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New Tricks?

August 24, 2006

When we were buying pens and pencils and (extortionate) pencil cases for our kids, I happened upon the Stabilo ‘move easy’ pen. It makes all sorts of claims for improving handwriting and so I thought it might be worth a try for my 9 year old. OK, it looked cool and comes in a left or right handed version so I was intrigued!

When we got home (some £50 poorer but with enough stationary to keep a small country going for years!), I ripped open the packing and asked my boy to try it. He hated it. It was not suited to the way he holds a pen, and he is at that stage where he gives up the second he can’t do something… but it was a fairly pricey pen, so I tried it… and I wasn’t that keen on it myself… Too many years becoming set in my own ways to actually make the effort to try  something new…

I have to be honest. At this stage I was beginning to think I’d made an expensive mistake…

  A few days ago, one of my 2nd year boys needed a pen. The Stabilo was the first one that came to hand so I passed it on. The pupil didn’t seem to have too many problems with it… after the initial Oohs and Aahs from the rest of the class had subsided (It is an unusual looking pen). He handed it back in at the end of the period and I thought no more about it until the next lesson.

As the class were about to start writing, the pupil stuck his hand up and asked if he could have the ‘hand-writing pen’ again. I duly passed it to him…

To cut a long story short… the pen works! This is a pupil who had really bad hand-writing – almost illegible – and the Stabilo pen has made a noteable difference to the presentation of his work (I’ll add some photos when I get my camera). The pen looks like something from Space:1999… but it works, and has made a real difference to at least one pupil’s work. Now I’m going to buy a few more (including a couple of left-handers) to see if they will help other pupils.

I can’t help but wonder about this… I am (by my own admission) a real tech-head… my initial idea for improving the literacy and writing skills for some of my pupils involved getting them onto expensive computers and using all sorts of free and expensive software… and I think I took my eye off the ball. Maybe what I should have been doing was asking the school to give me a £4 pen?

Does anyone else have any experience of these pens, or other simple ideas for improving basic writing skills?

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2 Comments leave one →
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