and Writing is a solid program for teaching printing skills and is especially useful for students needing extra reinforcement because of motor or learning challenges.
-Product review by Debbie Lott, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2018