I don’t really teach it… I just help them practice it.
I’ve heard some teachers say that they simply don’t have the time teach cursive in their 53-minute class period. Frankly, neither do I. But I can do this: open class with a five-minute cursive activity.
So about three days week, I’ll go to Brainy Quote and click on their Quote of the Day menu and choose a quote from the several choices that are given. Then I enlarge the image so it covers my entire SmartBoard.
- When students enter my room, they see the quote and know to copy it down in cursive onto a sheet of notebook paper.
- They need to include the entire quote as shown on the slide.
- There should be no misspelled words.
- The author’s name should be included below the quote.
- And then, they turn it in.
It’s a quick, five-minute way to practice cursive, and for those kids who struggle with cursive, it’s a review that isn’t too daunting or time-consuming. For those kids who need it, I print out the slide from Brainy Quote and lay it on their desk so they can copy it more easily without having to look up and down at the SmartBoard several times.
In addition to these cursive quotes, the bi-weekly spelling packets that students have as homework are also to be completed in cursive. Sure, they complained when I started doing this, but now they don’t. It’s just the way we do spelling packets.
For next year, I’m thinking about making my class (one of their eight classes during the day) a 100- percent cursive classroom. In other words, if they write by hand, then it will be in cursive.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s worthwhile to do such a touch-and-go cursive activity. With all the emphasis on standards and tested items, cursive can seem outdated and unnecessary. However, I believe that writing by hand—and especially in cursive– sharpens your brain, slows down your thoughts, and forces you to make decisions as you write. For example, during note-taking, one must – as one writes—decide what to include due to its importance, or what to omit.
Tomorrow, I’ll post a short article I read aloud to my students that explains one reason I emphasize cursive writing in my classroom. Tune in tomorrow for that.
How do you approach cursive writing? Click like and leave a comment to let me know. It’s really an issue that I mull over continually. What do you think?