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Why Teach Cursive Handwriting?

I have had a number of requests to create a cursive handwriting workbook – this has been on my list for such a long time. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have finally completed this. I can be a horrible perfectionist and those guided lines nearly drove me crazy – I had to redo them a number of times before I was satisfied. However, now that this baby has been launched, I am glad that I saw the process through. 

Just click on the image above to find this resource in my store.  
The good news is that I have set it at 50% for 48 hours!

This Cursive Handwriting Practice Workbook was created for both second and third graders. I hope it proves to be both challenging and fun for your students as they practice reading, tracing, and writing in a progressive manner, as well as learning some unusual country and animal names!

This workbook would also be suitable for fourth and fifth graders who may require further practice. I have only included Dolch second and third grade sight words, mainly because the resource would otherwise become quite large and therefore more expensive. However, if you wish to purchase with fourth and fifth grade Dolch sight words, please contact me at teacherstoolkitblog@gmail.com and I will add these to the document for you, without any increase in the purchase price.

The structure of the main workbook comprises 4 practice pages for each letter of the alphabet. These pages can be printed ‘back to back’ and stapled together to make a complete workbook. The workbook can be finished off with the workbook cover on Page 4.
Please note, I have added a second set of pages for the letter X, should you wish to use more familiar words ending in X.

You will find a useful ‘Contents’ page which informs you of which pages to print depending on what you wish your students to practice. I have included a range of add-ons – these can either be practiced separately or included in the workbook. Please note: I have added some nouns for formatting purposes.

So, why teach Cursive Handwriting?

My last post focused on the importance of teaching handwriting – you can read the post {here}. I wanted to follow that up with a little information about cursive handwriting, as it is this knowledge which prompted my original plan to create the duo of workbooks – the print manuscript and cursive.

To summarize my last post: Advances in technology have made the process of writing more convenient for many. However, evidence is mounting that putting pen to paper has benefits that typing just cannot replace. Researchers have found that writing by hand has led to improvements in language skills, memory and critical thinking.

According to the neurologist William Klemm, in an article written for Psychology Today, the neurological benefits of writing by hand are compounded when writing in a cursive hand. “Cursive writing, compared to printing, is even more beneficial because the movement tasks are more demanding, the letters are less stereotypical, and the visual recognition requirements create a broader repertoire of letter representation.”

Furthermore, the researcher Diane Montgomery, in her article “The Contribution of Handwriting and Spelling Remediation to Overcoming Dyslexia’, noted that the connected letters and fluid motion of cursive handwriting are especially beneficial to students with disorders such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. Other reading experts are in agreement it seems. According to an article in the Washington Parent, "the connections between letters required in cursive writing may reduce letter reversals."

Cursive handwriting also has the added benefit of being extremely artistic and highly personal – the process of acquiring an expressive and unique cursive hand is an important step in developing individual personalities. It should therefore be a requirement for educators to utilize tools that encourage students to develop their own style and voice in a confident manner.

So, I hope I have persuaded you that teaching cursive handwriting should feature in our yearly plans -regardless of what may or may not have been said by those at CCSS Towers!

I am adding a little video here, so you can see exactly what this resource includes - I hope you find it beneficial.   

And last, but not least, the winner of the rafflecopter giveaway - many congratulations, Elizabeth! An email with an attached handwriting resource is winging its way through the ether as I type!  
Thanks to everyone who took part!

Speak soon!

5 Reasons To Teach Handwriting

We live in a world where technology abounds and even the youngest of students is adept at using anything from a computer to a tablet. The art of handwriting has gradually become lost with the advancement of technology, causing a decline in the ability to write competently and legibly. While technology serves a vital purpose, it is important that children are taught early in life how to master handwriting skills for the following reasons.....

1. Research has shown that there is a positive correlation between good handwriting skills and increased academic performance in both reading and math. A study by Dinehart and Manfra (2013), ‘Handwriting in Early Childhood Education,’ examined whether the fine motor skills of over 3,000 preschoolers predicted their future academic achievement. They concluded that Pre-K students with good fine writing motor skills outperformed their peers in both reading and math by second grade.

2. When we write something down, it tends to resonate better in our brains. A study by Mueller and Oppenheim (2014), entitled ‘The Pen Is Mightier Than The Keyboard’, tells us that “Longhand note takers engage in more cognitive processing than laptop note takers, thus selecting more important information to include in their notes, which enables them to study this content more efficiently.” This subsequently enables a better retention of facts.

3. Time devoted to the teaching and learning of letter formation in the early years will eventually show results. Legible writing that can be produced comfortably and at speed, allows a child to attend to the higher-level aspects of writing composition and content, with greater focus. This is important when assessments are based on written work, particularly in written examinations with time constraints. Without fast and legible handwriting, students may miss out on learning opportunities and under-achieve academically.

4. There are just some things we NEED to do with paper and pen. Think about those handmade cards you are planning to make in your classroom this year - these mementos will be even more special and meaningful to parents when they contain their child’s own unique handwriting. As adults, jotting down a shopping list, writing a birthday card, taking down a phone message, completing a form at the bank shows us that handwriting is part of our daily lives. Also, beyond formal education, most employment situations will involve at least some handwriting and may require the communication of critical information (e.g. medical notes, prescriptions).

5. Not so serious – lol! The last reason to teach handwriting - you can win my handwriting workbook 'Practice Makes Perfect' by entering the rafflecopter below! Just subscribe to my email list to enter.

Click on the image above to view this resource.

I will leave you with one last thought - handwriting still forms a unique part of our culture and identity - this is something that we should not forego so easily.

First Grade Family!

Hey!  Just a quick post today!  I wanted to let you know about something I am secretly very excited about, although maybe I also need to get a life - lol!

I have been reflecting lately and it struck me that the majority of my online activity is directed towards improving my business.  I love collaborating with other teachers and have made many very close friends online, but all of that activity has come about because I sell teaching resources and want to be successful in this area.  Absolutely nothing wrong with this - I have great fun, meet amazing people and learn so much, but I have been feeling that I need to give a little more to the teacher community......

So what could I do?  As I spend the majority of my working day at the computer/online, the logical answer seemed to lie in the area of social media.  Now, I really am not the most confident of people and I do worry that this is going to be a complete flop, but I wanted to give it a chance and take a leap of faith - I have created a private facebook group!!  (I do have dreams of this becoming the most supportive, engaging, interactive online space, but well....... I have always overreached myself - lol!)

However, that is not to say that this space could not become a safe haven for teachers to collaborate, share, ask for advice, rant if needed, seek validation, find answers etc.  I am always up for meeting new people across the world - I love how we are all so different, but have one important goal in mind!

So..... here it is!

I really, really hope you will consider joining me and some others already in this group.  I would like to keep it relatively small, so that we can get to know and trust each other.  Just click the image above, hop over to facebook and request to join. 

I hope to be welcoming you to the group very soon!

Also - winners from the Oceans giveaway!  This has been the biggest promotion I have ever taken part in and has been so much fun!  Sadly it has come to an end, but we have a ton of giveaway winners!  Thanks to everyone who took part and supported us.  

Many congratulations to the winners of this final week!

Speak soon!

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