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Cursive writing in reception

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Shaz13, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Our style is slightly different we don't have the loop on ascenders only descenders but that is the closest I could find (I use tipex and a fine pen to change the letters for handouts to parents).
    Handwriting was something that the big O praised.
  2. Hello there - excellent news that you are considering using a cursive style from reception. As earlier posters have said it makes entire sense to teach one style from the start. I see children in so many schools feeling very pleased with themselves for having mastered print in reception only to be told that everything changes in year 1 to cursive writing - mixed message=confused kids.
    A number of schools in the London Borough of Sutton have been using the Letter Layers programme. This interactive programme works on interacitve whiteboards and laptops and breaks down each pen stroke of cursive letters for children. We've got a YouTube channel where we have posted some film of parents and children talking about and using Letter Layers. www.youtube.com/letterlayers have a look and let me know what you think. Kids find this a much more exciting alternative to dot to dot and repetetive outdated copy worksheets as the main character "Magic" encourages the children all the way through and there is a big celebration when they form one letter correctly - music -balloons- the lot!
    I can send you over a copy to review - letterlayers@ymail.com
    Good luck for next term!

  3. I have to disagree with everyone so far. My school used to 'try' and teach children to form all letter in the cursive style but it didn't work and we have gone back to forming all letters in rec and KS1 the traditional way with joined up handwriting being taught as something 'new' in KS2. This year the YR3 teacher was suprised by how much the children enjoyed handwriting as they were teaching something new and the children felt more grown up.

    We found that it confused our children. They would be told to write using the cursive style but then too many would form the letter whatever way they wanted to and then just add the bit at the beginning and the end. Perhaps we weren't being rigourous enough but it also made work look messy. Also they don't see the cursive style in reading books so were being taught a sound a la letters and style in the cursive style and then don;t see it in any reading books! And it was only introduced so children would hpefully get an extra mark in the KS1 sats for handwriting!

    So anyway with my Reception next year I'll be trying to teach the good old fashioned style.
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    What do you mean by good old fashioned style ? ball and stick of something like sassoon?
    Children will do this whatever style of writing they are presented with if they aren't corrected everytime they form the letter incorrectly. We all have children who have been taught another style at home, in pre school by granny and have established bad habits and unless you are watching they will slip back.


  5. I
    They would be told to write using the cursive style but then too many would form the letter whatever way they wanted to and then just add the bit at the beginning and the end
    As Msz said all children will invent their own way of forming the letters they see if they are not taught early writing skills in a supervised way. Once they do this, and get the opportunity to practise and reinforce throughout the foundation stage it is VERY difficult for them to learn to join at a later time. They need to 'unlearn' all their bad habits as they do not form in letters in a way that makes them easy to link together. This comes at a time when they should really be taking off in their writing and using written language to express their thoughts and ideas. It is not the fault of the cursive style but the lack of supervision in the early stages. Far better to get in right from the beginning and it doesn't take long if you supervise and reinforce correct formation whenever children write. (which is why I am so against 'emergent writing' but that is another story!)
  6. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    So supervise them then! They do need lots of modelling and support, but the small group work in FS is ideal for this.
  7. You are right! FS is the ideal time to develop correct letter formation, before they use writing in practically all subjects further up the school. But if your school has an ethos of 'emergent writing' then the opportunity to develop sound skills can be lost as children are encourge to try writing for all sorts of reasons in the belief that much like language development scribbles will turn into recognisable letters and then into words..... all by itself! I actually heard Penny Tassoni put this idea forward at an Early Years Conference last year. That scribbling is like babbling and all they need is encouragement, stimulus and opportunity to turn into writers. But written language is manmade and not hardwired into the brain. It comes from the outside in so cannot 'emerge' from the child. It is a skill and needs to be taught in a systematic way. Thanks for the opportunity to have yet another rant on this subject. It amazes me that we gave up on 'emerget reading' some time ago and yet still hang on to the idea that children can teach themselves to write.
  8. tricky7

    tricky7 New commenter

    Hi Shaz
    We were in your position last year and had the debate about cursive writing and adopted it whole school. I had initial reservations but it proved to be a great success.
    Like has been mentioned we haven't really used a scheme - we decided as a staff the way we would form the letters for certain letters - f, k, x etc. We taught formation alongside Letters and Sounds and modelled formation to the children and only those that we ready were asked to use a pencil - lots of multi sensory - paint, water, shaving foam, sand etc.
    This proved to work well and by January lots of the children who had not been ready to form the letters with pencil were able to do so as they had learnt the formation in multi sensory ways.
    It was hard at first as there is not a lot of cursive resources. We used ********** to display correct formation and Handwriting for Windows to make children cursive name cards so they could practice and I had to cut and stick to make name resources.
    There was not a lot of examples of the formation for the IWB so I have been using a new Letters and Sounds software package which allows the formation to be modelled on the IWB and children can go over it on the IWB and computers. The children have loved this and it also links into Letters and Sounds with lots of fun games !!
    The same company are producing a resource/worksheet generator, which I have got involved with, due to the need for cursive resources. It will allow you to make cursive formation sheets, with all the different cursive examples for the letters which means it will link to all schemes! It also makes other Letters and Sounds games in cursive script !
    Feel free to message me on here or at jontyuk121@aol.com for any other help

  9. Thanks everyone for your help - Tricky7, where did you get your IWB package from? It sounds really good and I googled it but can't find one linked to letters and sounds.
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  11. tricky7

    tricky7 New commenter

    Hi Shaz
    The IWB software that I have for Letters and Sounds is made by Q and D Multimedia - http://www.q-and-d.co.uk/. There are 3 packages - Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3.
    It is the Phase 2 and 3 Letters and Sounds disks that link to the cursive writing. Formation is modelled by the characters on the screen and then the children can go over on the computer or IWB. There are loads of different activities to support teaching of sounds, blending and segmenting and reading words and captions. What is nice is there is options to have cursive font in other games which helps children with the recognition.
    There is also a new Resource / Worksheet Generator which will allow you to make resources - one to make cursive formation sheets with a large letter to go over and letters to trace or write on own. I could have done with this last year when we started cursive writing and will be using it this year.
    If you want any more information let me know.
  12. Thanks, MSZ and Tricky - I'm going to trial these when I get back to school then see if I can sweet-talk the ICT co-ordinator!

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