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Secondary teacher requiring handwriting help!

(40 Posts)
englishteacher78 Sat 29-Jun-13 13:26:45

A LOT of my students now seem to have handwriting so bad it is likely to affect their examination performance!
I'm hoping to get some tips on good resources for improving presentation and handwriting - they don't include that on the secondary PGCE!

mrz Sat 29-Jun-13 13:40:51

exercise books with handwriting lines and lots of practise

englishteacher78 Sat 29-Jun-13 13:44:07

They are doing lots of practise - some of them seem to need more structured help than that.

mrz Sat 29-Jun-13 13:53:19

Practise needs to be structured or it is a waste of time especially if bad habits are already established.

They need to be shown how to form letters correctly- modelled by the teacher or TA on a white board

They need to know

where to start each letter
direction and series of movements required
finishing point

If teaching cursive writing where each letter joins the preceding letter.

mrz Sat 29-Jun-13 13:55:00

and for the record primary teachers aren't taught how to teach handwriting on their PGCE either

englishteacher78 Sat 29-Jun-13 13:59:17

Well that surprises me. I would have thought it was essential. We don't have TAs. I was hoping someone could recommend a text that has the information on how to teach handwriting.

bigTillyMint Sat 29-Jun-13 14:04:01

Is this any help?

I despair of DS, but his father is no bettergrin

Startail Sat 29-Jun-13 14:08:47

Unless you are an absolutely lovely SN TA they will hate you.

Honestly, if your a senior school English teacher I wouldn't touch handwriting with a barge pole.

Those of us with unspeakable writing are totally immune to being moaned at, beyond deciding that that teacher gets 50% less homework.

If DH's, 1950's English teacher parents, couldn't get him to write tidily and believe me they didn't, you haven't a hope.

englishteacher78 Sat 29-Jun-13 14:10:39

I'm not prepared to just give up when it can affect their GCSE performance. I will check out that link thanks.

Startail Sat 29-Jun-13 14:11:32

I should add DHs English is beautiful - When Typed!

Startail Sat 29-Jun-13 14:15:36

Unless it truly unspeakable or very slow it won't.
My A level marking uncle assured me, that between them, the History markers could read almost anything. He remembers only one paper they have up on in many years.

Handwriting is such an out dated skill, I can't see you getting a bunch of teens to engage at all.

Weekipper Sat 29-Jun-13 14:16:40

We use Nelson Handwriting textbooks when pupils are learning to join. They would give you an idea of formation but as others' have suggested pupils with bad handwriting need to appreciate why they should change their ways, motivation will be needed.

englishteacher78 Sat 29-Jun-13 14:17:48

That may be the case with A Level History, it is not the case with GCSE level English.
I don't mind if the students hate me if they get the grade they deserve. I have students who joke about not being able to read their own handwriting confused.

maizieD Sat 29-Jun-13 14:18:07

I am sorry to tell you that I attended a workshop session with a handwriting expert a few years ago and she said that once a child was about 11 or 12 the only chance you have of their handwriting improving was if the child was determined to improve. Handwriting is strongly influenced by unconscious kinaesthetic memory; it takes a great effort of will to overcome 6 years of reinforcement of the wrong muscle movements.

Littleturkish Sat 29-Jun-13 14:19:08

I run a secondary handwriting club with a six week programme I divised after a lot of research and liasing with HW expert in the US.

Happy to share the plan via PM

Littleturkish Sat 29-Jun-13 14:20:25

Bollocks- on phone



englishteacher78 Sat 29-Jun-13 14:21:28

Maisie I know it requires a lot of work. I am fortunate enough to treat motivated students and I can be just as stubborn as themwink

englishteacher78 Sat 29-Jun-13 14:23:33

@Little Turkish - I have same problem when phone typing. grin

mrz Sat 29-Jun-13 14:27:39

It will be more difficult if other teachers don't reinforce expectations. All our children leave Y6 with beautiful handwriting and within half a term they have reverted to ball and stick print and slapdash presentation.

englishteacher78 Sat 29-Jun-13 14:29:01

It's particularly difficult as I don't get to teach them until Year 9 at the moment - wont stop me trying.

maizieD Sat 29-Jun-13 15:00:35

Good Luck!

Startail Sat 29-Jun-13 21:10:57

DD2 used to be able to spell, doesnt seem to bother in Y7.

Seriously, it's a fine line between getting them not to scribble and them not just rebeling against being treated like primary DCs.

I feel really sorry for English teachers, ofsted breaths down your neck, but a lot of us would very happily have never done another English lesson after leaving primary school.

I'm dyslexic, but that's not really the problem, I can do school English, I have two A grade O levels, it's just I'd rather write an essay that teachers me something and read books I enjoy.

Writing is for many DC, hard work. Making it neat is harder work. English is writing for the sake of writing, many scientists, even those like DH who do it for their living, are never going to love it.

englishteacher78 Sat 29-Jun-13 21:18:55

Oh believe me I know. But it breaks my heart when the students have work which I cannot read at all, despite being able to analyse at a very high level. Perhaps (whisper it) the summer holiday is too long.

bk1981 Sun 30-Jun-13 11:59:50

You need to work out why their writing is so messy. Are they starting their letters in the correct place? Are they forming them correctly? Is it just joining that they struggle with?
I use writing repeater with my y4 class. It helps them to see how to form the letters really clearly, and you can leave it playing as they complete their written work.

Startail Sun 30-Jun-13 15:20:54

No the summer hokidays fine, the 6 weeks of doing no work after SATs then the summer holiday is too long and DD2 is complaining bitterly that they don't write stories anymore.

She always used to be top in literacy, but I dont think the KS2 and KS3 curriculums dove tail very well.

Andwhy oh why hasnt english moved with tbe times and embraced tbe sort of teen books kids actually want to read.As well as well as Shakespeare and very very boring set novels.

My, absolute book worm of a DD1, fell asleep reading of mice and men.

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