Unlike other aspects of our curriculum, our handwriting sequence is set up in hanging file folders. The hanging file folders should be at an accessible height for students to locate, use, and put away. We prefer the hanging folder to set up our handwriting sequence, because they are "full sheet" (8 1/2 " x 11 ") sizes. We color code each "level" of handwriting to make a clear distinction to the students. We have "leveled" checklists for the students to keep to monitor their own progress and know how far in their sequence they are.
Most Montessori handwriting curriculums focus on cursive only. Having a print handwriting sequence and methodology is just as important. Some of our students begin the handwriting levels here. In this level, we are not only teaching how to print letters, but how to space out words in a sentence, write multi-line sentences and write in smaller margins. If you are interested in purchasing our print handwriting scope and sequence, you can find that on our website here.
The first set of cursive levels we have is tracing all of the lower case letters. The sequence of each stage in this level is to match similar directionality's of letters (for example i and t). All of the levels have their own hanging folder for students to grab all of its contents and use to help them learn about the letters, except for the paper they will need to make their tracings. This includes:
The student will grab the contents of the hanging folder. They will study the numbered guideline of directionality and practice following this pattern with the sandpaper letter. They will locate the handwriting paper, place over the tracing sheet and take to a light table to begin tracing. Students enjoy using markers or colorful pens to make their cursive set 1 book. Set 2 is the exact same as Set 1, except with upper case cursive letters!
The next set of cursive handwriting is a "trace and make" sheet for students to review the lowercase and then upper case cursive letters. These sheets are in a sheet protector as well, but allows students to trace (as review) and then practice making the letters without a guide. The teacher will need to carefully assess the directionality of the letters to ensure students are not getting in the wrong habit of forming the cursive letters in the wrong way!
The next sets are of varying difficulty to prepare students to make cursive without tracing. It begins with making words, connecting letters and ends with students writing complete sentences in cursive!
Once students have demonstrated their ability to write cursive sentences from a model, they are ready for the next level. This set is using print cards to transfer into cursive on their paper! Ensure that you have cursive and print alphabet cards (you can buy ours here) handy for students to have as a guide!
Some students perfect their cursive penmanship in our classroom and are ready for the next level! Calligraphy work is a great choice for those who enjoy the aesthetics of great penmanship. Students at this level take their time and use their creativity to turn their writing projects into works of art! It is imperative you have a passionate handwriting teacher who can thoroughly enjoy this process with their students and not a teacher who sees handwriting as just another skill.