No. We’re not talking ice cream.

This is all about printing.

When measuring copying skills, one of the variables that need to be accounted for is the ability to chunk increasing quantities of letters or words. Learning how to track this quality is also the key in learning how to teach it. Here’s where scooping comes in.

The best way to observe a child’s CHUNKING strategy is to sit perpendicularly to the child so you can observe his or her gaze shifts back and forth from the copying prompt to the paper on which s/he is writing.

Each time the child looks up to the prompt, note how many letters or words s/he writes before referring back to the prompt. It’s helpful to have a colored pencil handy. Draw a rounded line underneath all the letters or words written at a time. If the child copies 3 letters before looking back up, scoop those three letters. If a child writes 2 words, scoop those words. If only a single letter is written, make a single line under that letter.

Once the child has completed copying the entire prompt, count the number of times the child copied a single letter. Record that number on the COPYING RUBRIC. Continue tallying the numbers of 2 to 5 letters, or 1 to 4 (or more) words.

The trick to getting faster and more accurate is to learn to chunk more letters and words at a time.

That’s the next lesson!