How important is neat handwriting? - ProTeacher Community


Heather7
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How important is neat handwriting?
Old 03-24-2007, 04:00 AM
 
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The reason I ask is that I went into another first grade classroom and saw example's of the children's work. My jaw dropped because every single child's handwriting was done correctly and beautifully. It was written big and each of the letters were formed perfectly. I am student teaching in a classroom where some of the children have nice handwriting and but MOST of them have messy or microscopic writing. Since I have been there, we have focused on general neatness rather than focusing on each letter formation. If I am in 1st grade with my own classroom next year how much should I stress perfect handwriting? Is this something I need to go over letter by letter? Should you always expect perfect handwriting? I just have some kids who would need a complete makeover in their writing to get it to look decent. THey try their best but it still looks messy! Thanks!


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First grade handwriting
Old 03-24-2007, 05:09 AM
 
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Where I teach, handwriting is part of our district curriculum. While we don't expect it to be perfect, it does have to meet certain standards. It is taught in kindergarten, but we also review every letter at the beginning of first grade when we review the sounds of the letters. Also, it's important that they start every letter at the top and pull down. If they don't, they tend to have a lot of reversals and they will have trouble when they start writing in cursive. Handwriting should definitely be stressed in first grade. There are some kids who lack the manual dexterity to have neat handwriting. They should be observed by the school's occupational therapist to determine whether special accommodations should be made for them. The majority of the kids can write neatly. Stickers work wonders for getting them to use the lines on the paper and form their letters neatly.

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Handwriting
Old 03-24-2007, 06:25 AM
 
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I taught kindergarten for seven years. I worked really hard on teaching the kids the proper way to print their letters, and the students had many opportunities to practice the letters. I often got comments from the first grader teacher about how wonderful my students handwriting was when they moved on to her classroom. Now I am in my first year of teaching third grade in a different school, and I have some students that do not have good handwriting. I repeatedly have to ask them to erase and redo. I really think the importance of handwriting and practicing correct letter techniques begins in the early years. It is very difficult to change students' handwriting if they have been doing it wrong or poorly during their first years of school.
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Handwriting
Old 03-24-2007, 06:52 AM
 
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I agree about the importance of teaching it right from the beginning. It's very difficult when you have to unteach what a well-meaning parent or older sibling has taught. I have a first grader right now who believes that she can write in cursive because her older sister taught her. Everyone around her now thinks they can write in cursive as well, because they learned it from her. I've had to really put my foot down and explain that we're not ready for that yet.
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Handwriting Without Tears....
Old 03-24-2007, 07:22 AM
 
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is the program that my school uses from PreK-2nd grade. We also use some paper from TheraPro. I emphasize handwriting right from the start and make it a part of our learning day. We go through the HWT book each day and learn the formation of letters by groups. I have seen a general reduction in reversals and the bottom to top formulation of letters. The quicker and neater children can form letters with automaticity, the more they can focus on the content of their writing!


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handwriting...
Old 03-24-2007, 07:51 AM
 
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I am taking a class on writing right now and our facilitator says that kids can't focus on their ideas and getting them on paper until they have control over the formation of letters. They need to be able to make them correctly without thinking about them! So I am trying to make sure I really work with them on their handwriting!

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handwriting...
Old 03-24-2007, 07:51 AM
 
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I am taking a class on writing right now and our facilitator says that kids can't focus on their ideas and getting them on paper until they have control over the formation of letters. They need to be able to make them correctly without thinking about them! So I am trying to make sure I really work with them on their handwriting!

Amy
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It is important
Old 03-24-2007, 08:22 PM
 
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Handwriting is important. Others need to be able to read what we write. My bar is high and students meet it. They take pride in their accomplishments.
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Question..
Old 03-25-2007, 10:39 AM
 
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Our K doesn't begin teaching formal handwriting until AFTER Christmas. What do you guys think about this? It really makes it HARD on us in the first grades! Any comments?
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Handwriting
Old 03-25-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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Coming from a fourth grade perspective, teaching them how to form the letters correctly is very important. They need to write legibly. Without proper formation and constant practice, their handwriting will not be legible!
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Yes!
Old 03-26-2007, 04:19 AM
 
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Teaching 1st graders to write neatly is very important!
Model, model, model!
Praise, praise, praise!
They are very capable of writing neatly.
The aim should not be perfection, but neatness--with
a do-your-best mind-set.
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