Occupational Therapy and Special Education Kits

Elk River, MN– August 24, 2011 – Occupational Therapy (OT) and Special Education (SPED) Editions are now available for the research-based handwriting solution ez Write. With these kits, districts can create a complete and fully aligned handwriting curriculum for all of their pre-school (age 3) up to 5th grade students, including those with special needs.

The ez Write OT and SPED Editions are fully customizable based on the needs of the particular student; yet so easy to use that even entry-level teachers will quickly be able to master the program. These kits include extra materials designed especially for OT and SPED teachers and students such as pencil grips, sensory activities, a travel bag and a sensory bin. The SPED/OT kits make it easier to include special needs students in the regular education classroom; a benefit to all.

“Research has shown that the more children have to focus on the process of handwriting the less capacity they have for higher-level processes such as idea generation, vocabulary and creativity. This is especially true for our special needs students,” said Ms. Tami Thoreson, an occupational therapist and teacher in the Elk River School District. “Since developing and using ez Write I have seen real growth in both the manual dexterity and academic abilities of my students.”

ez Write is a research-based, developmentally appropriate handwriting program that engages all learning styles. Easy to use and easy to implement, the program encourages “automaticity” or the ability of students to retrieve and produce letters automatically. It is based on research showing that handwriting competency can have dramatic effects on academic achievement and self-esteem. Introduced in the fall of 2010, ez Write has already been adopted by over 50 schools and learning centers, and is the core handwriting curriculum for nearly 8000 students.

Pilot program adopters of ez Write have seen dramatic and lasting results. After just 3 months of using ez Write one 1st grade class experienced an 80% increase in letters per minute (LPM) and 2nd graders using ez Write were tested at a higher LPM than 5th graders who had not been part of the program. Legibility also improved dramatically with ez Write.

Grade-level specific packages come complete with everything a teacher will need to implement a great handwriting curriculum in their classroom in a very short time. Now, with the addition of the OT and SPED additions, teachers can better customize the lessons to meet individual student needs. There is even a training DVD for teachers as well as teacher worksheets and training guides and worksheets for helpers. In addition, budget conscious schools will appreciate how affordable ez Write is to acquire and maintain.

ez Write introduces expanded 8-page brochure

ez Write introduces expanded 8-page brochure

ez Write, LLC is proud to introduce its new 8-page brochure highlighting the ez Write Handwriting Curriculum. The brochure contains information on why handwriting curriculum is critical for schools to implement, a detailed overview of the ez Write methodology, effectiveness research results, and feedback from parents and teachers. Click here to download the new brochure.

New Horizon Academy Adopts ez Write Handwriting Program

Ms. Mary Terrass, NHA Vice President, said, “Handwriting is proven to be one of the hands-on ways that children develop pre-reading skills, and we wanted to add a quality handwriting program to our curriculum for preschoolers. We searched for the best handwriting program available. We found ez Write and it has proven to be a wonderful match with all of the learning components we already have in place in our centers. ez Write fits with our goals of innovation and ensuring children are best prepared for school. We have been so impressed with the ez Write system that the program is now offered in all of our child care centers.”

ez Write is a research-based, developmentally appropriate handwriting program that engages all learning styles. Easy to use and easy to implement, the program encourages “automaticity” or the ability of students to retrieve and produce letters automatically. It is based on research showing that handwriting competency can have dramatic effects on academic achievement and self-esteem. Multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary activities as well as a strong school/home connection are also key ingredients to ez Write.

“Children in preschool are beginning to express an interest in learning to write and we want to have the right tools in place for them,” added Ms. Terrass. “ez Write is easy to implement and includes many components that can also be done at home. At NHA, we strive to link what children learn in our centers with their home life. ez Write exercises are also lots of fun and very engaging for preschoolers. For example, one exercise has the children make the letter ‘C’ in sand. Our centers were very eager for the kits to be delivered and put into use!”

“I am so excited to have a quality learning center like New Horizon Academy add ez Write to their curriculum system wide,” said Ms. Mary Beckman, an early childhood special education teacher and co-creator of ez Write. “We have seen how the writing and literacy skills young students learn through ez Write translate into more successful school age students in coming years.”

Research has shown that the more children (and adults) have to focus on the process of handwriting the less capacity they have for higher-level processes such as idea generation, vocabulary and creativity. ez Write seeks to make handwriting as automatic as possible to allow the child to reach their potential in written language as well as higher levels in other areas.

Pilot program adopters of ez Write have seen dramatic and lasting results. After just 3 months of using ez Write one 1st grade class experienced an 80% increase in letters per minute (LPM) and 2nd graders using ez Write were tested at a higher LPM than 5th graders who had not been part of the program. Legibility also improved dramatically with ez Write.

About ez Write

ez Write is a research-based, developmentally appropriate handwriting program that engages all learning styles. ez Write was developed by Mary Beckman, an early childhood special education teacher, and Tami Thoreson, an occupational therapist to improve handwriting in the early years. Research has shown that improved handwriting skills translate to improved learning in other subject areas. ez Write consists of easy to use grade specific kits that can be purchased for individual classrooms or for entire schools. In addition, Special Education/ELL, Occupational Therapy and Home Kits are available for purchase.

About New Horizon Academy

New Horizon Academy, based in Minnesota, has been serving families since 1971. New Horizon Academy now has 52 centers and serves over 6000 children. Because of our continuing love, belief, and dedication to children, we have flourished and become one of the nation’s most successful and respected child care providers. The commitment to excellence our founder, Sue Dunkley strived for in New Horizon’s early beginning is the foundation that our company is built on, and is the cornerstone of all our New Horizon Academy centers. Today, New Horizon is operated by many dedicated people. Although we are growing and serving more families each year, we will always have family roots, a warm atmosphere, an open door, and a commitment to excellence.

ez Write Increases Kindergarten Readiness

Elk River, MN – September 12, 2012 – ez Write, the researched and engaging handwriting program for young children, is the handwriting curriculum used throughout the Elk River School District and the district’s Early Childhood Family Education; and Early Childhood Special Education programs. It is also used at many Elk River area child development centers, preschools and day-care sites, including Reach-up Head Start. Now, the positive effects from ez Write are being noticed in the Elk River Kindergarten classrooms. Kindergarten teachers have found that their incoming students who have used ez Write arrive with a good basic handwriting foundation, allowing these teachers to begin their literacy curriculum earlier.

Elk River Principal Donna Williams, said, “Our Kindergarten teachers at Lincoln have found that students who have been taught handwriting with ez Write in preschool arrive in the classroom equipped with the basic writing skills, such as top down and left to right progression as well as a functional pencil grip. It has allowed us to work more on reading readiness which is so important in Kindergarten. Not only is ez Write effective, but it makes learning handwriting fun.”

ez Write is a research-based, developmental-appropriate handwriting program that engages all learning styles. Easy to use and easy to implement, ez Write helps to develop “automaticity” or the ability of students to retrieve and produce letters automatically. It is based on research showing that handwriting competency can have dramatic effects on academic achievement and self-esteem. Multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary activities as well as a strong home/school connection are also key ingredients to ez Write.

Mary Beckman, an early childhood special education teacher and co-creator of ez Write used three words to describe ez Write: “easy; effective and affordable.” She added, “ez Write is also developmental-appropriate for young learners. It is a fun, engaging, and yet effective handwriting curriculum.”

Research has shown that the more children (and adults) have to focus on the process of handwriting the less capacity they have for higher-level processes such as idea generation, vocabulary and creativity. ez Write seeks to make handwriting as automatic as possible to allow the child to reach their potential in written language as well as higher levels in other areas.

Pilot program adopters of ez Write have seen dramatic and lasting results. After just 3 months of using ez Write, one 1st grade class experienced an 80% increase in letters per minute (LPM), and 2nd graders using ez Write were tested as a higher LPM than 5th graders who had not been part of the program. Legibility also improved dramatically with ez Write.

ez Write Marks 2nd Year with Growth & Accolades

Elk River, MN – October 10, 2012 – ez Write, the researched and engaging handwriting program for young children, has completed its second year with strong growth in both the preschool and elementary markets. ez Write is now part of learning in 17 states, with almost 600 classroom kits from Preschool through 5th Grade being used to teach handwriting to over 16,000 students in 34 public, 5 charter, 5 private, 83 preschool and 20 home schools.

Educators, parents and students using ez Write are exuberant about the program:

“My preschoolers are having so much fun learning to write. They are confident and willing to try new letters,” said Dawn Berndt, an Elk River childcare provider. “I have not found an easier writing curriculum or one that is so much fun!! I love this curriculum and so do the kids!”

“We love the ez Write program we are using at St. Jude of the Lake School. Our children are experiencing great success at both the kindergarten and first grade levels. Our parents rave about it also,” said Tammy Green, First Grade Teacher. “Some of our students who struggled with handwriting last year have shown wonderful improvement. My first graders look forward to the warm ups and learning new letters. I’m so glad we came across your program!”

“The ez Write program has worked wonders for my primarily ELL, 1st grade classroom. With many students having limited language and writing skills, they have gained the courage to write! They didn’t like writing and were afraid of it. After implementing ez Write, I heard things like, “Yay, it’s writing time!”” said Jennifer Cariveau. “My Director and Peer Leader came to observe me and were blown away at the concentration and excitement they saw. They were also completely astonished that the kids were perfectly quiet and on task. Learning strokes breaks the language boundary since they can learn them with ease to ‘Muscle Memory.’ ez Write has changed how my students feel about writing.”

ez Write is a research-based, developmentally appropriate handwriting program that engages all learning styles. Easy to use and easy to implement, the program encourages “automaticity” or the ability of students to retrieve and produce letters automatically. It is based on research showing that handwriting competency can have dramatic effects on academic achievement and self-esteem. Multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary activities as well as a strong school/home connection are also key ingredients of ez Write.

Mary Beckman, an early childhood special education teacher and co-creator of ez Write said, “This past year I have presented on effective handwriting at several venues and have received an overwhelming response. Educators who see ez Write in action can’t wait to include it as part of their classroom’s curriculum.”

Research has shown that the more children (and adults) have to focus on the process of handwriting the less capacity they have for the higher-level processes such as idea generation, vocabulary and creativity. ez Write seeks t make handwriting as automatic as possible to allow the child to reach their potential in written language as well as higher levels in other areas.

Pilot program adopters of ez Write have seen dramatic and lasting results. After just 3 months of using ez Write, one 1st grade class experienced an 80% increase in letters per minute (LPM) than 5th graders who had not been part of the program. Legibility also improved dramatically with ez Write.

Brain Development Suffers as Cursive Writing Fades

Brain Development Suffers as Cursive Writing Fades

The signature and cursive handwriting are in danger of fading away. In Minnesota, schools are no longer required to teach cursive. But it’s not just the signature that’s taking a hit, the way students learn and how their brains develop could suffer.

Maria Theissen uses the latest technology to teach her third-grade class old fashioned cursive handwriting at Concord Elementary in Edina. She says “it’s about the marriage of technology. The old school and the new school have to come together.”

But they appear headed for divorce. Several states including Illinois, Indiana and Hawaii don’t teach cursive.

Minnesota no longer requires schools to teach cursive. The Department of Education says most districts still choose to teach it, but they spent less time on the cursive – kids are using keyboards much more.

The state follows a national standard called the Common Core. It says students must know keyboarding by fifth grade, but doesn’t even mention cursive. At least 46 states have adopted the standards.

Most Minnesota kids are learning cursive in second or third grade, but by fifth grade they turn to typing full time. Most never have to look back.

Researchers say it’s not about whether typing or cursive is more important. Learning cursive actually helps a child’s brain development.

Doctors at Indiana University used MRI’s to look at children’s brains and found more activity when they were writing versus typing and researchers from Vanderbilt got similar results, seeing kids brains light up less in front of a keyboard. Doctors say cursive handwriting, more than printing, stimulates intelligence and language fluency. Fluent writing keeps kids from truncating their thoughts.

The Department of Education says they are always reevaluating their policies. They may reexamine their cursive policy if schools stop using it.

ez Write Press Release – Elk River, MN – May 4. 2011

ez Write – The Easy, Effective and Affordable Handwriting Curriculum Solution

Studies Show Competent Handwriting has Far-Reaching Effects on Academic Success

Elk River, MN– May 4, 2011 – ez Write is pleased to announce the release of their complete handwriting competency program for pre-school to 5th grade students.
ez Write is a research-based, developmentally appropriate handwriting program that engages all learning styles. Easy to use and easy to implement, the program encourages “automaticity” or the ability of students to retrieve and produce letters automatically. It is based on research showing that handwriting competency can have dramatic effects on academic achievement and self esteem.
Phonics, word families, rhyming, alliteration, sentence structure and high frequency words are all used in the ez Write curriculum to create a strong language arts connection. Multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary activities as well as a strong school/home connection are also key ingredients to ez Write.
The ez Write program was developed by Mary Beckman, an early childhood special education teacher, and Tami Thoreson, an occupational therapist who saw students suffering as the result of a lack of a consistent, easy-to-use cost-effective handwriting program. “We experienced first-hand the frustration teachers were experiencing trying to teach handwriting as well as the difficulty students were having with handwriting curriculums,” said Ms. Beckman. “As a result the teaching of handwriting was becoming very limited or being abandoned altogether.”

“Research has shown that the more children (and adults) have to focus on the process of handwriting the less capacity they have for higher-level processes such as idea generation, vocabulary and creativity,” added Ms. Thoreson. “ez Write seeks to make handwriting as automatic as possible to allow the child to reach their potential in written language as well as higher levels in other areas.”
Pilot program adopters of ez Write have seen dramatic and lasting results. After just 3 months of using ez Write one 1st grade class experienced an 80% increase in letters per minute (LPM) and 2nd graders using ez Write were tested at a higher LPM than 5th graders who had not been part of the program. Legibility also improved dramatically with ez Write.

ez Write results have not gone unnoticed at home. 91% of parents feel that ez Write is a more effective handwriting curriculum than others their children have received. They report dramatic improvements in their children’s interest in writing as well as their creativity, speed, and legibility. Plus, ez Write makes it easy for parents to get involved.
Grade-level specific packages come complete with everything a teacher will need to implement a great handwriting curriculum in their classroom in a very short time. There is even a training DVD for teachers as well as teacher worksheets and training guides and worksheets for helpers. In addition, budget conscious schools will appreciate how affordable ez Write is to acquire and maintain.

New Horizon Academy Selects ez Write

New Horizon Academy Selects ez Write for Their New Handwriting Curriculum

Elk River, MN– June 21, 2011 – ez Write is pleased to announce the selection of their researched and engaging handwriting program by New Horizon Academy (NHA). ez Write will be piloted in pre-school and Pre-K programs in ten NHA centers this summer. If successful, a full roll-out to over 50 NHA centers is being planned for the fall.

Ms. Mary Terras, NHA Vice President, said, “ez Write is a wonderful match with all of the learning components we already have in place in our centers. ez Write fits with our goals of innovation and ensuring children are best prepared for school. We are very impressed with the ez Write system.”

ez Write is a research-based, developmentally appropriate handwriting program that engages all learning styles. Easy to use and easy to implement, the program encourages “automaticity” or the ability of students to retrieve and produce letters automatically. It is based on research showing that handwriting competency can have dramatic effects on academic achievement and self-esteem.

“Children in preschool are beginning to express an interest in learning to write and we want to have the right tools in place for them,” added Ms. Terras. “ez Write is easy to implement and includes many components that can also be done at home. At NHA we strive to link what children learn in our centers with their home life. ez Write exercises are also lots of fun and very engaging for preschoolers. For example, one exercise has the children make the letter ‘C’ in sand. Our center directors couldn’t wait for the kits to be delivered and put into use!”

Phonics, word families, rhyming, alliteration, sentence structure and high frequency words are all used in the ez Write curriculum to create a strong language arts connection. Multi-sensory and multi-disciplinary activities as well as a strong school/home connection are also key ingredients to ez Write.

“I am so excited to have a quality learning center like New Horizon Academy add ez Write to their curriculum,” said Ms. Mary Beckman, an early childhood special education teacher and co-creator of ez Write. “We believe that the writing and literacy skills their students learn through ez Write will translate into more successful students in coming years.”

“Research has shown that the more children (and adults) have to focus on the process of handwriting the less capacity they have for higher-level processes such as idea generation, vocabulary and creativity,” added Ms. Tami Thoreson, an occupational therapist and co-creator of ez Write. “ez Write seeks to make handwriting as automatic as possible to allow the child to reach their potential in written language as well as higher levels in other areas. I am looking forward to learning about the progress of the children at New Horizons centers.”

Pilot program adopters of ez Write have seen dramatic and lasting results. After just 3 months of using ez Write one 1st grade class experienced an 80% increase in letters per minute (LPM) and 2nd graders using ez Write were tested at a higher LPM than 5th graders who had not been part of the program. Legibility also improved dramatically with ez Write.

About ez Write

ez Write is a research-based, developmentally appropriate handwriting program that engages all learning styles. ez Write was developed by Mary Beckman, an early childhood special education teacher, and Tami Thoreson, an occupational therapist to improve handwriting in the early years. Research has shown that improved handwriting skills translate to improved learning in other subject areas. ez Write consists of easy to use grade specific kits that can be purchased for individual classrooms or for entire schools. In addition, Special Education/ELL, Occupational Therapy and Home Kits are available for purchase.

About New Horizon Academy

New Horizon Academy, based in Minnesota, has been serving families since 1971. New Horizon Academy now has 52 centers and serves over 6000 children. Because of our continuing love, belief, and dedication to children, we have flourished and become one of the nation’s most successful and respected child care providers. The commitment to excellence our founder, Sue Dunkley strived for in New Horizon’s early beginning is the foundation that our company is built on, and is the cornerstone of all our New Horizon Academy centers. Today, New Horizon is operated by many dedicated people. Although we are growing and serving more families each year, we will always have family roots, a warm atmosphere, an open door, and a commitment to excellence.