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April 26, 2012


Do you teaching handwriting aka penmanship to your students?

When do students in your school learn cursive handwriting?

Do you teach Modern or D'Nealian cursive?

My school begins to teach D'Nealian cursive in second grade.  The kids are pumped up to learn it but many just aren't ready.  Still others have been taught incorrectly by well-meaning siblings or parents . . . or better yet, self-taught.

Does it seem to you that our students' handwriting is getting worse or do we just not stress it as much as we should?

Many of my students grip their pencils in the most bizarre ways.  Ways that are so ingrained in their muscle memory that I don't think I could undo them with a million dollars.  It's no wonder their handwriting is atrocious and they don't like to write.

Then again there are always those kiddos whose printed writing is nearly illegible and then their cursive is amazing.  Is it because they are finally slowing down and taking their time?

What are your thoughts on teaching handwriting?

How do you teach handwriting to make it fun?

When do you think cursive should be taught, if at all?

I found a good site for making your own worksheets for handwriting practice.  Yes, I know worksheets aren't very exciting but I try to make the worksheets fun by using tongue twisters, jokes, or alliteration.  I also include my student's names and things about them.  Sometimes they are silly and sometimes not.  I've also used summaries of stories we've read and content from all areas.

To go to this site and check it out just click on the picture.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on teaching handwriting/penmanship and/or cursive.  If you have any suggestions for correcting those grips I'd really appreciate it.  :)



  1. I am horrible at thinking about teaching handwriting. We use plain print style and nobody has curriculum, but many of the teachers at my school have had Handwriting Without Tears. We like it quite a bit, except for the purchasing of all the stuff:-)

    Chickadee Jubilee

  2. We teach cursive. Let me rephrase that... I give my students a cursive sheet on Friday after their reading test. There just isn't enough time in the day!

  3. Our district is starting cursive next year in 2nd. In the past, it has been taught in 3rd. I'm just glad I don't have to teach it!! Thanks for sharing this site. Had no idea! Can't wait to browse!

    Peace, Love, and First Grade

  4. I wish teachers in the younger grades would focus on handwriting way more. Too many kids are coming into school with terrible handwriting habits and those habits are SO hard to break by the time they reach 2nd grade....I'm a big fan of Handwriting without Tears! I just wish students would get it in Kindergarten and 1st grade so I'm not fighting the grip battle and b vs. d battle....It's so frustrating and I tend to give up as I just can't find the time to correct so many kids' bad habits. We don't teach cursive in 2nd but I have quite a few kids teaching themselves and I just cringe knowing they are developing more bad habits! UGH!!! So frustrating!

  5. I teach D'Nealian cursive and feel there is NEVER enough time in the day to do. We just finished our lower case letter and only have 20 or so days to do the uppercase letters and practice putting it all together! AHHHH! While the kids are so excited for it, it hate teaching it because there is never enough time to get it all in!
    Stories From Second

  6. we "use" d'nealian - although, in reality...I'm just happy with NEAT handwriting - ha! And the whole cursive thing?? I teach it at the end of 2nd grade, like around now...but I haven't gotten to it yet :P

  7. I've put my favorite handwriting ideas and resources at http://www.HandwritingThatWorks.com

  8. I'm a litle late here - I teach first grade and we use handwriting without tears. Handwriting is a small fish to fry, in my book. I do think it's important for kids' writing to be legible, but I don't hyperfocus on grip {unless there are noticeable problems with their handwriting}. Even by the time they get to me, bad habits are so hard to break in terms of formation and grip. I do formal handwriting practice once a week {more at the beginning of the school year}.

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  9. I am heading over there now! Thank you for the link!

    Apples and ABC's

  10. I taught kindergarten for 5 years and we focused quite a bit on handwriting. Now I teach first grade and it is still important to work on the formation, spacing, and neatness. It is hard even in first grade to try to change grips. Someone just posted in our teacher's lounge that if you have a child hold a cottonball in the palm of their hand while writing, it forces the child to hold the pencil correctly. I have not had to try it with any of my students, but it may work.
    Classroom Companion

    1. Sandra,
      I tried this week with my kiddos and it worked really well! They thought it was so fun to hold the little "fluff ball" in their hand. Best of all, some of them wrote the best they have ALL year! Thank you so much for sharing this idea.

  11. Ohhhhh . . . what a rockin' resource. Thank you so much for sharing!! I am glad I found you. I can't wait to see what else you've got up your sleeve :)

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  12. fanttastic and useful we blog thanks for piblisling his ti's usful and informahie keep up the great.


  13. You have a cute blog! I love the bees! I am your newest follower. Come over to my blog when you get a chance and follow me too. Please? =)

    Enchanted Tales of Elementary School



Thanks for filling my bucket!


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