News and Tribune

Education/Schools

April 23, 2013

Cursive has moved out of state requirements, but might work its way back in

(Continued)

> SOUTHERN INDIANA —

But she said students are also introduced to technology and keyboarding skills through a set of programs for grades kindergarten through eighth grade.

 

NEW ALBANY-FLOYD COUNTY

Michele Day, director of elementary education and Title I, said the district has moved around with teaching cursive over the last couple of years. When the state said it was no longer a requirement, they largely removed it from their curriculum, but have put it back in place for incorporation to other lessons.

“There are a lot of priorities in teaching these days, especially in elementary with the core learning of math, science, English, reading and everything else,” Day said. “We work hard to get all of that integrated with everything else, so with handwriting, we get it in with the context of those other subject areas.”

Much like the other districts, she said the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. has cursive integrated with other subjects, like social studies and parts of English, beginning in the third grade.

Day said students get excited about learning cursive, but she said familiarity with tablets and computers is also important in elementary schools.

“Children like to write in cursive. They think it’s a big deal going from manuscript to cursive,” Day said. “They catch on very, very easily. It’s the same with keyboarding and technology — many of them outperform adults. They’re digital natives. They don’t know a world without technology.”

She said if students seem to have trouble with learning cursive, teachers have resources and interventions they can employ. But she said she thinks cursive is still an important skill to teach how to write in a way that’s easy to read.

“In order to be able to communicate in the written form, the audience you’re writing for has to be able to read that,” Day said. “We’ve always had an emphasis on our students writing legibly because that just makes sense. There’s always been this approach in that what we’re teaching our children in writing ... the emphasis has always been there to write legibly.”

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