Local School Says Cursive Handwriting is Important and has the Awards to Prove it

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Updated: 3/05/2013 6:52 pm

        In January researchers and educators from across the country came together to address the role of handwriting in schools. The Idaho Senate followed up by deciding to pass the Cursive Resolution.  We went to a school who has won national competitions for their cursive handwriting.

Hibbard Elementary School feels it’s very important to teach their students how to read and write, in cursive.

Every year Mrs. Jean Garner tries to motivate her students to write in cursive by entering them in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.

“The kids get very excited about it, so that to me makes it worth it because they’re always wanting to write in cursive in their work books and other things” said Garner.

Garner’s class has already been awarded 4 national cursive handwriting awards in the last few years.

“At first we just talk about how we need good handwriting to write out checks, to sign our names on important documents and then studies have just shown that studies have just shown that students who have nice handwriting seem to have better thinking skills” continued Garner.

Garner says she hopes cursive handwriting will continue to be taught in schools all around the nation.

“I think it’s kind of amazing, especially the little boys that come in sometimes and their printing is not really great, but when it comes to the cursive handwriting it just really improves and I have really been pleasantly surprised over the years to see how it improves” said Garner.

The national handwriting competition Mrs. Garner’s students participate in will be held in May.

We just got word today that one of Mrs. Garner’s 4th grade students has won state in the national handwriting contest; which means the student will have a good chance at nationals in May.

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KateGladstone - 3/5/2013 8:31 PM
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Handwriting matters...does cursive? Research shows (citations below): the fastest, clearest writers join some letters, not all: making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, using print-like shapes for letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree. Cursive programs oppose this: cursive users must join all letters, and use different shapes for cursive vs.printed letters. What of reading cursive? We can learn to read a style without writing it. (If we had to write a style to read it, we'd have to re-learn to read whenever a new font was made.) _Reading_ cursive can be taught in 30-60 minutes: even to a 5- or 6-year-old, once the child can read other writing. Even most adults don't write cursive. Zaner-Bloser's own survey (cited below), of teachers at a conference Z-B hosted in 2012, found that only 37% — fewer than 2/5 — used cursive for their handwriting; 8% used print-writing. The majority — 55% — wrote a third, hybrid style: resembling both print and cursive. True, some folks say cursive has powers beyond other writing. They rarely give citations. (When — unusually — citations appear, the cited research proves— always, so far — to be misquoted or otherwise misrepresented by the person citing it as proving cursive. Feel free to reach me for examples.) What of signatures? Whatever your teachers may have heard from their teachers, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over those written any other way. (Don't take my word: ask any attorney.) /A/ Research on speed and legibility: /1/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, and Naomi Weintraub. “The Relation between Handwriting Style and Speed and Legibility.” JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, Vol. 91, No. 5 (May - June, 1998), pp. 290-296: on-line at http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/27542168.pdf /2/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, Naomi Weintraub, and William Schafer. “Development of Handwriting Speed and Legibility in Grades 1-9.” JOURNAL OF
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