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SweetTea SweetTea is online now
 
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Handwriting Advice
Old 11-01-2017, 04:40 PM
 
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My 3rd grade students this year have the worst handwriting I have seen in the ten years I have been teacher. General sloppiness, mixing case, and slants every which way. I am supposed to teach cursive, but I am wondering if I need to redo manuscript. I'd think I'd rather have them print legibly. What are your thoughts? We have been given no curriculum so anything I use I will have to prepare and/or purchase. Thanks in advance.


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Handwriting Without Tears
Old 11-01-2017, 05:41 PM
 
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I recommend Handwriting Without Tears. They offer a cursive that is much like manuscript. It is easy to learn and helps children with spacing, captial letters, and letter formation.
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I would review printing and then do cursive
Old 11-01-2017, 05:54 PM
 
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I would show them my expectations and then tell them to rewrite assignments that were below expectations. Some children can actually write in cursive more neatly than they can print.


http://www.handwritingforkids.com/ha.../lowercase.htm

http://handwritingforkids.com/handwr.../uppercase.htm
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:40 PM
 
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I reviewed print before moving on to cursive. We don't have any resources either, so I found a website that allows you to create handwriting sheets. I taught similar letters together.....a, d, c.....e, l, h, k, b, f. Be sure to teach them how to connect the letters into words. This is where my students struggle.
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Cursive
Old 11-02-2017, 01:32 AM
 
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As usual 1956BD is correct. It is amazing how much better many do writing in cursive than manuscript. Another possibility for messy handwriting could be undiagnosed ADHD.

Thank you for those 2 sites. I will pass that information along to the third grade teachers. I think it would be very helpful to share the sites with parents so that they can reinforce it at home.


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From experience.
Old 11-02-2017, 10:35 AM
 
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My youngest son is 10, and has atrocious printing. It's virtually illegible. His cursive is MUCH, MUCH better.
I second HWT and teaching cursive.

I have also found that most of my students with poor handwriting are exceptionally bright! Not sure why that's the case, but it is.
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I taught cursive letters in groups
Old 11-02-2017, 01:51 PM
 
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depending on the style of the letter and where the letter started from. (on the line, above the line)

For example these lower case letters were taught together because they all started in the air at midpoint above the line.

a, c, d, g, o, q

These start on the bottom line and have no loops.

i, m, n, r, s, t, u, v, w, x

These letters start on the bottom line and have loops.

b, e, f, h, j, k, l, p, y, z

By breaking them down into smaller logical groups it seems a little less daunting.

I spent about a week on each group. Some lessons can be done outdoors with sidewalk chalk.

Then we reviewed. We also wrote words starting with these letters as part of the review. This is a good way to start connecting letters. Try to use words that many students need to learn to spell correctly so the practice is helping with spelling as well as handwriting.

Then I taught capitals. Then we wrote sentences for practice.

We always read the Beverly Clearly novel titled Muggie Maggie while learning cursive. It is a short novel and the kids can really relate to Maggie, the main character, because they are learning the same thing she does in the story. It works well for teaching making self to text connections.

When you are all done they need to be required to write in cursive or they will forget what they learned. Buying a set of erasable pens for them to use might make this practice more fun.

They also need practice reading cursive. I did this with my riddle a day program. I wrote a riddle in cursive on the board each morning for them to read and think about. At the end of the day students guessed the answer. They wanted to read the riddle in cursive because they wanted to solve the riddle.

I will attach some riddles that I used.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 138624 riddles.pdf (687.5 KB, 14 views)
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Capital Letter Groups
Old 11-02-2017, 02:07 PM
 
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Here are my groupings for uppercase letters.

Start at the top line and move left with your pencil.

A, C, E, O

Start at midline.

B, L, P, R


Start on the bottom line.

G, I, J, S


Start on the top line and go down.

D, F, H, K, M, N, Q, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
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Riddles
Old 11-02-2017, 03:33 PM
 
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That tip reminded me of the book, Muggie Maggie. I always read that at the beginning of the year. I made a transparency of her writing samples and revealed each one as it occurred in the story. Some were better at figuring out what she had written than others. But they always enjoyed trying.

Maggie is a third grader who doesn't want to learn cursive. She is very smart but cursive is hard for her and she refuses to try. Her teacher was very clever and "tricked" her into wanting to learn.

I just realized that Maggie could be a great topic of discussion when a doing growth mindset activity. Everybody knows how smart she is so she doesn't want anyone to know there is something she can't do.
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Thanks for the great ideas...
Old 11-03-2017, 03:02 AM
 
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I really appreciate the grouping of the letters to teach. It is very helpful. How much time a day would you devote to it? I do not have much to squeeze, but I see the value of teaching it to them.


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Handwriting
Old 11-03-2017, 03:26 AM
 
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In second, we introduce cursive. In third, they actively teach it.
We have a simple book - Carson Dellosa maybe - that everyone has a copy of and uses. Then sometime way before I came here, a teacher who has since retired created an order to follow. Really we spend one day on a letter. I use only about 15 minutes - that silly gap between an elective and lunch - to do that.

I also find kids just rush. They want to be done so they hurry through. This makes their handwriting impossible. If I canít read it, I send them back to do it again.

A fellow teacher actually does it quite differently. She keeps handwriting pages in her early finisher pockets. She actually does a lot of little stuff that way...which I do not like, because the high kids or well behaved kids who work capably and quickly are the ones who get to it. The low kids, SPED, or behavior issues never make it that far.

I know handwriting seems basic by third grade, but like anything else - if they need a refresher, we need to do it, so good for you!
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I spent 15 to 20 minutes a day
Old 11-04-2017, 07:00 PM
 
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sometimes less when we ran out of time. We did as many letters a day a we could but often the grouped letters spanned multiple days.
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Thanks for the riddle idea!
Old 11-05-2017, 07:15 PM
 
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I appreciate you sharing your expertise and ideas on this topic! I am ready with materials to start my review this week!
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Good Luck
Old 11-05-2017, 09:17 PM
 
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I think kids like the idea of learning cursive because it is grown up, a rite of passage if you will. But then the reality of how hard it is to learn a new way of writing sets in. Be patient with them and give lots of encouragement.
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