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Teaching Strategies: First Cursive, then Print

  • Barron Area Montessori School: Importance of Cursive
    “Did you know that prior to 1940, most schools used the cursive-first approach to writing? Ball and stick manuscript wasn’t introduced until the 1940s in the belief that it would assist children in recognizing letters in the Dick and Jane look-say readers.”
  • How Should We Teach Our Children to Write? Cursive First, Print Later!
    By Samuel L. Blumenfeld
    “Teach your child to write a standard cursive script. And the reason why I can say this with confidence is because that’s the way I was taught to write in the first grade in a New York City public school back in 1931 when teachers knew what they were doing.
    “In those days children were not taught to print. We were all taught cursive right off the bat, and the result is that people of my generation generally have better handwriting than those of recent generations.
  • Cursive First: An Introduction to Cursive Penmanship
    By Elizabeth FitzGerald, M.S.
    “Historically cursive was taught first to our nation’s children. Today, reading and dyslexia experts are rediscovering that teaching cursive first–before print or manuscript–improves long-term penmanship skills, helps children learn to read, virtually eliminates reversals, and enables children to read what is written by others.”

The Tools: Fountain Pens and Paper

“My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.”
Graham Greene, International Herald Tribune, 7 October, 1977

  • In a Scribbler’s World, the Fountain Pen’s Flourish Gets Some Glory
    By Michelle York, The New York Times, 26 July 2004
    “The paper, ink and type of pen must all be considered before committing to the piece. ‘A ballpoint pen in your hand is the same as a ballpoint pen in mine,’ he said. ‘But with a fountain pen, it’s how you press and where you press, and how flexible the point is. There’s more opportunity to show individuality.’”
  • School shuns tech, teaches fountain pen
    By Ben McConville, Associated Press Writer, 11 December 2006
    “Lewis said the school’s 7- and 8-year-olds use fountain pens for 80 percent to 90 percent of their work, reverting to pencils for such subjects as math.”
    “‘I don’t see fountain pens as old-fashioned or outmoded. Modern fountain pens are beautiful to use; it’s not like in the old days of broken nibs and smudging,’ Lewis said. ‘We have a particular writing style and we have developed it very carefully and found a way that allows left- and right-handed people to write without smudging.’”

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