Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cursive writing and keyboarding

Fourth grade language arts: Cursive Writing and keyboarding

Fourth grade is an exciting year because the things that our children have learned to this point all start coming together. They are reading better, and writing better. Most of their written work will be done in cursive writing. While they probably learned to write in cursive in the third grade, they were not proficient at it, and it was still a very slow process. With the fourth grade year they will get better at cursive, faster, and more comfortable with it. And they will get many opportunities to polish their handwriting. Journals are one way to allow them to practice their penmanship. Writing the three main types of paragraphs will also give them practice. As time marches on, so does technology. Not surprisingly, some portion of your fourth graders writing will be done on the keyboard, utilizing the word processor. At our house I have exposed my child to both cursive writing and to keyboarding. She is not great at either one yet, but I saw large leaps in her fluency with cursive and her competency in keyboarding. During her fourth grade years. If your child needs extra practice with cursive, you will find many sites that offer worksheets in the various forms of cursive penmanship. Some even offer “copy work” in topics from famous quotes to Biblical references. Many of those are free. As for keyboarding, you can either purchase a typing program aimed specifically at kids, or you can find several sites online that provide games that will give your child the basic practice to learn the positions of letters and numbers, as well as drills to increase speed and accuracy. It looks like keyboarding is here to stay, but penmanship is not yet obsolete. If your child doesn’t yet have a working knowledge of both forms of expression, fourth grade is the year you will see this happen.

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