Every school year I am presented with a new group of gloriously diverse students, each with his/her own unique experiences and idiosyncrasies. The same can be said for their handwriting. Diverse times 21! And not just in the appearance of the letters they write, but the actual formation of the letters…the pathways they’ve developed over the years to form their numbers and letters. Everyone in this group writes legibly, some more than others, but efficiency is far more varied, as is comfort level. Most students, even the ones who have beautiful “handwriting” (quotes because we actually refer to handwriting as “script”), look uncomfortable when writing, perhaps even in pain. Walk into any classroom where students are writing (or just watch them at home) and you’ll see most hunched over their papers, heads tilted awkwardly, usually white-knuckling a pencil to death (pencil! gasp! wrong tool!), occasionally stopping to shake out their overtired wrists and hands.
It need not be so.
Over the last few weeks I’ve slowly introduced script to the students, Real Script. I’ve actually required them to use a pen when writing, and I’m constantly saying “Feet, elbows” to encourage proper posture. The kids have also heard, “Dance of the pen…” over and over as a reminder of the pleasurable experience writing CAN and SHOULD be.
Yesterday the class was enthusiastic about writing their names, so I showed them a video from Old Grouch’s Real Script resource to introduce Majuscular script. As we viewed and attempted our own versions of the various Majuscular forms, Old Grouch emailed us. We called, he enthusiastically shared his expertise, and we eventually moved on to the introduction of a new online resource, LatDict. For those at home who watched the previous videos about Latin verbs and their principal parts, this is a very useful resource, as is the Latdict video below.
I recorded some of our script session. Also, at the end, in order to get to recess, the kids needed to “spell out” <recess>, indicating their hypotheses about its structure by pausing between potential morphemes. Watch to the end to catch that. (I cut Ritvik off prematurely…he offered <success> as a relative.)
And finally, Old Grouch explains how to use LatDict. Also, at the end, when Noah asked, “How does he know all this stuff?”, Old Grouch provided some reflections on the Latin instruction of his youth. And we were all speaking Latin in the end!