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Home : 2002 : Jan : 11

    cursive problems
    By Carolyn

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    I teach fifth grade, too. My kids still groan about having to write in cursive. (Do we HAVE to write in cursive?????) I actually even had a student complain that it made her hand hurt. I told them they would have to write in cursive often to help "strengthen" the skill. Only with practice would they get better. I ignore their complaining.

    The problem I faced at the beginning of the year was that the students I teach were taught cursive writing in third grade, then it was shelved. Our fourth grade teachers didn't seem to require it, so I was faced with reteaching it at the beginning of the year. I still have kids say something to me like, "How do you write a capital Z in cursive? Can you show me how to make an r?It seems to me that once the kids learn it, they should be required to use it so that they don't forget it.

    As for when they use it: I don't require them to use it all of the time. I require it for certain tasks. Sloppy copies may be printed. Final copies are written in neat cursive writing. Weekly spelling tests are written in cursive writing. Journal writing is also completed in cursive writing. Science and social studies are printed, if they wish. I think that the best thing is to ask that they use it for certain tasks, particularly language arts. I think they don't groan as much when you don't ask them to use it all of the time. They rarely complain for me when they are asked to use it for language arts.

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