Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Practicing Cursive Letter Formation Using the SMARTBoard

The Common Core Standards may have pushed cursive writing instruction to the wayside in favor of teaching keyboarding and other digital communication skills, but we still work on perfecting the Palmer Method in Room 202. Writing in cursive helps students learn to read cursive, and, in my opinion,  there is still enough cursive writing going on in the world to make this an important component of literacy.

And as long as I am still going to teach cursive, I figure I might as well make it fun. My students work hard to perfect their penmanship so they can earn a cursive license. (

I make a big deal out of it when a student  achieves consistently legible cursive, and I award them an actual license to do all their work in cursive. Some kids even choose to bring in a photograph to attach to their cursive license and we laminate the document to make it "official". Then, once a student with a cursive license is writing fluently in cursive, he or she can earn their pen license. (

The three students in my class this year who already have their pen license, relish writing in ink while everyone else is still using pencil.

Along the way to earning a license, we have little dry erase strips and fine point dry erase markers I got from the dollar store for quick practice when we have a few extra minutes, and then there is the magic of the "Recognize" function on the SMARTBoard. Many of my students would sell one of their siblings to get a chance to go to the board when we practice cursive this way. I made a video of what we do so you can see how much fun it is for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed these little tricks. The other day when my students were falling out of their seats trying to get me to call on them for a chance to use the "Recognize" function on the SMARTBoard, I found myself thinking, "I wonder if everybody knows about this little gem," because sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference.

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