Teacher says students benefit from learning cursive writing

Teacher says students benefit from learning cursive writing

ZALMA, MO (KFVS) - One Heartland teacher says she applauds the efforts of a bill proposed requiring cursive writing in schools.

Shannon Porter, Zalma Curriculum Coordinator and first grade teacher, says Zalma introduces cursive in second grade and feels it benefits many areas of development for students.

"There's a lot of research that says it helps your left to right brain connections be made across the brain," Porter said. "And it helps fine motor coordination in your hand."

We visited Porters first grade class on Tuesday, Jan. 26 as children worked on a variety of things including reading, math and writing. At this level, they are still printing. However, down the hall, other classrooms were working on assignments and writing in cursive.

"Cursive uses different muscles so it actually improves handwriting and that coordination," Porter said. "It's faster for more students to take notes. So when you're needed to do something quickly, I you're doing research, you can write your thoughts down quickly."

Porter said she has seen students that couldn't read very well that improve their in ares of reading and language ability as their handwriting improves.

Recently, Washington legislature considered a bill that would make teaching cursive handwriting mandatory at public schools.

Senate Bill 6469 had its first reading on Jan. 21 and was referred to the Early Learning and K-12 Education committee.

The bill would amend state law to include cursive in the list of subjects that are included in the common curriculum.

At this time, schools are not currently required to teach cursive.

For Porter, if this doesn't pass, she feels it would be a missed opportunity for students education.

"I think it would be very unfortunate," Porter said. "I think they would miss out on a large piece. Not only developmental learning but let's just think about the artistic abilities in life as well."

There are other benefits for learning cursive as well Porter mentioned.

"As for students with dyslexia, it can help reading ability because a lot of print letters like b, d, q, and p are often confused but in cursive they're very different," she said.

If the bill passes, school districts would have to add cursive lessons when they review or adopt their language arts curricula.

"Hopefully we don't need a mandate to tell us that it's important for our children," Porter said.

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