A Case of Cursive

Learning cursive is a sort of milestone in elementary school. I remember it was a huge deal when I was growing up. Well, things are no different in my classroom. Third grade is the year of Cursive, and we have officially begun teaching it in Room 33. I say "we" to mean "my aide". I never learned to write in cursive the American Way (surprisingly, the French Way is quite different), so I find myself unqualified to teach this particular skill (shh! Don't tell anyone!). Plus, my aide has the patience of a saint so she is uber-qualified to teach cursive.

Yesterday was the grand kickoff. I made the executive decision that three of my ten students would not be participating in the cursive lessons; two have issues with cerebral palsy that affect their fine motor skills, and the other is barely legible when he prints (cause unknown). Two of these three were very understanding and sat down to practice their printing. One student (one with mild cerebral palsy), was obviously disappointed. He is working overtime to show me that he is capable of printing well. As it turns out, he's almost succeeded in convincing me. It turns out, all these months he was just being lazy with his handwriting: when he concentrates and tries hard, his printing is acceptable. Apparently he just needed the right motivation to shape up.

I still haven't decided if he's truly ready for cursive yet (I also factor in the fact that he's a second grader), but I'll see how far he's willing to take things to prove himself to me. Who knows? Maybe I'll get to be the one that teaches him that sometimes hard work DOES pay off!


2 bees said...

Boy, does that bring back special memories. Yes, learning cursive meant that you were BIG and GROWN-UP. It definately is a event that marks a milestone. Can you imagine if we would have known it would lead to passing notes in the middle school and getting caught, writing checks and bouncing them, signing your marriage certificate and eventually...getting a WONDERFUL daughter-in-law!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Randy + Jan said...

Real men print. Dad

Lauren said...

It's funny because we've been talking about this quite a lot lately at our school. We are not allowed to teach cursive because it's not a GLE and therefore not on the FCAT. And we all know that if it's not on the FCAT then who needs to know it right? I mean, that's not a skill you'll need later in life right??!!

Randy + Jan said...

Remember how the French teach cursive BEFORE printing?! AND in ink! Mom

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