We introduce cursive in third grade. We are also required to take grades on handwriting. I find that that is the hardest thing to grade because it is so subjective. I would just like to see other opinions about how people grade handwriting. This is one area where parents are most likely to complain and I really want to find a way to make it more objective.
We grade on formation, spacing, and neatness. I even had a stamp made with a line beside each. I stamp their paper and then write S.N.or U beside each category. We don't give a letter grade, just Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, or Unsatisfactory. I take random grades during the grading period and record them, then look at the overall grades to put on report cards.
If you google handwriting rubric, you'll find some good ones. I integrate handwriting assessment with writing, stressing that readers must be able to read the writer's pieces. It's a very small portion of the grade.
I did have a parent complain this year, but it was pretty ridiculous. I counted a word as misspelled, but the parent argued it was a malformed letter. (What's the difference?) The funny thing is that this child has huge behavior issues that the parent sometimes ignores, but she took the time to write a note about one misspelled/malformed word.
I love that rubric--I think I might use that! At our school--cursive is taught in first grade. In 5th, students have pretty much developed their personalized "style" of writing, so most of the time, if I can read it, it is neat, words on the line, and nothing "fancy" added, they get a decent "grade"-not a letter grade, U, S, S+. etc.
I would not think that first graders are developmentally ready for cursive! THey're still learning correct formation of manuscript with lines on the paper. In our shcool they are introduced to cursive letters in 2nd but then don't really practice it until 3rd. I reteach the formation at the beginning of the year then they practice word, sentence, then paragraph writing throughout the year. It really is amazing how they develop their own handwriting and even by 3rd it seems its pretty much set.
Another teacher shared this technique for grading writing, and it works for me. This is how I grade handwriting. I teach 3rd grade.
I pick up each paper and look over it quickly. Then I put it into a pile. I have 5 piles: A's, B's, C's, D's, and F's. I can do this part pretty quickly. Then I have to grade a little more carefully within each grouping for the specific letter grade. I grade using the S's:
spacing shape sits on the line size
At one time, all we gave was a letter grade so I just did the 5 piles. Now I have to look a little more carefully to give number grades. This has worked well for me for over 16 years. I don't remember ever having one parent or student complaint.
At our school, we use A Beka curriculum and the kids start writing manuscript in prek and k. So if we have them for those classes they tend to do pretty well with the cursive. It is difficult for those who have problems with fine motor skills.
Thanks. This looks very useful and is easy to understand. Many students are struggling with print let alone cursive because we are allotted so little time to instruct and then time for students to actually write on something other than a required worksheet.
I maxed out today while grading written comprehension responses. If I deducted points for illegibilty some reading grades went from B to F.
I wrote a note to parents today that states that all written work will be graded for content, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and handwriting. I will take 2-3 grades for each written assignment. Big points will be deducted for carelessness.