Sunday, 2 March 2014

Cursive Writing

Right after Christmas Break we began the "Cursive Club" in Grade 2 and 3.   The 4 Grade Twos from Ms. Wright's classroom joined our class every day in January and February for 30 minute lessons and practice on formation of the cursive letters. 
The first step was the lower case letters,  then the capitals and last was connecting the letters together.  Now that we have finished that, the students use their cursive skills as much as they can in our everyday work. It is a balancing act however!
The pictures above are writing in T.W.A.S. (This Week At School) Journals that they write in every Friday.  Students choose a couple of highlights of their week to describe in detail and take it home to share with their families.  Using cursive means our entries may be much shorter than they were previously in printing.  As adults, we forget how much effort composing, spelling, and mechanics of writing can be for children and adding a whole new way to write and connect the letters is more difficult still.  It will take practice to get the entries as long as they were given the same time to work in.  Some of the details will have to come from conversations rather than being able to read them in their T.W.A.S.!
We know that students will choose their own style of penmanship and that may not be cursive for a majority of them. I believe that being able to read cursive script is an important literacy skill and that is why it is worth the time it takes in Grade 2 and 3.  It is faster than printing with practice and it does help the kids who have trouble keeping b and d straight because they are not reversals of each other in cursive.
  There is much debate in the educational community and in general about the teaching of cursive.  Here is a post from The Current on CBC Radio.  CTV News had a story on cursive last year as well.

 Here is a very thorough document from Prince Edward Island Education all about the teaching of printing and cursive.  

I think giving lots of room to write and not expecting many words on a line is key at the beginning.  Letting them trace over their pencil work with a Sharpie marker makes it stand out and look more impressive too.  Encouraging them to write their own words as well as copying models are both valuable.  We have apps on our IPads that make practicing handwriting fun.


The all time favourite way for my class to practice cursive is in shaving cream on the tables!  Who wouldn't love to do that?  We'd love to hear your comments about cursive.


  1. I love the idea of doing cursive in shaving cream! :)

  2. We think that using spray whipped cream and a black plate would be even better! Would you like to join us?

  3. That looks FUN.