Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Schoodles Pediatric Fine Motor Assessment

Schoodles Pediatric Fine Motor Assessment (PMFA), Third Edition is a performance-based assessment tool for evaluating a child's fine motor skills.

I've been using Schoodles for a few months now and I love it! It is neatly organized into a useful binder and is easy to administer. I love that it allows me to have everything in one place. When I need to assess a student I can easily grab my Schoodles binder and I am ready to go!

Who should use this tool?

School and clinic based pediatric occupational therapists.

What does Schoodles assess?

Schoodles is a performance based assessment tool to evaluate a child's fine motor skills. It is not a standardized assessment. With that said, I have found it to be a very useful tool to guide my clinical observation of childrens' fine motor skills.

Schoodles is used to assess the following skill areas: grasp, hand dominance, design imitation and design copying, tracing draw a person, handwriting, coloring, cutting, and picture assembly.

In addition, the following supporting skills are assessed: visual tracking; hand and arm strength, endurance, coordination, and tone; right/left discrimination; graphesthesia; body awareness; eye-hand coordination; kinesthetic awareness; crossing midline; and balance and coordination.

For what ages is Schoodles appropriate?

Schoodles is designed for children ages 3 years and older. In my opinion, it is most appropriate for children between 3 and 8 years of age, or those that are developmentally functioning within that age level. I used to work in a middle school setting where I frequently used only clinical observation when writing reports, because standardized assessments just didn't provide an accurate depiction of the students' abilities. I wish I had had Schoodles back then to organize my thoughts and observations!

How is it administered?

It's very simple to use. Schoodles can be used in part, or in full, and can be completed in any order. The reproducible 'Student Worbook' worksheets make it easy to assess basic skills, such as cutting, coloring and tracing, as well as handwriting. The 'Therapist Guide' contains suggestions on how to observe each skill area and supporting skill area, either within the classroom setting or during an assessment situation.

What does the Schoodles assessment tool include?

Schoodles comes neatly organized into a binder with two sections. The first section is the 'Therapist Guide' which explains how to use the assessment tool, provides directions for assessing each area, and contains age ranges for expected skill development. The 'Therapist Guide' also contains an Assessment Table which provides skill observations guidelines. Finally, the 'Therapist Guide' contains a Therapist Observation Sheet, which allows for easy recording of skills during the assessment.

The second section of the assessment binder is the 'Student Workbook' which contains reproducible pages for tracing, drawing basic shapes, drawing a person, handwriting, coloring, cutting, and picture assembly.

The Schoodles binder also contains an empty zippered pouch to hold the items needed for testing. This is all I had to add to my kit to make it fully usable!
pencil, pen, scissors, a few crayons, and a couple of tissues

What about the paperwork? Is it easy to write up a report?

If you're an OT then you've probably been writing up reports of your clinical observations since you were a student. Yes, using Schoodles does require actually writing out all of your observations. There is no shortcut around that. I do find that using Schoodles helps me complete my observations in a more systematic way than I usually do, which in turn makes writing up the results easier. For a sample report, visit the Schoodles website.

Where can I purchase Schoodles Pediatric Fine Motor Assessment?

The Schoodles Pediatric Fine Motor Assessment can be purchased on the Schoodles website (www.schoodles.com). Schoodles PFMA is available in binder form for $65 or as a CD for $55. The student workbook is reproducible, so you will not be required to purchase expensive testing booklets every few months :)

For more information, be sure to check out the Schoodles website, including this great list of FAQs.

*I received a complimentary copy of the Schoodles Pediatric Fine Motor Assessment, Third Edition for my clinical use. However, all writing and opinions are entirely my own.


  1. I have wondered about this eval. It looks pretty good.

    1. I think it is very useful in organizing my thoughts for a clinical observation type of assessment. Definitely doesn't do the trick if the parents (or payer) want numbers (which isn't always appropriate, but as you probably know, sometimes people just want numbers).


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