Do you teach/require cursive handwriting?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by otterpop, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 25, 2014

    My mom writes in cursive & someone at her work (younger....20s) couldn't read it.

    I know my cursive isn't the best, but my 3rd grade teacher who taught it has beautiful cursive and so does my gram...although it's getting shaky in her older years.
     
  2. MsB2012

    MsB2012 Companion

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    Jul 28, 2014

    I feel ya. I am not extremely picky since my print is not perfect. However, I am more nervous this year about it since I am moving up to fourth grade, which has a writing standardized test. I adore teaching writing. I just sometimes am stumped as to how to improve those students who truly have handwriting you can barely decipher. :confused: I feel like when I give them practice sheets and we work on it in groups, they do better when it's isolated work, but when we go back to completing normal assignments, it's back to the same old messy stuff. How do you tackle it? :)
     
  3. a.guillermo

    a.guillermo Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2014

    Offer them a reward on every assignment? Perhaps, if the handwriting is neat, they can get 5 bonus points? That would be good motivation.
     
  4. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I hang up improved handwriting pieces. For kids who don't have OT services (IEP/504/ELL), I require them to write it over because if I can't read it....what's the point? We also exchange papers a lot and others will complain outright that they can't read this paper!!!! My classroom environment is one of a community so we all get it real quick that your handwriting MUST BE LEGIBLE because "it ain't always gonna be the teacher" who politely will struggle to decipher what you wrote. Sometimes it's your friend who will be the first to call you out on lazy handwriting! No one wants to be THAT GUY. :whistle:
     
  5. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

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    Jul 31, 2014

    It appears to be a dying practice now that we live in a digital age. It's not really a defined part of our curriculum but there's an underlying expectation to teach it. I spend no time on it whatsoever because there are far too many expectations to be met and it falls down the priority ladder. That said, I have the cursive alphabet posted in my room for reference and when I write on the board, it's usually in cursive. If a student tells me he/she can't read it, I refer them to the cursive alphabet posted and tell them to look for patterns in the symbols. Learning how to read it can be simply that.
    I agree with otterpop that student handwriting has taken a slide over the years, but that's based on one school's demographic. To me, it's more of a fine motor thing as I notice it with colouring, labeling, drawing lines with a ruler, or using a protractor accurately, etc.
    Tough call. We rely on technology so much these days and most of the print we read in the world is digital. Yet, handwriting is still a skill that needs to be practiced, just like drawing a straight line or labeling a map/diagram.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jul 31, 2014

    You bring up a good point... fine motor skills are increasingly left out in general many times. Many kids don't spend much time coloring and cutting anymore.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Aug 1, 2014

    Yeah, we don't want an entire generation of students with motor skills like me.
     
  8. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Aug 1, 2014

    I don't require that students write in cursive, but I do use it in much if my writing on the white board because I think that it is still important that they be able to read it. Imagine he much of our history they would miss out on if they couldn't read cursive!
     
  9. a.guillermo

    a.guillermo Rookie

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    What do you mean, how much of our history they would miss out on? Most history, and everything on the internet, is in print. Not cursive. What exactly would they be missing out on?
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 1, 2014

    Perhaps reading original documents?




    I'm fortunate to work in a district that values teacher decision making and doesn't require lock step teaching practices. While we are a CCSS state, our local districts have added handwriting standards for stamina and legibility. Cursive is taught as a means to get ideas down in writing quickly, fluidly and fluently so that the writer and others can read them.
    Common Core standards in K call for:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.1
    Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is...).
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2
    Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.3
    Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.

    One could argue that instruction in fine motor skills would be a part of preparing kids to do the above 'drawing' and 'writing'. Cutting, coloring, letter formation can also be addressed in content areas outside of writing...
     
  11. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Aug 1, 2014

    Much of what we look at and teach with today is primary source documents, and they are very difficult to read without some knowledge of cursive. Yes, you can print off copies of some items, but other things(like old maps, etc.) are difficult to change. Not having access to these documents can limit depth of study or inquiry.
     
  12. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Aug 1, 2014

    We are required to teach it in second and third grades, but I don't think any teachers require it be used. My second graders look forward to learning it and LOVE it!
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 1, 2014

    Bros, would you place the blame more on lack of services or lack of cutting and coloring activities in primary grades as the more impactfull issue affecting your lack of fine motor skills ( coupled with your given muscular, OT disabilities)
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Aug 1, 2014

    Whether you choose to teach cursive writing or not, I do believe that all students should be able to, at the minimum, be able to write their name well in cursive writing. I always require my students to write their names on their papers in cursive writing. They will most likely need to sign their names to documents.
     
  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 1, 2014

    From a personal perspective, if they don't know cursive, my future children would never be able to read anything past generations wrote. All of the women in my family write in cursive. Cards, recipes, family history, labels on photos, etc... would not be able to be read. I find that extremely sad.

    Reading original primary source documents would also be impossible.
     
  16. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 1, 2014

    Virginia requires 3rd graders to teach cursive, so I teach it, though I think it's basically a waste of my time and their's. The time I spend teaching cursive would be far better spent teaching typing skills.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm sure you mean the requirement to TEACH cursive for third grade teachers...
    I don't understand the time issue...it literally takes me 5 minutes to teach each letter annd connections, and then kids practice during working snack.
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 1, 2014

    Yes, that's what I meant.

    The time issue came from the fact that... well... language arts time was precious, and I see no real value in any of that time being spent on cursive. It wasn't a huge time sink, but figure over the course of the year about two language arts blocks spent on it, plus who knows how much time they spent practicing that they could have spent reading or working on the writing process instead.
     
  19. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2014

    I remember learning cursive in 2nd grade, and using it a little bit in 3rd...NOW, I can barely write in cursive lol...I don't think it's taught anymore in Texas, not that I know of. I could be wrong.
     
  20. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Aug 2, 2014

    A combination of both. In the long term, it was definitely lack of proper/appropriate services that resulted in my current state. But in the short term, year-to-year, there was a lack of cutting and coloring activities at about the time my OT ceased, which also coincided with when my district started teaching typing, and my only time using my hands was really to write by hand, until sixth grade, when my motor skills were pretty much at the level they are still at today (the grade level/age equivalent are unable to be determined by the tests i've taken).

    But no, motor skills like mine are not achieved simply through lack of activities in the classroom - but it might affect how tests that involve motor coordination & motor skills are normed in the future.
     

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