Handwriting in Our Digital Age- Controversy or Compliance?
The topic of teaching handwriting in our schools today finds almost as loyal of followers as a hot political issue. Some parents and teachers are adamant that it is highly necessary, while other relent to the notion that our students will not spend their academic careers writing with a pencil in hand but typing on or speaking into a device. I would argue that we need both.
As a Tech Integration Specialist and classroom teacher, I would be remiss to take a hard stance that teachers need to spend hours of class time giving instruction on proper grasp and strokes of letters, which I have done in the past. However, we forget that there is still a need to be able to read a variety of content that is handwritten. Reading someone’s writing is just as critical whether it be an important historical document in cursive or the favorite recipe printed by a special relative. Without some formal writing instruction, these treasured forms of communication are lost.
What Can You Use?
I have seven great digital resources to share with you that I have used in my own classroom. Hopefully, they will make teaching handwriting much more engaging, efficient and meaningful for your students as well, without taking up an unreasonable amount of class time.
- INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO- Proper grasp instruction – “Pinch & Flip Method” video from Sara McClure From Happy Brown House.com
2. INTERACTIVE HANDWRITING SITE –
Lowercase Manuscript & Lowercase Cursive by HandwritingForKids.com I absolutely love this resource because I can open this page on the Smartboard, click on the letter I am instructing during a quick transition time, like a restroom break and it loops through the strokes like a GIF file, actually showing each stroke as I circulate the room for instruction. (A little hint, to make the image larger on your computer, use the keyboard shortcut- “COMMAND” and the “+” to enlarge and “COMMAND” and the “-” to reduce size.)
iTrace – ios $3.99 – Kid friendly interface and options to customize and track children’s progress.
Writing Wizard – ios $4.99 – Students trace letters using stickers, animation and sound effects
Cursive Writing HD – ios $.99 – This cursive app teaches children upper and lowercase strokes and how to connect letters in words.
Letter School- ios $4.99 – This is my favorite app because the visual and audio effects are so cute!
4. SPELLING CITY PRINTOUTS-
Vocabulary Spelling City is one of my all-time favorite classroom resources (Web Tools and App) and gets better every month! I could write multiple posts on this awesome online tool for language arts but for the purpose of this post, I want to share the option for you or parents to print out handwriting papers for whatever word lists the kids are working on in either manuscript or cursive! Isn’t that awesome? You go to the list that you have either imported or created yourself and click on the “Handwriting Worksheets” tab as illustrated above.
Do you have great handwriting resources to share? I would love to add yours to my collection. 🙂