Monday, April 13, 2015

October--Cursive writing

I just read the article "The Case Against Cursive" about why teachers and school districts have dropped cursive writing instruction. As a 3rd grade teacher who has traditionally taught cursive for 23 years, I enjoyed reading this. I agree with much of the author's stance. His points on how we are moving into a digital, technology based writing are all true. He believes that it is just not necessary to be able to write it or read it. He argues that someone can learn to read the script in an hour or less instead of spending days or weeks learning how to make the loopy cursive writing.
On the other hand, I feel that cursive can be taught in a quick and speedy fashion. Students really love to learn how to write it and it feels like a 3rd grade milestone that they look forward to learning. I suppose they really don't need to be proficient at it but with just the little bit of time we allot to cursive, it can help later with their signatures on documents. Another reason I like to teach the kids cursive is that it can help with reversals particularly with b and d. Finally, think it can help with fine motor development. Many kids that struggle with nice penmanship get a new outlook when they have to take their time on their cursive and "relearn" penmanship. Their style and neatness can really improve!
So, in conclusion, I think I can rethink teaching cursive. It is not in the Common Core and it is probably not necessary to teach. Maybe I let this tradition go. So far, I have not let it go and my students and their parents thank me for it. I guess I will take it year to year!

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