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Cursive

Why cursive?

Cursive is a forgotten subject. Some feel there is no need to teach handwriting in the computer age. However, I tell students that they need to learn cursive for two reasons:

  1. They need to know how to sign their name (gotta cash those checks!)
  2. They might choose to write in cursive because it is quicker for them than printing.

Students in Room 130 learn the Zaner-Bloser method of cursive:

How it works

Fourth grade students will be provided with cursive practice pages each week, due on Friday. Limited time will be provided in class to work on cursive. Most students will find that they need to finish the work at home. Once the class has completed a review of upper and lower case cursive letters, students will be asked to demonstrate their knowledge of cursive by writing ten cursive sentences of seven or more words each. Fifth grade students will not review cursive letter formation formally; rather, their work will consist of cursive practice and review with weekly sentences.

Those students that choose not to complete the cursive work before Friday will finish the work during their recess. Periodically, students will be given cursive quizzes, which ask students to write four sentences in cursive. The sentences are composed almost entirely of spelling words so that students won’t be distracted by unknown spellings. The handwriting will be graded on a four point scale (see below). Marking period cursive grades are assigned based on the results of the cursive quiz grades.

Getting a grade

How to help

Many students have a good grasp of cursive by the time they reach fourth grade. But there is also a fair number that will benefit from extra practice. Cursive is like any skill; improvement only comes with regular practice, not just a knowledge of the letters.

With this in mind, you can help your student improvement their cursive in just a few minutes a night. First, make sure your student has completed, or is in the process of completing, the weekly cursive assignment. Look it over, and if you find mistakes, model the correct way to form the letters and write the word(s). Then have your student follow your example a few times before making corrections on the assignment.

Beyond the assignment, use the resources below, or just have your student write a few sentences in cursive. Have your student use wide-ruled paper if possible, and stress using the margins and correct letter height. Keep this time to around five minutes. Regular practice is the key, but prolonged practice will lead to frustration (for you and your student!).

Another idea: make it a game! Challenge your student to balance speed against neatness. Pick a sentence of the week. Each night, time your student to see how long it takes them to correctly and neatly write the sentence. Try it again that same night, or the next night to see if the neatness can grow and the time and shrink!

Resources

14 Responses

  1. […] Cursive: A cursive quiz was completed by students today. […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Friday, January 5 on Jan 6, 2007 at 11:13 pm

  2. […] Cursive: No new cursive assignment this week. […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Wednesday, January 24 on Jan 25, 2007 at 5:48 pm

  3. […] Cursive: Cursive pp. 63-65 are available and will be due next week. […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Thursday, February 15 on Feb 15, 2007 at 6:51 pm

  4. […] Cursive: Cursive pp. 63-65 are available and will be due tomorrow. […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Thursday, February 22 on Feb 22, 2007 at 8:03 pm

  5. […] Cursive: We have reviewed the entire alphabet, upper and lower case. From now on, the weekly cursive assignment will be to write 10 cursive sentences of 7 or more words each. This assignment will be due Friday.  […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Wednesday, February 28 and Thursday, March 1 on Mar 1, 2007 at 8:14 pm

  6. […] Cursive: We have reviewed the entire alphabet, upper and lower case. From now on, the weekly cursive assignment will be to write 10 cursive sentences of 7 or more words each. This assignment will be due Friday.  […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Tuesday, March 6 on Mar 6, 2007 at 6:07 pm

  7. […] Cursive: Ten cursive sentences of seven or more words each are due Friday.  […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Tuesday, March 13 on Mar 13, 2007 at 9:44 pm

  8. […] Cursive: Ten cursive sentences of seven or more words each are due Friday.  […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Thursday, March 15 on Mar 15, 2007 at 6:12 pm

  9. […] Cursive: Ten cursive sentences of seven or more words each are due Friday.  […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Thursday, March 29 on Mar 29, 2007 at 6:43 pm

  10. […] Cursive: Ten cursive sentences of seven or more words are due each Friday.   […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Monday, April 23 on Apr 23, 2007 at 5:19 pm

  11. […] Cursive: Ten cursive sentences of seven or more words are due each Friday. […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Tuesday, April 24 on Apr 24, 2007 at 7:42 pm

  12. […] Cursive: Ten cursive sentences of seven or more words are due each Friday. […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Wednesday, April 25 on Apr 25, 2007 at 5:31 pm

  13. […] Cursive: Ten cursive sentences of seven or more words are due each Friday. […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Monday, April 30 on Apr 30, 2007 at 5:01 pm

  14. […] Cursive: Ten cursive sentences of seven or more words are due each Friday.  […]

    by The Fourth Story » Blog Archive » Class activities for Monday, May 14 on May 15, 2007 at 4:49 pm

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Welcome to the online home of Room 130, at McGrath Elementary School, the fourth/fifth grade classroom of Mr. Howd. This site is both our classroom website and our class blog. How to use this site An online planner. Visit the home page of this site to get daily news and activities from Room 130. You’ll […]more →