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?