Cursive?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by pwhatley, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I have heard (not on here, but elsewhere) that there is currently a debate about whether students even need to learn how to write in cursive. The rational given for them NOT having to was explained to me that we have moved into such a computerized age that cursive is becoming unneccessary, with the possible exception of formal signature needs. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one!
     
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  3. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I think it's extremely important, and they should be heading their paper in it at least by the second half of the year. I explain why it is important still- signing checks, submitting resumes... formalities.

    They know I always write in cursive in their agendas and notes, though- but I print for them a majority of the time on the board.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I probably should care about cursive, but I don't. To me the bigger issue is kids learning how to use correct grammar and spelling. I don't give a hoot whether they print it in big block letters or calligraphy.

    I know that cursive and grammar aren't mutually exclusive. I just feel that so much essential information is getting passed over in favor of all these ridiculous tests that cursive should be at the bottom of the list. I'm a successful adult and I don't write in cursive. My handwriting is a mix of cursive and print, and it suits me just fine.
     
  5. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I don't care whether they write an entire paper in it or not. Some students are extremely slow at it when they attempt it.
     
  6. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I think it's important to be able to read cursive. About half way through the year, I write my morning message in cursive. I think it's a milestone for kids and they LIKE writing in cursive for the most part. Also, for kids who learned print wrong and misform letters, write bottom to top, or things like that, it's a second chance to learn correct handwriting, which in the long run, will increase their speed.

    It takes me 5-10 minutes a day to do cursive.
     
  7. BASAM

    BASAM Comrade

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    When I taught third grade we spend most of the year practicing cursive (letters, words, sentences, their name, etc) and then when we returned from spring break they had to write in cursive all the time. They knew all year that spring break was their "deadline" but most were ready to go by winter break.

    The hard part was when I had to write in "formal) cursive and I would get stuck on certain letters and have to look at the chart. My handwriting is a mixture of print and cursive also so there were times I needed to look at the cursive poster.

    I did it because we were told to because the fourth grade teacher made them write in cursive ( I'm sure the 5th grade teachers didn't continue with it). I think it should be introduced but not be a requirement.
     
  8. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    I agree.

    In general, I think students are excited to learn and use cursive at first. I definitely remember being excited about learning it in third grade and remember feeling so accomplished when I got to letter Z.

    Once they've been introduced though, I think it's best for each student to pick the fastest and most legible style of writing. So many of my students during student teaching struggled with cursive. It took them forever to form the letters and what they produced was a jumbled mess!

    I personally use a mix of cursive and print, so I'm not going to force my students to be one way or the other.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    They should certainly be able to READ cursive handwriting, although I do not force my students to write cursive.

    This topic was brought up a few months ago, and I remember a couple of comments from that discussion. One poster mentioned that students should be able to read historical documents, which is a great point. I also added that in Reader's Digest it was reported on the new SAT, which requires a written section, those who wrote in cursive scored slightly higher than those who did not. :)
     
  10. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 11, 2007

    i am also a print/cursive mix type of writier. How do I teach it when I can barely do it ...plus, I'm left handed!! ?
     
  11. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I honestly don't think it matters if they do or don't learn cursive, but I do know that it's a right of passage (or "write" of passage, lol) for kids. My second grader felt like a big kid at the end of the year as they started doing cursive in class!

    There are a couple of private schools around here that teach cursive only. Starting in Preschool. I am in total disagreement with that...I mean, how are they supposed to make connections between what they write and what they read if all that they write is in cursive, while books are not? They learn all of the letter sounds, etc, with cursive ABC cards. Parents like it because it's so "advanced." I think it's damaging their overall literacy skills.
    Kim
     
  12. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    That's similar to the school where I taught this past year. They are introduced to printing, but start to learn cursive letters in first grade. By third grade they're writing only in cursive. I didn't emphasize it as much as the other teachers, though. They know how to write it and needed to for their final copies of writing assignments and in all their spelling work, but other than that, I didn't really enforce it. We had a cursive handwriting practice book that we only got about half way through by the end of the year. The other third grade finished the whole book by December! I didn't see the point in spending a half hour or more each day just practicing writing letters when they were getting cursive practice during other subjects.

    Anyway, I think they definitely need to be taught how to read and write cursive. I don't usually write in it unless it's school-related, but I can't imagine not being able to read it!
     
  13. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    It has been omitted from our curriculum.
    It is offered in the summer but few take it.
     
  14. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I can't even imagine that. It seems sad to me that if someone wrote in cursive in say, a birthday card for them, they wouldn't even be able to read it.
     
  15. mbfenner

    mbfenner Rookie

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    I agree about the computer age making cursive more and more obsolete but I think that would mean you would have to be an extremely fast typist once you get into the higher grades and college when it comes to taking notes, assuming the respective instructor allows computers in the room(some do not, the reasons vary. The beauty of cursive is that it's faster than printing. As of now I still think cursive should stay but I have to admit my cursive writing is nowhere near as good as it used to be. I just don't use it that often anymore.

    www.educationbuffet.com
     
  16. LuvTchng

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    Jul 11, 2007

    As an adult who only writes in cursive when signing things, I don't think it's really necessary. Besides, with all the high stakes testing in 3rd grade and up, who has time to teach cursive handwriting?

    One more thing: For years my district gave a Language arts test to fourth and seventh graders that determined promotion to the next grade level. Part of the test was open-ended and students received points for content and G.U.M.S. You wouldn't believe how many students lost GUMS points because they made a mistake in their cursive handwriting that resulted in a word looking as though it was misspelled.
     
  17. ValinFW

    ValinFW Comrade

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    Jul 11, 2007

    You know what, though? I get so tired of hearing my kids (8th graders, mind you) tell me that they can't copy the notes off the overhead or board because they don't know how to read cursive!
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I definately think they should be able to read it. It's still out there quite a bit and why cut down their ability to access the things around them. I also think they should learn to write cursive to increase modality, sign their names and in some areas it seems more business (look) appropriate than print does.

    Just because typing is becoming more prevalent doesn't mean that we still don't have to write. If that's the case, why bother learning to hand write anything at all? My 5th grader types 8wpm! My sister (22) is clueless at a computer even though it IS her generation.
     
  19. cinaminsweet

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    I hate cursive and I only write in print (even though it's a sloppy print/cursive mix). I doubt I could even teach anyone how to write in cursive because mine is so sloppy. I do think children should be able to read cursive and I will introduce it to them this year. But it won't be a requirement for them to be able to write it.

    I was looking at desk plates the other day and one of them had the cursive alphabet on it, but the Q looked like a number 2. What is up with that? I don't remember a Q looking like that. I've been out of the cursive loop for too long.
     
  20. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Learning to correctly form and place letters and words on the page contributes significantly to literacy development. Writing by hand addresses three learning modalities in the emerging development of literacy (auditory – hearing the sounds the letters make, visual – seeing the written letters, and kinesthetic – moving the pencil on the paper to form the letters).

    In the lower grades, literacy is gained through reading aloud and silently, writing, illustrating, listening, and speaking. Practicing placing letters and words correctly on the page constructs connections between sounds, symbols, and meanings, while teaching the student how to communicate in written form.

    Legibility and speed become more important in the upper grades, when taking notes, writing essay responses on tests, and producing lengthier written work. At this time, many students and teachers prefer word processed papers, and some schools even provide computers for each student in the classroom. I believe a two-pronged solution is desired: legible handwriting (even if it is a hybrid of cursive and print, which has been shown to be prevalent among the highest-speed, highest-legibility hand writers) and keyboarding skills.
     
  21. Amers

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    I hate writing in cursive. Even as a young child I hated writing in cursive. I remember getting a B in handwriting in 4th grade, and the teacher told me he was being generous. I was so upset.

    I have horrific cursive handwriting. I had to teach my 3rd graders cursive letters while I was student teaching, and I had to sit at home the night before and practice making the letters. I even found myself checking the ABC chart over the board when I was asked how to make certain letters.

    Since I will be teaching 5th grade this fall, I'm not sure I will require students to write in cursive unless we do a formal paper that isn't typed. I do think it needs to be taught, so students can read it. It would be sad for a 5th or 6th grader to not be able to read a message/notes because they are written in cursive.
     
  22. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I beleive this is why they omitted it from the curr.
    NO parents or teachers complain or miss it!
     
  23. CanadianTeacher

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    I too couldn't care less how students choose to write (print or cursive) but they really should know how to read cursive. IMO, typing skills are more important these days than cursive writing skills.
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Good Point.
     
  25. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    I hate cursive. When I was in school I had a teacher who made us do everything in cursive and said writing in cursive was the mark of a well educated person.

    I only sign my name in cursive and then all I really do is form a S and a squiggly line. :eek:

    People ought to be able to read it, but I don't think cursive writing is very important and most forms say (please print) anyways! :sorry:
     
  26. wig

    wig Devotee

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    I have students who print without putting spaces between words. This is not a possibility when writing cursive. I have some students whose printing looks like chicken scratch but their cursive is very legible. I think they should be taught both and then use the process that is most legible.
     
  27. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    I think students should definitely know how to read cursive. As a sixth grade teacher, I have been amazed at the numbers of students who say they can't read writing on the overhead or the markerboard. I like to write in manuscript and cursive. I think it is a detriment if they are hindered in school or at a future job because they cannot read someone's handwriting.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    When I coached HS debate, we told the kids they needed to write in cursive; printing is simply too slow.

    And what about all those essays that are being given to teachers looking for jobs? Didn't we all write them in cursive? Isn't it expected?
     
  29. Lilu0819

    Lilu0819 Companion

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    I believe that is the D'Nealean (sp?) type of cursive. I learned that type of cursive back in elementary school and could never figure out why they made the Q look like that. :confused:
     
  30. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    I've taught that method of writing and it is supposed to more easily transition to traditional cursive. You probably already knew that though...;)
     
  31. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Cursive handwriting can be like an art form - so teach it! It takes time to learn and practise but the end result is legible writing that can be written faster than print.

    We teach print for the first 3years of school and then teach cursive (with entries and exits on the letters). I believe that children should first learn how to write cursive letters (with entries and exits) when they are doing their phonics and later learn how to join them up. This was brought home to me with the highschool ESL I teach. All my worksheets are basic print letters but to write faster they need to know the entries and exits on letters.

    Some employers ask for a sample of handwriting for analysis. Read into that what you will.
     
  32. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Many people have stated that they think students should be able to read cursive, but should not have to write it. That doesn't make sense to me, as I think one goes hand in hand with the other. Further, if the students never learn to write it, who will then be providing it for other students?

    I agree that cursive writing can be an art form. Not only that, but our personalities are evident much more in cursive than in print.
     
  33. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    When I learned cursive in the 3rd grade (1988ish), we learned to write our cursive Qs like the number 2. It was weird to me even then and I never did get the hang of it.
     
  34. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Back in the olden days, I was taught with the Palmer method. It's beautiful, but difficult. However, I get many compliments on my writing - especially my capital Ws.

    When I started teaching school, we used Zaner-Bloser. Since then I have used A Reason for Writing and Harcourt Brace. My handwriting now is a mixture of all the different handwritings I have taught, but I have retained my W because I never could learn how to make the other Ws very well. :D

    The 2-Q was used in Palmer, Harcourt Brace, and D'Nealian. I am not sure why

    Here is a comparison style sheet

    http://www.zanerbloser.com/style_comparison.htm
     
  35. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    While I think knowing how to read it is more critical, I do agree with you 100%. It's not something to drop from the curriculum.
     
  36. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    When I was in college doing my elementary ed undergrad, I had to take a 2 credit hour course entitled "Handwriting For Teachers". Yes, we worked our way through the Zaner-Bloser manuscript and cursive books, practicing and practicing both on paper and the board! It was the easiest two hours I earned, as I have NICE cursive and printing. I already practice handwriting with my own two girls; I think cursive has its place, and no matter how kids (or adults) write, the writing needs to be legible.
     
  37. Sterlingrio

    Sterlingrio Rookie

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    Cursive in the curriculum? Hmm interesting I came about this topic-- I understand cursive is faster to write, but often my cursive comes out like chicken scratch anyway--- harder to read. Since I took typing in H.S on an actual electronic typewriter, not computer keyboard, typing is easier for me and actually faster and definitely more legible than cursive.

    I understand learning cursive to be able to read it, and even understanding it to write it, but I don't think it's really necessary-- I mean with everything else that has to be taught. Anyway, isn't the US one of the only countries still requiring students to write in cursive? I discovered that many Central American countries, including Mexico only require students to learn print, thus if you are sending things home in cursive to a Spanish speaking family, with little education, they may not respond because they can't read cursive, especially if it's in English ;) Anyway, I'm not saying this is fact, only in my experience as I noticed many of my Spanish speaking families from Mexico and El Salvador, would print to "sign" their name. Only the parents from Mexico with college degrees would sign in cursive, but still print other information (notes to me). I also had a Bilingual teacher, colleague, who was originally from Mexico clue me into this as well--- and so I switched to writing notes in print not cursive so my parents could understand them more.

    I'm curious as to what other countries insist on student's learning and using cursive?

    Maybe cursive can be taught as an art form, like Calligrophy. Thank goodness I didn't have to learn calligrophy in the way our ancestors would write.
     
  38. Sterlingrio

    Sterlingrio Rookie

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    That would be awful for me, but then again, if it's just for analysis and not speed I could slow down my writing in cursive, or I could still just print. I wonder what just printing says about a person? Especially if they know cursive but chose to print anyway? Am I lazy, uneducated, non compliant, billegerant, breaking from tradition, non-American?

    With the increase in graphomotor problems among student (maybe due to lack of coloring at young age, and playing computer games instead of with Legos) I think we end up only "more behind" in American education if we contine to insist students must learn and be required to write in cursive.

    I kind of think it's like Americans teach standard unit of measure, when the rest of the world teaches metric (which is easier to calculate as you ad or take away a zero), but since our students are busy using standard measurments and trying to calculate inches to miles, and feet to miles, they are busy multiplying numbers and dividing- -instead of the engineering required way of taking away or adding a zero. Even in the medical proffession they use metric measurement and not standard. 60cc's of water equals how many ounces?

    So if I had a vote-- cursive is taught as art form, and metric measurement is taught before standard.
     
  39. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I am definitely pro-cursive instruction. In my mind, I equate it with the current debate over letter writing. With text messaging (UGH) and email (which I love, don't get me wrong), there are those who think that the art of letter writing is near its demise.

    A funny thing, tho. My dad (who just got his BS at age 67) has horrible handwriting. His writing (cursive or print) is so bad that even HE has trouble reading it!
     
  40. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Personally I have a hard time sticking to a specific style of print like they teach in primary grades, but I still manage to do it.
     
  41. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I understand that eventually, everyone develops their own style of handwriting, be it script or print, or even a combination of the two. That is part of the development of personality. What I don't get is the objections to script, or cursive, when it:
    1. Is actually faster to write (therefore better for note taking)
    2. Is more fluid (therefore better for preventing injuries caused by repetitive motion
    3. Seems, to me, in my opinion only, mind you, to lend itself better or more easily to that development of personality through handwriting traits. I would think that, otherwise, the handwriting analyses used by businesses, police departments, etc. would be a bunch of bunk!
     

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