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Cursive writing competition validates skill

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CursiveWritingWinnersGilpin County 8th Grade Winners

By Barbara Thielemann

As an AVID tutor in Gilpin County Middle School classes, I made an observation of the various handwriting skills of Su Henry’s 7th and 8th grade students. Having taught the old Palmer Method, this veteran teacher had concern of the students’ handwriting skills.

Gilpin County School now teaches the cursive program, “Handwriting Without Tears” in the third grade. Some of the Middle Schoolers had a brief introduction to cursive in Third Grade or in their Montessori Classes.

After a brief review of Manuscript Printing, this AVID tutor shared the importance of correct manuscript writing in posters, maps, and special projects. The classes then proceeded to Cursive Review. Several forms were shared (Zaner Bloser, D’Nealian, and Palmer) highlighting correct form, size, spacing and slant. In doing so, the classes also reviewed capitalization of proper nouns and sentence structure.

Examples of historical documents, such as The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution were viewed on class electronic Smart Boards. The students were encouraged to develop their own John Hancock style of personal signature, and look up the significance of the documents and their authors. Many additional documents studied were related to their current Social Studies content. The students pictured received first, second, and third place honors in the Cursive Writing Competition in their 8th Grade class. They transferred to cursive from a printed copy of The Preamble of The Constitution. The Gilpin County Education Foundation and Craig Holmes provided prizes.

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