Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)   Questions about D’Nealian Handwriting 

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Questions about D’Nealian Handwriting Q. Is it necessary to introduce the letters in the sequence that is used in the D’Nealian Handwriting text? A. The easiest, most efficient way to mastery is in the sequence used in the text. This is because both manuscript and cursive letters are introduced in stroke groups, that is, all letters that use similar strokes are taught together to ensure easy mastery of all the letter forms. Some kindergarten and first‐grade teachers may prefer to introduce the letters in the same order that they use in their reading or phonics programs. Q. Some workbooks I use in other subject areas present letters to trace or copy that are not D’Nealian letter forms. What should I do? A. Experienced D’Nealian teachers suggest that pupils be encouraged to read the letter form as it appears but to write the equivalent D’Nealian way. The teacher may say, “We are going to write our way, the D’Nealian way.” If models are needed, the teacher can provide them on the chalkboard. Q. Some of my pupils’ parents are concerned because D’Nealian letters don’t look like the manuscript letters they wrote. What can I say? A. Most parents respond favorably when they see that the connection between D’Nealian manuscript and cursive letter forms leads to an earlier and easier transition to cursive writing. Q. What criteria do I use for grading D’Nealian Handwriting? A. Many teachers use a four‐point grading system, based on the questions asked in the evaluation lessons. (1) Are the letters formed correctly? (2) Are the sizes of letters and the differences between tall letters, small letters, and letters with descenders consistent? (3) Is slant consistent? (4) Is appropriate spacing maintained between letters, between words, and between sentences? Q. How do I encourage pupils to maintain good handwriting in other subject areas? A. First, talk about the importance of legibility to the clear expression of ideas. Then, occasionally, have pupils apply the same evaluation standards to papers in other subject areas that you use in the D’Nealian units. This can be especially effective when applied to the compositions done in the language arts program. Q. Is it all right if all my pupils’ handwriting does not look alike? A. In fact, it is unrealistic to expect that all pupils’ handwriting will look alike. The goal of D’Nealian Handwriting is legibility that allows for individuality of style. Pupils will be taught self‐assessment skills that will help them improve legibility while developing their own styles. Q. Sometimes my pupils seem to think that because everyone’s handwriting doesn’t have to look exactly alike, anything goes. How can I combat this attitude? A. As pupils grow more adept with the letter forms and more confident in their handwriting ability, they think more about what they are writing and less about how they are writing it. Without discouraging this emphasis on getting thoughts down on paper, try to convey that it is important to maintain standards of legibility in their final draft. Encouraging frequent self‐evaluation is one way to get pupils to write more carefully and, therefore, more legibly. Q. Why is it necessary to maintain manuscript forms after cursive handwriting has been established? A. Through their lives, pupils will need manuscript handwriting for many purposes. Pupils may use manuscript writing to create posters and labels for school projects. Many forms adults encounter direct users to print legibly. Q. What are the advantages to D’Nealian Handwriting? 1. It will eliminate the b‐d reversal problem. 2. D'Nealian writing provides for normal sized print, not large letters which in reality may be drawing letters, not writing. 3. It aids reading by giving immediate letter to word associations in drill and practice work. This helps build basic vocabulary. Reading and writing are thus correlated, not separated subject skills. 4. Learning is accomplished on a continuum, without a serious break in the development process. 87% of D'Nealian lower case letters are the same as their cursive version. Children easily move into cursive writing when ready. 5. D'Nealian develops the rhythm necessary for the flow of cursive writing. 6. It offers a complete audio, visual, tactile, kinesthetic approach to teaching handwriting. 7. It provides for individuality connected with handwriting. 8. It will improve poor writing of upper grade students. Remediation: You cannot remediate using cursive writing ‐‐it is too complicated. Since D'Nealian lower case letters slide easily into cursive, you learn D'Nealian printing techniques, and then go back into cursive style. Q. What is the natural progression (timeframe) for introducing and maintaining handwriting/cursive? st
Grade 1 Semester 2nd Semester Kdg. Teacher Directed, Focused Instruction on proper letter development st
1 Grade Teacher Directed, Focused Instruction on refinement of letter development 2nd Grade Mastery of manuscript Teacher directed, focused introduction of cursive writing 3rd Grade Teacher directed, focused refinement of cursive writing 4th Grade Focused refinement of cursive writing 5th Grade Focused refinement of cursive writing Q. How much time should be spent on teaching handwriting? A. Minimum of 15 minutes of teacher directed instruction per day. Practice time is a teacher based decision. Arrow
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e writing in D'Nealia n. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Sources: 1. Coon, G.E. & Palmer, G. M. (1993
3). Handwritiing Research and Informattion: An Admiinistrator’s Ha
andbook. Glenvview, Illinois: Harper Collin
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