« Should Teachers Be Free to Critique 9/11 Issues? | Main | Test Prep in the Kitchen »

Deconstructing Handwriting

Considering the recent push toward digital composition, including Common Core Standards that require students to be proficient in typing but not cursive writing, now doesn't seem like the best time to be putting a new handwriting program on the market. But according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, one retired special education teacher is finishing up piloting a K-5 handwriting curriculum with a new take on letter formation. And at least one Minnesota district has signed on to use it.

Historically, students have learned to write letters by repeatedly practicing them, often in alphabetical order. The process does not always click for students with learning disabilities, who tend to struggle with legibility and letter orientation. Mary Beckman's ez Write program teaches students eight basic pencil strokes that are the foundation for writing most letters and numbers. For instance, the c stroke is used in making lowercase c, a, and d, as well as the numbers 0 and 9. According to the company's website, developing muscle memory for the basic strokes and then learning letters in these groupings can make letter production more automatic and prevent letter reversals.

Is this a new concept for you elementary teachers? In my experience, reversals are among the stickiest skills to unteach. Do you think a program that deconstructs letter production in this way could be the answer for some struggling students?

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed On Teacher



Recent Comments