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Kansas School Board mandates teaching cursive writing - KOAM TV 7

Kansas School Board mandates teaching cursive writing

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 The Kansas State Board of Education votes unanimously to mandate the teaching of cursive writing in schools. 
     But even teachers say it could be only a matter of time before cursive becomes obsolete.

Putting their fingers to work instead of pencils, third graders at Central elementary learn cursive letters using an ipad app. The same technology that threatens to eliminate cursive writing as students get older.

Teacher Kami Butterfield says, "We  have ipads one to one, we have laptops one to one.Tthe kids should be taking notes on their ipad and their  laptops so the need for them to write in middle school is kind of obsolete. They  should be using that technology cause that's what the world is using. 

3rd grade student work on their cursive writing once a week,  not as high a priority as it used to be, but teachers say still an important skill to learn. 

Katie Gilpin, another third grade teacher says, "They talked about (benefits) in studies, hand eye coordination and different  cognitive ways it helps you in your mind. I know they've done a lot of  research based studies on that so it is really important.  Kids will get  check books and they're gonna need to be  able to sign their name in cursive and that's the biggest thing.  Coming out of third grade,  I want them to  be able to sign their name in cursive and its exciting for the kids. They really want to know how to  write in cursive so its still really important."   

Butterfield points out other benefits.  She says, "They have to think how that letter is formed 
but when you're typing, you don't.   You just hit that letter.  But when you're writing  and doing that cursive  writing, you have to have those  correct strokes. Those students  have to think about what they're writing before they write it, so it is a little bit of an art form.  In some  ways students who are not very good print writers are way better cursive writers. Its more of a rhythmic motion with their  hands instead of a circle and point  things they  had to do with their print writing.  Cursive for some  kids is a relaxing  technique we use  with students who are horrible print writers.  I think there's a benefit there using it for that purpose. 

Pierce Stolte puts his signature at the top of every paper. He thought it was important enough to learn cursive to teach himself after second grade.
 He says,"With cursive you have your own signature. If it was just print, no cursive, someone  could easily forge your signature and steal money from you.  So its useful for writing checks signing papers, things like that."

Not all  students agree with Pierce.

Madelynn Hartley, another fifth grader says, "I don't really like it cause some people can"t really read it and its just easier to read things when they're in print."

Its a debate that won't end with the Kansas School Board Decision to keep teachers teaching cursive.

 Students are not tested on handwriting or penmanship in statewide assessments.

 


 

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