Monday, July 25, 2011

Sloppy Handwriting and Lazy Spellling Are Disrespectful to your reader!

...THAT (the blog title!) is our class writing motto. We say it before beginning any writing assignment... every single one. All I have to do is start it... "Sloppy handwriting and lazy spelling..." and then a chorus of tiny voices pipes up and finishes... "are disrespectful to your reader". Read on to see my answer to Jennifer's Handwriting Linky Party!

I am a teacher who used to have a very laxidasical approach to handwriting. I felt like if I could read it, it was OK because my handwriting as an adult isn't the same way it was when I was in 2nd grade. And then I would rationalize it by thinking about how much we use a keyboard, instead of a pencil to write... BUT, then I read "Writing Essentials" by Regie Routman as part of the coursework in one of my Master's degree classes. The book is phenomenal and, if you're looking for a good book about writing, that's the one! Thanks, Marygrove, for having us read it!

Anyway, she has a line in the book that is very similar to what my new writing motto is and it really made me stop and think about handwriting... and how I wasn't teaching my students to have pride in or care for their work because I was letting them disrespect it by rushing through sloppily.

And my whole outlook on handwriting changed. I now value it and teach my students that they need to respect their reader by using their best handwriting. Reminding them with our writing motto, which is posted in several places around the room too- the sign below is hanging above the writing table, is a good and quick way to help them remember to do their best work. We also discuss who their reader is for each assignment so they understand who they are being respectful of. It's also a great tie-in to author's purpose!

We practice our handwriting via explicit teaching at the beginning of the year using this book I created which is available at my TpT store. For the rest of the year, students who need extra practice, do a handwriting sheet every Friday while they wait to take their spelling test.

I also feature student work on my "Star Effort" board and, if we need a handwriting boost, I'll choose work with excellent handwriting. That student receives a special award on Friday and their work is displayed for the week so other students can see what "star effort" work looks like. Here's what my frame looks like- this is on my dining room table, but it hangs on the board at the front of the room. It's just a magnetic 8 1/2" x 11" frame that I got at Wal-Mart and used my scrapbooking things to jazz up!

Join up with "Seriously" Primary's Handwriting Linky Party to share your handwriting tips too!


  1. you mind if I make a poster of my own with that saying I {puffy} heart it!!!...of course I will give you ALL the credit!!! and I can send you a copy!!!

  2. Sure! I'd love to see a copy!


  3. Love, love, love the handwriting mantra. I'll introduce this to my class tomorrow! :) Thanks for another great idea!

  4. Thank you so much for your post Christina(and especially for linking ~ my very first linker-upper ~ he/he)!!! FaNtAsTiC suggestions!!!!! =)

    Jenn Oyler

    "Seriously" Primary ;)


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