Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why Learning Cursive Can Come In Handy

One of the things I've noticed in the past few years is that quite a number of my students don't write cursive. In fact, some of them can't even read cursive. I actually started to print on the white board a few years ago because I had a number of special education kids who could not read cursive, so couldn't read anything I wrote on the board.

Not that any of my kids really pay all that much attention to what I write on the board anyway...

Some of the other seventh grade teachers have spent some time in elementary classrooms and mentioned that cursive isn't really taught as much as it was when we were in school - back in the dark ages when you were expected to sign, not print, your name, and be able to make your "T's" and "Q's" just so. (I always hated the Q's, they looked like the number two too much for my taste.)

This lack of familiarity with cursive could, potentially, cause a problem.

Like, for example, when you go to forge your mother's name on a vocabulary study log.

And you use a pencil.

And print her name not once, not twice, but three times (but if you were really motivated you should have printed it ten times to get full credit!).

And you spell it two different ways.

And it doesn't look like anything remotely like your mother's signature which we have on file.

Goober.

11 comments:

http://dkzody.wordpress.com said...

My high school students can't read cursive. And they too will not read what I have on the board yet the administration keeps harping at putting on this stuff on the board. For whom?

ChiTown Girl said...

It really bugs me that penmanship, in general, has been thrown out the window. My 16 year can not write in cursive to save his life. I seriously have used my "dotted" font to make cursive handwriting pages for him to trace (yes, his mother IS a bitch!) I'm even discouraged from spending time on printing in my kindergarten because it takes away from instructional time. WTF? Should that be considered PART of instructional time?! We're told to send handwriting worksheets home for homework. Yeah, that'll work. Most of the kids don't even do their homework, and of the papers I get back, at least half of them are done by the parents!! Argh!

Theresa Milstein said...

Did you read Frank McCourt's, Teacher Man? He was frustrated with the poor quality of his students' excuse notes, supposedly written by their parents, so he gave a lesson on proper excuse not writing.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, goodness, that is funny. The best forger I had was one who signed (in pencil that had been erased at least once) "Mrs. Lastname."

And I have spent a lot of time with my seventh graders this year on cursive, because I think it is important. My in-class support teacher, however, told me that it was a waste of time because "these kids are going to use computers for everything."

Mr. C said...

I find a perverse joy in doing analysis on student writing, whether it's a forged excuse note/detention slip/whatever. Kids tend to not think things through and believe that no one would ever notice that their "parent signature" was printed, in pencil, and misspelled!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Goober indeed!

Lovely story for this stormy night. Our school has already been canceled for Friday--and it didn't take a forged note to do it!

KT said...

It's so interesting to be teaching in Europe because the kids are expected to write with "connected letters" but it's not at all what I learned as cursive growing up. The s's actually look like an s and so do the b's, yet the connect to the next letter. It's actually much easier to read. I don't know if there is a particular name for the method, but I like it..

Margaret Kravat said...

Cursive writing is still integral in our society. It's not just knowing how to sign a name. The SATs and Praxis tests have statements you must copy IN CURSIVE. I think there might even have been something I had to copy in cursive for a job contract. But it's not just this generation. This has been happening for the past 20 years, before "electronic signatures" were invented and computers really took hold. My husband (he's in his late 20s) had to sign his full name on a document last year and had no idea how to write his middle name in cursive. So even children of the 80s and 90s still have no idea how to write in cursive.

Sarah said...

How funny!!

Kris said...

One benefit of their not being able to read cursive is that when I write notes home to parents, the students don't know if they are positive notes or negative notes. So they are anxious to give them to their parents to find out what I had to say.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Here they switch from printing to cursive in the 3rd grade. But the kids still have to do the work.