Handwriting centers?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 3, 2020

    I still find so little time to explicitly teach handwriting, and no time for it to be really practiced. I would like to have a handwriting center. Yes, I have access to gads of great handwriting practice sheets, but I feel some of my kids need something... more.
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 3, 2020

    I'm a firm believer that if you want to teach handwriting properly, you have to watch as they do it. You correct as they are doing it. I think half the reason our students are so poor at handwriting is that they are taught using tracer sheets and worksheet pages in the younger grades. By doing those, they fail to start in the correct place (even if it is show on the sheet) and they often go in the wrong direction or carry-over lines when they shouldn't. They fail to understand the directionality of writing.

    I've taught both manuscript and cursive writing for years, and it can be done even with a whole group, but you have to be running all over the room, putting your hand over theirs and guiding them when they don't quite get it, and of course, in cursive, you have to teach the transitions, which are so different from each letter.

    I really don't think there is an effective way to teach it "in centers." The kids that know how to do it will do so -- and the ones who don't, will start wherever they want, and go in whichever direction they wish -- which compounds the problems. The "end result" isn't what you are you looking for -- it's the process. Are they starting in the correct place? Are they going in the correct direction? Are they ending in the correct place? Is the size and line placement correct? It is really hard to fix this, after the fact.

    Handwriting, especially to those who don't grasp the directionality of it, really does have to be explicitly taught.
     
  4. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Jan 3, 2020

    Exactly!
     
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  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jan 4, 2020

    Well, Rain. I don't have to post a long reply now. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting. :yeahthat:

    The only thing I would add is that if they have been allowed to develop bad habits it is even more important they are watched and will take much longer to correct because they have to learn and unlearn at the same time.
     
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  6. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Jan 4, 2020

    Does anyone remember when the Slingerland program was used for some kids? I never learned the program, but writing in the air was part of the writing portion of the program and it worked.
    When the emphasis of writing (composing ideas) was dropped to a lower grade level, handwriting went out the window.
    I remember cleaning my car trunk out before selling it and finding a set of class spelling sentences that was under a rug. They'd been there for probably 3 yrs. I looked at them in awe. The handwriting was beautifully formed.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jan 6, 2020

    My 8th graders want to learn cursive, but it is a challenge. So many of them hold their pencils incorrectly and have zero concept of the directionality of printing, much less cursive.

    I brought out a set of old spelling books with cursive writing pages. It shows the starting point and has arrows indicating the direction of the lines. A few kid have made some progress, but it is painfully slow. It is one of their early-finisher activities.
     
  8. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Jan 6, 2020

    We talked a lot about this today.
     

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