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Ingrid C. King 
MSc OT 
www.myfantasticfingers.com 
© Ingrid C. King 2014 
Fantastic Fingers®: Addressing young students’ ...
 Fine motor skills predict future academic success 
(Dinehart & Manfra, 2013) 
 Use fine motor skills in order to learn ...
Australian teachers reported: 
 Lack of support for students with fine motor 
difficulties 
 Students not eligible for 
...
Internationally, direct intervention and consultation 
are used in the provision of school based OT services 
Limitations ...
Whole class OT service delivery: 
 Supplementing a preschool curriculum with OT 
fine motor program results in significan...
Studies show that teachers value: 
 Fine motor workshops that are practical and 
interactive 
(Chiu et al., 2008) 
 Demo...
Purpose of this two phase study was to: 
 Examine the effectiveness of a fine motor 
collaborative modelling teacher trai...
Phase 1: whole class evaluated beginning of 2007 
 Senior new entrant teacher from low socio-economic, 
decile 3 primary ...
The six fine motor tasks were: 
sequential finger touching; channel drawing task; in-hand 
manipulation task; copying pre-...
Phase 1 whole class participates in: 
 8 week fine motor program, 40 minutes, 3x week 
 Action songs and graded activiti...
Phase 1 small group identified: 
 Six students with low fine motor task performance 
scores made slower progress so teach...
Telephonic interview with class teacher: 
 Conducted over five years later in 2013 
 Active interviewing techniques util...
Class pre-test: 
mean 16.53 
std. dev. 2.82 
Group pre-test: 
mean 14.33 
std. dev. 1.86 
Group post-test 
mean 18.67 
std...
Four main themes emerged from interview with 
teacher five years on: 
1. Fine motor need then and now 
 After the trainin...
2. Collaboration for success 
 Teacher indicated that the collaboration between 
herself and the therapist was enormous a...
3. Program content for success 
 Teacher liked the fact that the activities 
complimented what she was doing already: lik...
4. Training for success 
 Teacher thought the practical workshop activities 
and illustrated handouts were excellent 
 W...
 Teacher reported positive benefits from the training 
for herself professionally & for her students 
 After five years ...
Clinical implications 
According to the statistics we can expect to find 
between 12% to 30% of students with fine motor 
...
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Fantastic Fingers®: Addressing young students fine motor needs through a collaborative modelling teacher training intervention

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Young students’ fine motor skills are an important predictor of their future academic success. Yet it is uncertain whether teachers have the means to identify and address students’ fine motor needs. Occupational therapists working in schools have the knowledge and skills to train teachers, thereby improving outcomes for larger numbers of students. This is relevant given funding limitations and long wait lists for therapy service. To understand how to effectively train teachers, this study investigated whether a collaborative modelling teacher training intervention would impact positively at the time of implementation and five years later. The link to this paper is on the website: www.myfantasticfingers.com

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Fantastic Fingers®: Addressing young students fine motor needs through a collaborative modelling teacher training intervention

  1. 1. Ingrid C. King MSc OT www.myfantasticfingers.com © Ingrid C. King 2014 Fantastic Fingers®: Addressing young students’ fine motor needs through a collaborative modelling teacher training intervention
  2. 2.  Fine motor skills predict future academic success (Dinehart & Manfra, 2013)  Use fine motor skills in order to learn how to learn (Adolf, 2008)  30–60% of class time spent on fine motor tasks (Marr et al., 2003; McHale & Cermak, 1992)  10–30% of students have handwriting difficulties (Feder & Majnemer, 2000)  12–17% have impaired manual dexterity (Ratcliffe, 2011)  Low self-esteem, academic & behavioural issues Intro. Why address fine motor skills?
  3. 3. Australian teachers reported:  Lack of support for students with fine motor difficulties  Students not eligible for funding for fine motor issues alone  Half had little experience with OT & that OTs can help students with fine motor difficulties (Jackman & Stagnitti, 2007) © Ingrid C. King 2014 What do teachers report?
  4. 4. Internationally, direct intervention and consultation are used in the provision of school based OT services Limitations of the OT consultation model:  Implementation challenges (Bayona et al., 2006)  At-risk students seldom addressed Long wait lists for therapy service – need to explore additional models of service delivery (Campbell et al., 2012; Hutton, 2009) Current OT service delivery issues
  5. 5. Whole class OT service delivery:  Supplementing a preschool curriculum with OT fine motor program results in significant gains (Lust & Donica, 2011)  Fine motor & visual-motor interventions for whole classes of 5 year olds leads to significant gains (Ohl et al., 2013)  Coteaching: OT & teachers jointly conducting handwriting & writing program for whole classes of grade one diverse learners beneficial for all students; collaboration leads to new skills (Case-Smith et al., 2012) Other models of OT service delivery?
  6. 6. Studies show that teachers value:  Fine motor workshops that are practical and interactive (Chiu et al., 2008)  Demonstrations and modelling of OT programs within the classroom (Fairbairn & Davidson, 1993) © Ingrid C. King 2011 What type of training do teachers want?
  7. 7. Purpose of this two phase study was to:  Examine the effectiveness of a fine motor collaborative modelling teacher training intervention on the fine motor task performance of five yr. old students = quantitative research methods with one group pre-test post-test design AND  Explore whether the collaborative modelling teacher training intervention was effective from the teacher’s perspective = qualitative research methods with five year follow-up interview Purpose of this study & design
  8. 8. Phase 1: whole class evaluated beginning of 2007  Senior new entrant teacher from low socio-economic, decile 3 primary school in New Zealand  Average age of students five years  10 boys and 9 girls  None of students had a diagnosis  None were receiving OT  All 19 students from the class evaluated by OT on six fine motor tasks © Ingrid C. King 2014 Phase 1: study participants
  9. 9. The six fine motor tasks were: sequential finger touching; channel drawing task; in-hand manipulation task; copying pre-writing pattern; colouring-in and cutting out a circle  Each task was scored according to set criteria  Performance was rated as good (3 points), fair (2 points), poor (1 point)  Pre-writing task scored on 3 criteria  Maximum score of 25 © Ingrid C. King 2014 © Ingrid C. King 2014 Fine motor task evaluation
  10. 10. Phase 1 whole class participates in:  8 week fine motor program, 40 minutes, 3x week  Action songs and graded activities integrated with early literacy and numeracy objectives  1st session of each week run by OT modelling activities with teacher observing and assisting  Written guidelines provided for activities  Teacher repeated session twice more in week  Following week OT modified/upgraded activities  Teacher carried out modified activities twice more  New activities presented each fortnight Fine motor program with whole class
  11. 11. Phase 1 small group identified:  Six students with low fine motor task performance scores made slower progress so teacher assistant assigned to run this group with OT & class teacher training & supporting, followed same schedule  These six repeated the 8 week program over 10 weeks plus 2 weeks of new activities = 20 weeks  This group re-evaluated on six fine motor tasks by OT © Ingrid C. King 2014 Fine motor program now with group
  12. 12. Telephonic interview with class teacher:  Conducted over five years later in 2013  Active interviewing techniques utilised e.g. collaborative with mutual disclosure (Holstein & Gubrium, 1998)  Lose parameters provided were: classroom practice; students’ fine motor skills; teacher’s perception on training process; intervention content; nature of relationship  Recorded and transcribed verbatim  Thematic approach used to analyze the data (Braun & Clark, 2006) Phase 2: follow-up interview & analysis
  13. 13. Class pre-test: mean 16.53 std. dev. 2.82 Group pre-test: mean 14.33 std. dev. 1.86 Group post-test mean 18.67 std. dev. 1.51 Paired samples t-test t (5) = 8.77, p < . 001, d = 3. 58 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Change in Fine Motor Task Performance Mean Pre- Test Post- Test Class n=19 Group n=6 Phase 1 results: large effect size
  14. 14. Four main themes emerged from interview with teacher five years on: 1. Fine motor need then and now  After the training workshop, teacher identified a big need for fine motor development in her class, extending to other year levels and ongoing  Principal also saw the need and supported her  She believed that she needed to do something for her low achieving learners: The need for schools is big… I’ve got lots of children who can’t write their name… priority learners… are the low achieving… what are you doing to teach that kid? Phase 2 results: follow-up interview
  15. 15. 2. Collaboration for success  Teacher indicated that the collaboration between herself and the therapist was enormous and building up of the relationship was essential; (The OT) became a friend as well  Her classroom was de-privatized and open  Being flexible was important when collaborating incl. data collection process which wasn’t onerous and scheduling of sessions  Collaboration with the principal was also important, provided funding for teacher assistant Phase 2 results: follow-up interview
  16. 16. 3. Program content for success  Teacher liked the fact that the activities complimented what she was doing already: like the Caterpillar Song… you made up a tune and the actions. It wasn’t an extra thing. It was taking something (a handwriting program) that I was interested in in any case but adding music to it… I still sing that all the time… music is important for all children  Program was perceived to be really nice and simple to do and fun for the children and teacher. It contained lots of variety with inside activities, outside activities, things to do together Phase 2 results: follow-up interview
  17. 17. 4. Training for success  Teacher thought the practical workshop activities and illustrated handouts were excellent  With reference to the therapist returning each week to demonstrate activities, the teacher said: That was really good because for teachers you do need to have somebody coming back to model it… I would say ‘when Johnny does this with his fingers, what are they really meant to be doing?’  It was hands-on … it wasn’t a theory thing. It was practice. Modelling is a very important thing to do.  The fine motor program did not discontinue like some of the other class programs Phase 2 results: follow-up interview
  18. 18.  Teacher reported positive benefits from the training for herself professionally & for her students  After five years she continues to use the acquired knowledge & activities from the fine motor program  This model of therapy service appears justified given the enduring outcomes  2/3 of group sessions were conducted exclusively by teaching staff yet a significant difference & large effect size were obtained © Ing©ri dIn Cg.r Kidi nCg. K20in1g4 2014 Conclusion
  19. 19. Clinical implications According to the statistics we can expect to find between 12% to 30% of students with fine motor difficulties. Address this need through:  Practical fine motor workshops for teachers – can lead to further training interventions  Collaboration – build relationship include school management, set joint goals, flexible data collection & scheduling, use a relevant fine motor program – fun, easy to do, related to curriculum  Train teaching staff by modelling in the classroom – hands-on, weekly, provide written info., evaluate progress, apply intervention to groups of students For more info: www.myfantasticfingers.com

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