Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Call Me Crazy, but I Love Cursive

I love teaching cursive!

Before I explain why, I should back up a few weeks. My initial reaction when I was given cursive was more along the lines of "Whhhat? Teach cursive? But whhhyyyyy?" I honestly didn't think many schools still bothered with teaching cursive. I mean the Common Core Standards no longer require elementary students to learn cursive so I figured most school district chose to drop it.

Then came the first day of school. When I mentioned to the kiddos that they would be starting cursive this year, their eyes lit up. So I figured, if they were excited to learn it then I may as well give this thing a decent try. My teacher ed program never mentioned anything about teaching cursive but I loved writing cursive as a kid so I wasn't too worried.

So far, I have loved it. The kids are so eager to learn the new letters and impress me with their skills that our cursive lessons go so smoothly. In our classroom we actually do cursive nearly every day. We are currently learning one lower case letter a day and on Fridays we typically do a recap lesson in the form of a game or art project.

The first week of school I was given a cursive workbook created by the district that has a specific order to follow. I also created my own set of practice sheets. (If you are curious about the font I used to create this you can find it here.)

The kids eat these up. I hand out a different one ever few day with the guidelines that they are only for practice and not a requirement. Within the first few days, I started getting back completed worksheets that students worked on at home.

This did get me thinking though about my own opinion on cursive and whether or not I think it should still be in the classroom. (Because now that I'm super experienced I get to form these kinds of opinions! Ha) Obvioisly I can't base my opinion solely on the fact that kids like learning cursive so I had to give it some thought.

Here is why I've decided I support it:
.A. We may live in a world of technology but I believe there will always be value in written word and penmanship is a piece of that. And I am all for anything that helps improve penmanship and written communication.

.B. Cursive writing also give extra practice in hand-eye coordination, a skill that can transfer to many other areas. Not to mention the other areas of the brain that are engaged during cursive writing as well.

.C. Not only do the kids look forward to and enjoy doing cursive but for a number of my kiddos it's instilled confidence in them. I hold them accountable for identifying their best penmanship and setting their own standard of expectation. It's wonderful how proud they are of their own work.

I am curious what others think about the topic, especially other third grade teachers. Where do you stand? Is cursive an out of date subject that needs to be pulled form schools or is it worth keeping in our third grade classrooms?


5 comments:

  1. I LOVE cursive, too - always have! And I am fully on board with the reasons you support the continued teaching of cursive in our classrooms! Thanks for writing this post - I enjoyed it!
    ~Deb
    Crafting Connections

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    1. Deb, it is great to hear that there are others out there who enjoy cursive as well! Thanks for chiming in!
      Kayla

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  2. I require my kids to learn how to READ cursive, but I don't require them to write in cursive (other than learning their signature), and I don't spend class time teaching it either. I do provide each child with a cursive handwriting practice book, and I will hold little cursive writing teaching/practice sessions as an option during indoor recess days for the kids that want to do that.

    Funny though, I DO spend quite a bit of time during our Computer Lab time having the kids practice on Typing Pal. I see typing as an invaluable skill in today's world, and writing neatly in cursive is more like a frill.

    I do totally agree that it is something the kids want to do though. That's why I love doing it during indoor recess (it rains and snows here a lot!) because usually a third of the class is quietly engaged doing that rather than getting out of control and stir crazy!

    -Nick
    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason
    Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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    1. Nick, thanks so much for sharing how you approach cursive! I am new to teaching so I think it’s valuable to hear what others are doing in their classrooms and how they take on topics, especially ones like cursive which aren’t typically addressed in teacher ED programs. My experience is limited and admittedly naïve at times so it’s good to hear both sides.

      I like your idea about the practice sessions during indoor recess for those cursive-loving-students. That’s something I may consider when cursive doesn’t fit as nicely into my own schedule.

      Typing is a subject I’ve yet to have experience teaching, mostly because our school gave up our computer lab to house an additional kindergarten. Ideally, I would love to spend time on typing as well because I know our students need more exposure now so they will have those skills as they get older.

      Thanks again for adding in your point of view!
      Kayla

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  3. Interesting write-up! Writing is an art form that reaches a multitude of people from all walks of life, different cultures, and age group. As a writer, it is not about what you want.slang idioms

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