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Cursive Writing


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Hi

My SENCO is quite keen that in Reception we introduce children to cursive writing. Currently we start teaching it in Year 1 and the scheme we follow suggests we print in Reception. Is there anyone who does start with cursive in Reception? Does it work for you or does it add more confusion when children are trying to learn letters?

I'd be really grateful to hear about your experiences. I wouldn't mind changing but I feel like I need to be convinced before I make a change!

Thanks alot

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Kaloufl we use cursive script in reception as we were advised that by teaching print in reception then cursive in Y1 we were asking too much of the children as they had to unlearn the priint and also the muscle movements were different. we do not join up ( except when we introduce digraphs in phonics) but we use entry and exit points, as this was recommended to us by the dyslexia association. We also do lots of write dance and lots of other activities that will develop the necessary skills for cursive writing.

 

We found that it took longer for children to get the hang of it but when they did they really flew!

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We too teach cursive in Reception but I'd be really interested in tips in how to promote this as I do find my class really struggle to pick it up and still write in print even though they are only taught cursive in school

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I first saw children writing cursive ( not joined yet) in another school and thought it was expecting too much. However, by the end of the year I could see the wisdom in doing so. The results were fantastic. Like Emilia, there was alot of write dance, fine motor skills, laminated cursive name cards etc to write over. Wall displays etc all used the same script. I had to keep some examples of their cards just to remind me!

Now at another school where they print and i reflect how much harder it is for the children. They have to think about each letter, where it starts and finishes, and all change in Y1.

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Hey hun, i am in Reception and our shool policy is that we introduce cursive from there. Just supporting what everybody else says, it saves time n the next few years to lean how to form letters all ovr again. The children who are ready to write pick it up quite eay actually. I even have 4 year olds experimenting with joining letters up ind! We say that we go whoosh up the hill and do the action with our hands and the kids like this it makes them chuckle.

 

One thing i would add is that when you do phonics etc the flashcards and sound cards or anything like that are not normally cursive o i add the whooh on with a permanant marker so the message is consistent and does not muddle them. x x x i hope everybodys messages convince you and if they do good luck, have fun and let us know how you get on x x x x

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I was convinced by the arguments for continuous cursive but we have just abandoned this as it was proving to be hinderance rather than a help. Children were not able to relate to the lead ins and outs to match them up to join in year 1 and ended up with long straggly wrods and undefined finger spaces so lost out on all accounts. In reception in the 2 years that I taught continuous curvise I could not score the point for letter formation except in a minority of cases and previously it had always been the minority that had not scored it.

This year in year1 I have lots of children who are still misforming letters and adding odd twiddles for lead ins afterwards.

 

Admittedly a deciding factor in our decision to drop continuous cursive and we still teach a precursive hand and join diagraphs etc was that the junior school we feed into does not continue the style so we were spending 2or 3 years teaching it only for it to be untaught later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone, that's given me lots of food for thought and some points to talk to my team about.

I always find the forum such a help! Thanks again.

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We teach the children to write in cursive but only teach the children the leads from the letters. The children are very good at this, they suprisingly pick it up quickly in Year 1. Towards end of rec we started to introduce handwriting sheets to the children to get them to write in cursive. I also think that resources such as letters and sounds need to be made using cursive writing otherwise its really confusing for them. I make sure any display boards are written in cursive too!

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My argument against making all display boards cursive is that books rarely have cursive text so children need to be aware of different styles of writing.

Like Susan we dropped teaching cursive handwriting (I don't mean with the exit stroke as in sassoon font but true cursive handwriting) because the children found starting from the line difficult. We too teach joined digraphs only in reception and begin fully cursive in KS1.

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its a tricky one but i think the key is with as anything you use what your co hort is ready for. i have some children who have not got a clue about cursive so i dont force it on them and others who find it really exciting and take to it like a duck to water, so maybe just do what you think your children need, the thing is we all do it different but we all have the same intention....giving the children the best provision we can x

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  • 3 weeks later...

We don't teach cursive writing until Yr2 in my school but I can give you my point of view as a mum! My daughter is in a reception class who do teach cursive writing and I have found that her confidence has taken a huge knock because of it. Before she was introduced to cursive writing she loved to use emergent writing at play and was beginning to become pretty good (even if I do say so myself lol!) at writing cvc words correctly. Now that each letter takes double the effort to form and looks different to the letters in all her reading books I have noticed that she doen't write much in her play. She also tells me "I don't know how to do it any more" and won't have try which is such a shame. I don't know a great deal of the why's and reasons for such early cursive writing as its something we don't do in my own school so I'm hoping that this is just a little blip in her writing progress!

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I think it is quite common when children have been taught a different style of writing and have to change for them to feel this way. Often children who have been taught to print in all capitals react in the same way to using lower case and it can take most of the year for them to feel happy with the new style.

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Another teacher who teaches in my class always uses the lead in lines and my group of most confident writers are very interested in her writing. But when my phonics group (who are just starting to use letter shapes) saw a lead out line on a 'o' written by the words and pictures magic pencil they were up in arms - shouting at the screen that it was doing it wrong!

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i also tried teaching cursive writing to reception class on the request of my headteacher who thought it was a brilliant idea! i persisted for 3 years (1st not so bad, 2nd not so good, last year argh!!!! my kids found it soooooooo difficult i found it was really putting many of the children off writing at all. i was getting frustrated, they were i and i found that i was spending so much time teaching formation it was just getting ridiculous. This year we had a new head, the first thing i did was to ask about going back to print with the flicks on the end! much better! now my children are actually wanting to write and all are giving it a go.

as with anything the more able were brilliant how ever the less able found it soo difficult. however i feel that you should go with what the majority of your children need, every child and class is different.

x

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  • 5 years later...
Guest abimiskowicz

Hello,

I taught pre cursive last year for the first time in reception and I found it so difficult. When children are learning their letters and sounds for reading and writing, they like to be able to recognise writing and reading and bridge these skills. For example, when they have formed the letter 's' they can recognise it straight away in their reading and vice versa. The majority of the children found it so difficult because the letters do not look the same at all and harder letters to form are ridiculously hard to form like explaining how to form a precursive 's'. I found that not only confidence in writing was extremely low last year but also their reading skills were low. We had to have pre cursive in the environment and teach our phonics with the pre cursive letters. This made it so difficult to then recognise the standard print letters in their reading books. I obviously explained in the phonics lessons how the letters may look in their reading books and it will look different but then this really confused them and the phonics lessons took so long. This was because the children were trying to make sense of the letters of how they would see them in books and then how they were meant to write them.

This year I am very happy to be going back to standard print where the children's reading and writing is linked very closely and they can make those links between their reading and writing. They have a lot more confidence in their writing because subconsciously they have been viewing and identifying print letters in the environment in their early years. Progress has been a lot quicker and stronger.

I totally agree with the argue though put forward about having to relearn letters in year 1, 2 or 3 for joined up writing which is really tricky. However in reception, everything is completely new for them and I do find that if they can flourish in that year and get a really deep understanding of their reading and writing, then this is far more beneficial to their lives generally. Handwriting is extremely important, do not get me wrong, but I would much rather younger children have confidence, belief and a positive attitude in their very first year of reading and writing.

Sorry for the essay but just wanted to share my experience of doing both in reception and teaching handwriting then in yr2.

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What about teaching children to read first - printed letters? Then, when confident with what they look like, learning to write, starting with cursive? (That is what we do.) Learning to write when having sufficient skill in how to put the sounds of words into text also keeps children motivated to write.

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  • 1 month later...

Sounds interesting Wildflowers, how do you show Writing progression? What stage of reading would you expect children to be at before you introduce writing? This is an intriguing approach!

First (and ongoing) lots of mark making. When we see that a child has sufficient pencil control, we show them have to form letters. This is in sets, depending on their shape. As the children already know the letter sounds, they just link them to each other. We teach writing when the children have learned at least one way of writing each sound, so they can write sentences straight away. Happy to explain more if unclear!

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Here is an extract from our literacy programme.

Writing

Before learning to write, children may first write strings of squiggles to represent text and then random letters they know, such as from their name, together with their own invented ones.

Alongside encouraging and showing interest in children’s early writing, we provide opportunities for them to learn and practise the follow­ing pre-writing skills:

1. Be aware of rhyme.

2. Identify the first and last sound in words.

3. Orally segment words with a consonant, a vowel or vowel blend and a consonant into sounds.

4. Orally segment one-syllable words with two initial con­son­ants into sounds.

After that, a child’s stage of writing is dependent on their knowledge of reading and ability to form letters with control.

When having reached a certain stage in our programme, we encourage children to do and learn the following:

5. Write simple sentences, irrespective of punctuation, using their phonetic know­ledge.

6. Leave spaces between words.

7. Know that punctuation helps a reader understand what is written.

8. Begin to use a capital letter and a full stop or question mark.

9. Know that letter names are used for spelling.

10. Name all letters of the alphabet.

11. Identify all letters of the alphabet by their name.

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