Cursive Questions

Discussion in 'General Education' started by DizneeTeachR, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,810
    Likes Received:
    190

    Sep 6, 2015

    I know a lot of schools are not teaching it too much anymore. My question is I have a family member whose child is in preschool & they are teaching it to them. Does this seem young??? When I took classes they said not to teach it too young? Am I in the minority thinking WOW?!?
     
  2.  
  3. TXforever

    TXforever Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    28

    Sep 6, 2015

    Wow!!! Must preschool kids I know are still learning to write their name...period.
     
  4. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,810
    Likes Received:
    190

    Sep 6, 2015

    That's what I was thinking?!? They have a worksheet as homework to practice.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,102

    Sep 6, 2015

    Printing practice would be better to develop fine motor and to focus on each letter individually. They could do some phonemic awareness with each letter introduced....
     
  6. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    53

    Sep 6, 2015

    That sounds like a WOW to me. I work at a Catholic school where cursive is introduced in 2nd grade but mostly taught and practiced in 3rd. I know kinders at my school and that several of my friends teach who barely know how to print their names. I couldn't imagine cursive any earlier.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,752
    Likes Received:
    1,673

    Sep 6, 2015

    My mother who is past retirement age, learned cursive before print. Her mother taught her before she went to kindergarten because her first written font was also cursive.
     
  8. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    79

    Sep 7, 2015

    I have heard of teaching it early but not that early! I'd be interested in the reasoning/research behind it. I think it's usually learned in 2nd. My first grader is actually learning cursive this year and it's working well. She had gotten in the habit of forming some of her print letters wrong and cursive is actually helping to correct that.
     
  9. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,810
    Likes Received:
    190

    Sep 7, 2015

    I will have to ask the parent. I'll see what I can find out for you.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,810
    Likes Received:
    190

    Sep 8, 2015

    Talked to family member....they are teaching vowels first. She said part of curriculum. Said her kiddo seems to like it.
     
  11. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    79

    Sep 8, 2015

    Interesting.
     
  12. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,912
    Likes Received:
    14

    Sep 8, 2015

    My brother went to a Montessori preschool and they only did cursive... And lowercase, even their names were written with no capital letters
     
  13. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    745

    Sep 8, 2015

    I seem to remember some teachers trying cursive before print at a school I worked at many years ago. I wonder how that turned out. That could be someone's thesis paper!
     
  14. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    422

    Sep 10, 2015

    Wow, I've never heard of this, but judging from several posts ^ it seems like it's not uncommon!

    Preschool seems a bit young (I remember learning it in 2nd Grade) since they're still learning regular print, but I guess it's better than not learning it at all!
     
  15. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,991
    Likes Received:
    379

    Sep 11, 2015

    That does seem young. I think if Em had learned cursive at that age, then her handwriting might be better. Her print is bad for a 4th grader. Her cursive was more readable... when she uses it.
     
  16. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,810
    Likes Received:
    190

    Sep 11, 2015

    Talked to family member again. Said they are only teaching vowels but want kids to know how to do whole name... Now if that doesn't seem weird. I said I posted it on teacher site & they were asking why. Didn't have an answer they never told parents why. I said it would make more sense if they did letters that had alike forms. Family member agreed.
     
  17. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    79

    Oct 13, 2015

    My daughter is doing cursive in 1st grade and the school gave us this handout to explain the reasoning. I remembered this thread so I thought I'd share it.
    [​IMG]
     
    Reality Check likes this.
  18. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,838
    Likes Received:
    1,449

    Oct 13, 2015

    That's good! I love it!
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,486
    Likes Received:
    1,467

    Oct 13, 2015

    I went to a conference last week and learned that cursive is especially important for students who struggle with reading. Apparently it helps them to learn phonics patterns because the arm movement is smoother than when printing. I don't remember the exact research, but I could go look up the researcher who was quoted if anyone is interested. I had a "whoa..." moment when I heard, because I never considered cursive all that important, especially for struggling readers. Who would have thought...? Also, the presenter dared us to find a single OT who wasn't pro-cursive.
     
    teacherintexas likes this.
  20. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Oct 13, 2015

    Is going through the process of teaching them cursive more powerful than other methods with regards to learning phonics? Or was it just a benefit?
     
  21. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    79

    Oct 13, 2015

    I think it is the continuous stroke that is important. Our Reading Recovery teachers got us all on board with consistent handwriting instruction that included the continuous stroke and clear handwriting descriptions. For example, a = around, up and down; b = d-o-w-n, up and around; c = around and open; d = around u-p and d-o-w-n, etc. Basically the way we printed followed the same movements they would use with cursive, except we are printing. I am pretty sure it was the AR Literacy Model, but I'm not finding any specific handwriting information when I search for it.
     
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,486
    Likes Received:
    1,467

    Oct 13, 2015

    I don't think the presenter said it was more powerful than other methods, as far as direct phonics instruction goes... I think he intended it to mean that, by teaching cursive, you can further support your struggling students, particularly in the area of writing. Here are the notes from the slide:

    "Cursive for LD Students
    An argument in favor of cursive for students with dyslexia
    - cuts down on letter reversals (cursive b/d, m/w, etc.)
    - in a proper lowercase alphabet, all letters begin on a baseline
    - spelling is better reinforced in the mind if continuous movement of cursive is used
    - reading is strengthened through writing
    - forces appropriate clustering of letters to create words and spacing between words"

    The presenter added that "in gen ed, research is inconclusive about whether print or cursive handwriting instruction is better" but that research shows that cursive is most definitely more effective for students with dyslexia.

    This presenter was really focused on writing (over reading) and made the argument that we should be taking the time to explicitly teach handwriting (and keyboarding), instead of pushing it to the back burner. He quoted researchers saying that, by teaching students handwriting, we free up their working memory to focus on the content and depth of their writing rather than having to use that working memory (which is very limited for some students) to focus on how to form letters and spell words.

    He shared several quotes, but some of the ones that really stood out to me were:
    " Handwriting is not merely a motor skill; it is also a written language skills [which involves] the integration of letters and written words in the mind's eye with the sequential hand and finger movements during writing." (Berninger, 2012)

    "Learning to form letters by hand improves perception of letters and contributes to reading and spelling." (Berninger, 2012)

    "[only] 12% [of teachers] believe that they received adequate preparation to teach handwriting in their college education courses." (Graham & colleagues, American Educator, 2009-2010)

    Anyway... mind blown. I am definitely guilty of blowing off handwriting instruction in favor of more rigorous work, ESPECIALLY when it comes to my students who struggle the most.
     
    Amanda likes this.
  23. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    79

    Oct 13, 2015

    @bella84 those points are very similar to those our Reading Recovery teachers were sharing with us
     
  24. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Oct 13, 2015

    I bring this up becasue of a conversation I had with a past principal and think it applies here. He was questioning me on instructional time, I believe it was spelling instruction. His point was, yes it is valuable, it is good, however, is it the most powerful thing you could be doing with that time?

    I am asking do you(in general) think that the time it takes to teach and practice cursive is the most valuable use of the time for struggling readers? Is is the most valuable support that the time could be used for?

    If there is research and it supports this, I think I would consider doing it. Not research that shows it is a benefit, but that it is highly effective and a better support than x y z.
     
  25. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,486
    Likes Received:
    1,467

    Oct 13, 2015

    Without doing any further research, I guess my initial feeling would be that a multi sensory direct instruction phonics program (such as Wilson or SPIRE) is probably the most beneficial and, therefore, my top priority. That said, if I could clone myself and teach multiple students with differing needs a variety of things at the same time, based on what I learned, I think I would teach my struggling students handwriting before I teach them social studies, science, research skills, or other higher-order thinking skills... that is in addition to the multi sensory phonics program. So, I guess it really comes down to how much time and manpower is available to meet the needs of struggling students.

    To directly answer your question, no, I don't think handwriting is the most powerful thing you could teach struggling students, but I do think it is probably far more important that other things that they sit through simply because we don't have the time and manpower to teach them what they need.
     
  26. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Oct 13, 2015

    What things in your class do they sit through that you feel cursive would be far more important for than?
     
  27. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,486
    Likes Received:
    1,467

    Oct 13, 2015

    Well, I should start by saying that I teach sped now (again), so my thoughts are based on my own gen ed second grade class last year AND the fifth grade class that I co-teach in this year.

    I currently have a few students who REALLY struggle, and I would love to take them out of social studies and science every day to provide them with more direction instruction in literacy or math skills than to push-in provide support with content instruction. On the same note, teaching them to "close read" grade-level text (EngageNY curriculum) just doesn't seem beneficial when they can't even read first grade level text with accuracy and fluency. Again, I'd rather be pulling them out for direction instruction in the resource setting than doing inclusion. I think they'd get more out of it. Same goes for math.

    Last year, in second grade, our curriculum required teaching research skills and steps to writing multi-paragraph informational text. I had at least three students who needed something entirely different - more direct instruction on basic writing skills - and others who probably would have benefited from something else too.

    To be clear, I don't know that cursive was or is the answer for these students, but, based on the research I've heard, it sure beats having them sit through a lesson that goes way above their heads... something that really can't even be scaffolded for them with significantly modifying the assignments. I'd be willing to give cursive or print handwriting instruction a try if it meant that they didn't have to sit through the things they are sitting through instead.
     
    Pashtun likes this.
  28. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Oct 13, 2015

    Ahh, yeah...sped...I agree. Sped is chaos where I work and I agree they are at times doing things that do not benefit them.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  29. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    79

    Oct 13, 2015

    Our focus on handwriting was beneficial especially for the struggling readers. They needed to know how to form the letters in order to write. Learning to write is a big part of reading. Look up AR Literacy Model and see what their research says about handwriting. I know it has to be there somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment. AR Literacy Model = Comprehensive Literacy Model, Linda Dorn. She wrote Shaping Literate Minds so maybe it's in there. It's not cursive specific, but the continuous stroke plus consistency in handwriting instruction were key.
     
    bella84 likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. MrsC,
  2. greendream,
  3. MissCeliaB
Total: 324 (members: 3, guests: 305, robots: 16)
test