Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cursive Writing Using the Train-Trace-Try Method!

Cursive writing. Everyone has their opinions on whether to teach it to students or not. My personal opinion is that cursive writing is still important for kids. Even though it probably doesn't need as much emphasis as we've put on it in the past, there are several reasons why kids need to be able to read and write in cursive.

Here is a great article from TIME magazine that discusses 5 reasons kids should still learn cursive writing. Two of the most important reasons, in my opinion, include:

1. Students need to be able to sign their name on important documents, job applications, and more.


2. Kids should be able to read cursive writing for a variety of reasons. Letters from grandma, important historical documents, etc.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now! For the past couple of years, I've been teaching cursive writing to my third graders. I didn't love the way I was teaching it and wished that I had more resources to use with my kiddos. So I started doing some research about the cursive writing verbal paths and other strategies to use with students and then put together a COMPLETE Cursive Writing Pack!


This pack is unique in the fact that it uses a strategy called Train-Trace-Try. I came up with these three words after thinking about how we need to scaffold cursive writing instruction. First, students need to be trained how to form each letter. This is where the verbal paths come in.


In the train step, students can either trace the letter with their finger or with a pencil but the most important part is that they are saying the verbal path in their head each time they form the letter. Saying this over and over again will help the kids remember the formation.

In the trace step, students can trace the letter several times.


I've actually found that it's more motivating to students to use a colored pencil during this step. They can see their writing easier and it's fun to use different colors! I encourage my students to still say the verbal path in their head as they trace the letters.


The last step on each page is to try. In this step, students will try to form letters and words on their own. This is an important step because the kids learn how to link the letters together to form words.


You can have your students use a regular pencil or a colored pencil for the step. I especially like the Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils


Also included in this Cursive Writing Pack are lowercase and capital letter posters to display in your classroom.


To see what all is included, check out the previews below! If you'd like to grab a copy of this cursive writing pack, click here!







3 comments:

  1. I agree that kids need to learn cursive writing. It's technically not "curriculum" for us, but I like to sneak it in at the end of the year after state testing. It's definitely worth it for the kids to understand how to sign their name and read the cursive writing! Love your TpT packet, it's on my wishlist!

    Mandy
    Caffeine and Lesson Plans

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  2. Handwriting matters — does cursive matter? Research finds that legible cursive writing averages no faster than printed handwriting of equal or greater legibility. (Research sources are available on request.)

    The fastest, clearest writers avoid cursive, though they are not absolute print-writers either. Highest speed and legibility in handwriting belong to those who join some letters, NOT all: joining only the most easily joined letters, leaving the rest unjoined, with print-like shapes for letters whose printed and cursive shapes disagree.

    Reading cursive matters, but this is much easier and quicker to master than writing cursive. Reading cursive can be taught in 30 - 60 minutes to anyone who reads print. (There's even an iPad app teaching how — a free download: “Read Cursive” at appstore.com/readcursive .)

    Why not teach children to READ cursive — along with other vital skills, such as a form of handwriting that is actually typical of effective handwriters?
    Teaching material for a better method abounds — especially in the UK and Europe, where such handwriting is taught at least as often as the accident-prone cursive that's loved by too many North American educators. Examples of a better handwriting, often with student work: http://www.BFHhandwriting.com, http://www.handwritingsuccess.com, http://www.briem.net, http://www.HandwritingThatWorks.com, http://www.italic-handwriting.org, http://www.studioarts.net/calligraphy/italic/curriculum.html

    Educated adults quit cursive. In 2012, handwriting teachers across North America were surveyed at a conference run by Zaner-Bloser, a cursive textbook publisher. Only 37% wrote in cursive; 8% printed. The majority (55%) wrote with some elements like print-writing, others resembling cursive.
    (To take part in another, ongoing poll of handwriting forms — not hosted by a publisher, not restricted to teachers — see http://www.poll.fm/4zac4 for the One-Question Handwriting Survey. As with the Zaner-Bloser survey, results so far show very few purely cursive handwriters, and even fewer purely printed writers. Most handwriting in the real world consists of print-like letters with occasional joins.)
    
    When even most handwriting teachers do not themselves use cursive, why glorify it?

    Cursive's cheerleaders suppose that cursive has benefits which justify absolutely anything said or done to promote cursive. They claim (often under oath, to school boards and legislatures) that cursive cures or prevents dyslexia, makes you intelligent, creates proper etiquette and patriotism, improves grammar and spelling, or grants numerous other blessings which are no more prevalent among cursive users than among the rest of as. (The claims that it improves English are mostly in very bad English — beautifully penned.)
    Some invoke research: citing studies that they misquote or misrepresent. often in testimony to school districts, legislatures, and other decision-makers. Bills for cursive are perennially introduced by legislators whose misrepresentations are then revealed: often with signs of undue influence on the legislators. (Documentation on request: I'm glad to be interviewed by anyone who will put this serious issue before the public.)
    
    You wonder: “How about signatures?” In state and federal law, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over any other kind. (Hard to believe? Ask any attorney!)
     Questioned document examiners (specialists in identifying signatures, verifying documents, etc.) tell me the least forgeable signatures are the plainest — including print signatures.

    ALL handwriting, not just cursive, is individual (and involves fine motor skills). That is how a first-grade teacher tells right off (from printing on unsigned work) which student wrote it.

    Mandating cursive to support handwriting is like mandating top hats and crinolines to support the art of tailoring.


    Kate Gladstone
    DIRECTOR, World Handwriting Contest
    CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works
    HandwritingThatWorks.com

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