Cursive in First Grade?!? - ProTeacher Community





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Cursive in First Grade?!?
Old 08-06-2013, 05:26 AM
 
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I was visiting with our first grade teacher yesterday when I noticed her new handwriting books. (private school, new curriculum in language & writing this year) She said, "I haven't looked at the writing yet. I wonder what it's like." So, she opens up the packet, and it is cursive! Not only that, but halfway through the book, the lines aren't much bigger than notebook paper lines. What?!?


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oh my!
Old 08-06-2013, 06:15 AM
 
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I bet it is ABeka curriculum. They insist cursive is the way to go... they never convinced me. Children live in a print world. How often is cursive used today? I have thought how hard it must be to teach children who are still not knowing up-down left right to begin a letter mid air. When I transitioned to cursive in second I cheated using the over head projector with a page to trace...
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Cursive
Old 08-06-2013, 06:35 AM
 
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I will be teaching Second Grade this year after decades in First. I can't imagine teaching cursive in First. I believe cursive is an important part of learning, for both brain development and historical value (many historical documents are written in cursive and we need to be able to read them.) I will begin cursive at the end of the second grade curriculum. (Catholic School)
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:46 AM
 
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I have a friend who teaches K in a private school setting. She teaches cursive.

I am not sold on it. I do think that MHugs brings up a good point. How often do we see cursive now? Not very. I do think it's important to teach, but I don't know that it's developmentally appropriate for a kindergartener for first grader.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:14 AM
 
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My school teaches aBeka reading and Language, but does not use the handwriting program. The students write in print till halfway through 2nd grade then transition to cursive then. Our admin believes kids should get a good grounding in print before transitioning to cursive.


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Ridiculous!
Old 08-06-2013, 07:29 AM
 
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Yes, private schools love to say that they're 'advanced.' As far as I've ever seen (and I've had a dozen kids come to my school from our local private school) handwriting is the only thing they're 'advanced' in!

A professor at our local university did some research on handwriting a few years ago and presented her findings to our school district. She said that waiting until 3rd grade is the way to go as far as motor development. It's like potty training - you can push it to kids younger and younger and SOME are ready, but for the most part it's easier if you wait a bit.

So, we switched from introducing cursive in 2nd grade to doing it in 3rd. I teach 3rd and cursive has never been difficult- mostly kids are just dying to do it by that point.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:59 AM
 
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As others have said, most kids' fine motor skills are not ready for cursive until 3rd grade. Also, kids need until 3rd to hopeful develop legible printing! I am also surprised by the number of students who have acquired an odd pencil grip, so I'd prefer that k-2 concentrate on print and grip.
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third grade
Old 08-06-2013, 08:59 AM
 
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We have never taught cursive until 3rd grade. I wonder if we should be putting more emphasis on keyboarding skills.
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The curse of Cursive
Old 08-06-2013, 09:12 AM
 
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Expecting kinder or first graders to write in cursive is absurd! They aren't developmentally ready for this fine motor skill. Even 3 graders struggle with it. I think, if you can write your name in cursive that is enough. With CC, more emphasis should be on key board skills. Is there a CC standard for cursive?
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cursive
Old 08-06-2013, 04:13 PM
 
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Our school starts cursive in K and the kids write beautifully and if they master cursive (which most do) then print is a snap because they are very careful with letter placement and formation. It is VERY helpful for kids to learn how to space words on the page, I have kids that print awfully but then I ask them to write in cursive and it is neat, legible with space between words. Once they see the difference their print improves. Curved lines are much more natural for a small child than straight. My 2 cents.
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We have a small private school in our town
Old 08-06-2013, 05:11 PM
 
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that used to insist on teaching cursive in kindergarten and first grade. Their kids would switch schools and come into the public school and be totally lost. Not only was their cursive poor, but reading was poor because they didn't recognize many letters in print because they learned cursive. A few years ago, they switched hired a former public school teacher to teach first grade. She switched them over to print, and that solved that.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:21 AM
 
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My daughter learned cursive in Kindergarten. The theory was that , if you look at younger kids and their scribble, they are making the kinds of lines written in cursive. Also, print motor skills are very hard. Drawing a line, then picking up the pencil and trying to put it on the exact spot that you started....

My DD's penmanship is beautiful - both print and cursive!
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Cursive in UK
Old 08-07-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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In the UK and other countries, the students start cursive very early. The handwriting is more a 'joined' print. I can attest that the student pick it up quickly and easily. They like it because it allows them to write quicker, without picking up their pencils. Also, for younger students, spacing is not an issue because they only leave a space if they are writing a new word. Here is an attachment showing how most students in the UK write their 'cursive' letters. You will notice how simple the formations are. You'll notice some differences between how we were taught in school - e.g. the b, f, r, s and z will surprise you. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B370...it?usp=sharing
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