Objective: This study examined the effects of a collaborative program of fine motor activities, linked to state academic standards, in two general education kindergarten classrooms, on dexterity, handwriting skills, reading ability and math skills.

Method: A modified randomized design, with two experimental and two control classrooms, contained pre and post testing of motor and academic skills. Classrooms receiving intervention engaged in 25-30 minutes of activity over 18 weeks using a program designed through teacher-therapist collaboration. Teacher and students were surveyed for their perceptions.

Results: Both control and intervention groups made significant gains in all academic and motor areas evaluated. Compared with students in the control group, students in the intervention group improved significantly more in DIBELS Whole Words Read (P = .027) and DIBELS Letter Naming Scores (P = .037). Statistically significant results were achieved in the intervention group (p = .017) for students who scored below testing norms on the 9-hole peg with their non-dominant hand, yet not the control group (p = .504). Teacher and student surveys revealed a high level of both satisfaction and student learning as a result of participation in the intervention activities.

Conclusion: While both control and intervention groups made gains in academic and motor skills, the intervention group demonstrated greater gains in some academic and motor areas. Teacher and student satisfaction and engagement also demonstrated positive outcomes. This study provides support that a Response to Intervention, collaboratively developed program can improve children’s academic and motoric skills in the general education setting.

Publication Place

Tacoma, Washington


University of Puget Sound

Faculty Advisor

Yvonne Swinth

Committee Chairperson

Publication Date



Electronic Thesis





Degree Program

Occupational Therapy

Degree Level



Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound

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