Do you teach cursive writing?  Do you teach multiplication facts for memorization?

I just saw on the news that our State Superintendent and General Assembly are trying to have these two things added to our curriculum.  Currently teaching cursive is optional to school districts.  I do know that it is not taught at our school.  My question is when?  I barely have enough time to teach what is already required.  I have also seen where school don't teach cursive writing because it is not a necessity in today's technological world.

With Common Core memorization of multiplication facts doesn't seem to be a goal. This is our first year implementing it and I haven't seen where students are to have them memorized.  Our fourth grade team does teach multiplication facts for memorization, our third grade team does as well.  Third grade requires students to master one fact family at a time, while in fourth we focus on all multiplication fact at once.

At the beginning of the year students are given a blank multiplication chart and given 5 minutes to complete it.  I have my students highlight the boxes they don't answer and that is their homework for the night.  This year I even required students to write the facts they missed three times each, because they were not practicing them at home.
This is an old sheet but useful!


  1. We are required to teach cursive as part of our "state adapted" common core standards. Honestly, if everyone is on board, it gets easier. I have mine practice for morning work now. I taught them the formation of letters (in the beginning of the year) and I use sheets that they are supposed to trace over before writing on their own, so that helps. I do NOT require my students to write in cursive for everything though. Good heavens, we'd be there all day!!!
    ideas by jivey

  2. In fifth I don't require my kids to do anything in cursive. I read once that by the end of 3rd grade a kid has "decided" whether they're going to be a cursive writer or not.

    I'm pretty sure our 3rd/4th grade classes have the kids practice cursive at some point, but they definitely don't teach it.

    I actually wish the teachers at my school did more with facts before 5th. It's hard to teach two digit and decimal multiplication and long division when a kid is trying to figure out 5x9.

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason

  3. Hello,
    I teach 4th & 5th grade math and I am worried about the lack of memorization of multiplication facts in the Common Core. I still insist my students do flashcards nightly and at the beginning of the year I do online timed facts test. It takes teaching time away to do the tests but I think it is worth it in the long run. The Common Core is lacking in some areas but before we blink it will be changed again.

    I also have my fifth graders do handwriting worksheets once a week for a grade but I do not insists they do their work in it. It is hard to push for everything in cursive when no one else really does. Most of my fifth graders were taught incorrectly and are still forming letters their own way. I do not have the time to reteach this dying skill with everything else I have to do.


  4. In the "digital age" I am surprised cursive is still on the "radar".....I agree, with the CCSS and crazy amounts of assessments, it is hard to find time for anything extra! I love your blog, I teach in NC too :)


  5. I don't have an opinion about cursive, but math facts.... Holy moly, this is a MUST!!! Students in mt sixth grade classes still struggling, counting on their fingers, this just cant keep happening. This is a life skill they should know!


  6. I think I'm going to formally introduce my kids to the cursive alphabet on the wall during the last week of May or so. ;)

    Jess, the rising fourth graders are going to come up to you as multiplication GURUS! :)

  7. Jess, I have a post about some fun ways to address cursive writing and a post about a great math fact fluency program called over at What's New in Room 202. You can check them out here and here if you are interested. ~Stacy

  8. Jess,
    I LOVE Worksheet Factory. I've been using that for over 10 years. That and the Vocabulary factory are great.

    We're not required to teach cursive, but there are still a few teachers that want the students to know how. I think it all depends on what each individual teacher wants. It's funny because we have a retired teacher tha comes in and subs and we always give her a chance to teach one of her specialties, which is setting up a paper with correct headings, numbering, and cursive. The kids love it because they don't always get to see it that way.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer


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