Handwriting Practice

Ever have a detention period and thought that all participants should have something constructive
to do--and it was not intended to simply be a time to spend on homework because they'd have had
to do the homework at home anyway? Is detention really a consequence for some bad behavior or just
a forced opportunity to do homework? We had 1-hour detention periods and I would write one of
these sentences on the board and have the students time me as I wrote it, neatly. Each one can be
written within one minute by 5th and 6th graders, so I required that they have 50, yes fifty
copies of the chosen sentence, each of which: MUST be written neatly Must extend from one edge of the paper to the other --no margins, no "miniature" writing.
Line 1 could be a "sample" writing line so they could get a feel for how the words would fit. MUST be written completely on one line and one line only MUST use the appropriate capitalization and punctuation MUST be completed within the allotted 1 hour period [Having them read the sentence to you in 5 seconds or less when handing their paper in can be fun!] As this is a legitimate and productive handwriting activity for the purpose of cursive practice,
I never once in 25 years had a parent complain, even when they had to stand at the door to pick up
their errant child after detention, waiting for their child to finish. I always explained that any
child not done could NOT leave until finished because they had certainly not been attending to the
task at hand (what an ogre!). I do not remember a parent who did not side with me and chastise their
flagging student. Talk about pressure! You must decide the quality you will accept. Oh, and keep the papers in their portfolio! You could, of course make up your own sentences! But why bother? I suggest you simply copy and paste the list into your favorite word processor!
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