Friday, 14 August 2015

A timely debate!

This discussion about "to teach handwriting or to not teach handwriting" is a topical one for me. Coming from the Trudy school of "handwriting is important", albeit from nine years ago. I still use the style that Trudy taught me!  A few years ago in the early stages of self - regulation, but before collaboration, I morphed the three times a week after lunch, 'do it like this' approach into a quick, 'don't forget that a links into e like this' on the Monday, before leaving the children to determine their own goal and making the practice handwriting and self assessment, a daily part of self - regulated work. I trialled it to see whether a few pointers and then a changing sample to copy from the whiteboard daily, would make the quality deteriorate. At first it did. At the point that I thought, 'well that was a fail and was about to return to the structure of before, when suddenly everything came right! I continued to use this approach until now.
However, with the ever evolving nature of self- regulation,  collaboration and BYOD, I am re thinking the necessity of even doing handwriting practice as a thing. My job sharing partner and I decided at our planning session yesterday, that, alongside of trialling a new self- regulated approach, we would stop the copying practice and see what happens. We will build in the expectation that some pieces of their work will include a reflection of their presentation.  Having said that, I think that some of our year fours like the fact that handwriting is a good way to 'show that they are focussed' and may miss it! These year fours started linking this year and often ask questions relating to 'what links to what, and what doesn't' Do I hear you asking, "who cares as long as it is legible?" Hmmm.