The True Mark Behind Penmanship


POSTED: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 4:49pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 3:24pm

HIDALGO COUNTY - Marie Antoinette Canales is an expert in penmanship. She makes a living using the tip of her pen.

"People's handwriting has changed over the years. I have people, if they are going to pay me with a check, they don't even want to write the check. And I say that's ok, people with bad handwriting keep me in business," laughs Canales. But then in the same breath she sighs and admits her true feeling.

"It saddens me to see people cringe at their own writing," said Canales.

That cringe might be coming from a lack of formal training from elementary school.

"Those are your formative years and it is very important to have a positive teacher," said Canales.

Marissa Cisneros, a La Joya ISD Pre-K teacher, is one of those positive teachers. Teaching both Spanish and English, she helps Pre-K students learn to write.

But students aren't learning to write they same way they did fifty, fifteen, or even ten years ago.

"It's not a matter of repetition, it's a matter of them learning different ways to write. And then using their kinesthetic, them using their hands, their bodies to do different motions," said Cisneros.

So to learn to write the letter n, students are sent to four different substations to practice. Between the station students use sticky notes, dry erase boards, even sand and shaving cream to write our the letter n.

The creative lesson added smiles and confidence to each students hand.

Canales said it's amazing how something as small as the written word can change a person's day.

"Everybody loves to see their name written beautifully. And that is what I love to do this, to see people's faces smile when they see their name done beautifully."

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Handwriting matters ... But does cursive matter?
Research shows: the fastest and most legible handwriters avoid cursive. They join only some letters, not all of them: making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, and using print-like shapes for those letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree. (Citations appear below)

When following the rules doesn't work as well as breaking them, it’s time to re-write and upgrade the rules. The discontinuance of cursive offers a great opportunity to teac

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