Monday, November 11, 2013

The Case Against Cursive

The Case Against Cursive

I found this editorial to be interesting, as well as,  validating to my own opinions regarding cursive being a skill taught in the classrooms. On Back to School Night, I generally spend quite a bit of time discussing the use of technology in my classroom. In fact, my presentation is really just showing the class website students will be using throughout the year. However, it is inevitable, that I have a least one parent that questions why we do not teach cursive (or even penmanship) in class.

 I completely agree that there is limited time in school for instruction and cursive is becoming an outdated method of writing. Most students would benefit more from practicing keyboarding skills so that they may get their thoughts out faster. I understand that some people still prefer to write out their work before publishing it, but isn't that kind of an outdated method to writing anyways? When students have become accustomed to using technology throughout the day, I feel we should teach them how to use it as efficiently as possible. True, there is an argument that you will need to write a note to a boss one day and you won't want to look incompetent -- but isn't that what texting is for?

To sum it up, I feel that cursive is a skill that would be best practiced at home. Time is precious and I'd rather teach my students the uses of the methods they will use the majority of the time in their personal and professional lives. Perhaps the next time a parent asks me the "cursive" question, I should ask them if I can borrow their pager to get my husband to call me back to see if my favorite cassette tape came in the mail for me to play on my Walkman. :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Many Uses of Exit Slips 
by Robert J. Marzano

Hi All,

This year I have set a goal to use exit slips more consistently in all content areas. Last year, I used exit slips primarily in math to obtain a quick formative feedback. I found that this practice allowed me to know what my kids needed and how to efficiently organize my small group and extension work. After reading this article, I have decided to use exit slips throughout the day for various reasons. I am a big believer in students being held accountable for their learning and liked the idea of using a exit slip for students to reflect on their group work and effort on specific assignments.

The attached article highlights various ways in which exit slips may be used. Do you currently use exit slips? After reading this article, do you feel that there are different ways in which you may use them in the future?

Take care IW Friends,

Erin Gonshor