Do you teach/require cursive handwriting?

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

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    How many elementary teachers out there still require students to learn and use cursive?

    I use cursive daily in my personal writing and hate to see it not taught. But, I know many schools or teachers are dropping it from their curriculum. Just curious how many still teach this.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm grade 3.. I teach it but don't require it.
     
  4. MsB2012

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    I have taught cursive for the past two years in third grade, but only because I added it in, not because it was actually in our curriculum. I am moving to fourth next year and will probably continue with the practice. However, although I teach it, I don't ever require them to use it on other assignments not related to learning the cursive itself. I am not sure how useful cursive is these days. Most of my kiddos need work on their printing, so it's tough to want them to use cursive when the print is already atrocious! Do you see it as a valuable skill these days? For things other than establishing a signature I mean.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    My old district didn't require us to teach it. One fourth grade teacher taught it (and required it). No one else in the school did. I always told my kids to write legibly- cursive or manuscript, I don't care!

    My slant is terrible. I had to teach it at my LTS and I feel for the poor kids!!
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I do.

    I write in cursive whenever I write anything, and that is often. My print takes me so much longer and does not look as neat. Many historic documents, not to mention letters or cards from older family members (if people get those still! I do from my grandma) are written in cursive. Kids should at least know how to read cursive.

    That said, I've written things in groups like college classrooms, and people have commented, "Oh! You write in cursive!" like it's an oddity. I've had people have trouble reading my handwriting, even though it is nice, legible cursive. Ultimately, it is hard to fit in "extras" like this, especially when there are no standards or tests in which teachers' and students' performance is rated.
     
  7. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    I taught cursive to my 4th grade class at the end of the year, because that was the only time we were free from a rigid curriculum and test prep. They loved it, but I don't know if it's a practical thing to fit into school nowadays. Typing is a more valuable skill, IMO.
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Apparently I'm replying to your post in pieces. :rolleyes:

    I have noticed many young kids have atrocious handwriting... not sure if it is just the schools I've been at, but I'm not sure many teachers spend a lot of time on proper letter formation anymore.
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I like the idea of it being an end of year activity.

    Although I love cursive, typing is undoubtedly more useful these days. :)
     
  10. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I introduce it in grade 2 and it is required by grade 4.
     
  11. LMichele

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    It will be introduced for the first time this year in 3rd grade, so I will be required to teach it & expect assignments to be done in cursive.
     
  12. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    My district teaches it in second grade, but few teachers require that it be used.
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

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    I have to teach it in 2nd grade.

    I know this is a big controversy, but I really think it needs to be taught, even if teachers aren't requiring them to use it for assignments. If anything, kids need to be able to at least read cursive, and sign their names. My grandparents write message in my birthday cards in cursive. Many old letters and historical documents were written in cursive.
     
  14. chitown

    chitown Companion

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    I had to teach it in 2nd grade and I have mixed feelings about it. Personally, I don't use it and hate writing in cursive in front of my students.

    The school where I had to teach it did not require the students to actually use it, so many didn't by the time they reached 5th grade. I feel that they need to be able to read it so they can read everyone's writing, and for historical documents, etc. I think they can read it better if they learn how to write it, so that is partly where my mixed feelings come from.

    As others have said, some of these kids have horrendous printing anyway, and it may be more beneficial for them to work on their printing rather than learning a new style of writing. However, some of my students with ridiculously sloppy printing ended up writing beautifully in cursive. I was continually shocked when grading cursive work because I would get to a very well done paper, and it belonged to one of my students with sloppy handwriting. And yes, it was always his own work. Maybe that just seemed more natural to him? Again, this causes me to have mixed feelings.

    For the most part, my second graders loved learning it and using it. They thought it was a reward when they were allowed to complete an assignment in cursive. Since I hate writing in cursive, I never required it. Cursive also happened to be the subject that I would cut if I needed extra time for teaching core subjects. To me, it's just way less important than math, ELA, social studies, or science.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I can't write cursive and I can only sort of read it.

    Old documents are rather difficult at times, mostly because some census takers in the earlier censuses had very sloppy handwriting that was ornate.
     
  16. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I will be teaching it in second grade this year.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I taught it to my 2nd graders, but it was a 3rd grade standard here in CA (I wanted the kids to have a head start).

    Not sure if it's part of Common Core? :confused:

    As an adult, I rarely use cursive (other than to sign my name).
     
  18. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Only the older-aged teachers at my school use it and want it to be required. Although I am an older person, I am only 14 years into teaching and, honestly, I've never had more than a handful of students who chose to write in cursive and they were usually new transfers from parochial schools. Common Core has technology and typing standards where students in certain grades need to be able to type a certain amount in one sitting. There's nothing about cursive writing so I need to focus my energy on keyboarding instead. My own cursive is a half print half cursive style which was taught to me as a child by European teachers. I purposely avoid writing in cursive for my students because I know it's not the proper American cursive taught in some schools. I can read all cursive styles but I can imagine it might be difficult for students to read my cursive.
     
  19. a.guillermo

    a.guillermo Rookie

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    I do 8th, so naturally, I don't teach it. Ha ha. I print, and I expect my students to print. We actually use Chromebooks now, so I expect them to type. That's the way of the future, so why not implement what they will be using in the future? Pen and paper won't be around too much longer, in my opinion. It should be within everyone's capabilities to write cursive, though. It does come in handy. But not as handy as being able to type quickly.
     
  20. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I don't teach it since I teach high school. I do want them to know it. I use it when grading sometimes. They need to be able to read it. I have 16-18 year olds who can't sign their own name.
     
  21. MsDeb

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    Teaching cursive is now required in our Florida standards.
     
  22. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    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.
     
  23. MsB2012

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    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? :)
     
  24. a.guillermo

    a.guillermo Rookie

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    Offer them a reward on every assignment? Perhaps, if the handwriting is neat, they can get 5 bonus points? That would be good motivation.
     
  25. 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:
     
  26. 100%Canadian

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    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.
     
  27. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    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.
     
  28. bros

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

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    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!
     
  30. 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?
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    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...
     
  32. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    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.
     
  33. queenie

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    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!
     
  34. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    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)
     
  35. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    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.
     
  36. dgpiaffeteach

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    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.
     
  37. gr3teacher

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    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.
     
  38. 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.
     
  39. gr3teacher

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    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.
     
  40. SleekTeach

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    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.
     
  41. bros

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    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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