Grade One teachers were asked how they get their students to incorporate capitals and periods into their daily writing. Below you will find their many great ideas. Credit has been given to each suggestion if it was known who contributed the idea. If any name has been omitted, please e-mail me and I will rectify the situation.
following idea was submitted by Shelly/Ca
During modeled writing, we always say "End of a thought, a polka-dot called a period."
This idea was submitted by Maggie Simonds
To help with using periods in student writing we sometimes follow up a writing time with "Period Patrol". As a student reads his writing to the group, the audience holds up a red stop sign with a period on it indicating they heard the end of a sentence and a period must be in the writing. If it is not there the writer then edits his work. They really like to do this and are especially proud when they have already put all the necessary punctuation on their paper so the Period Patrol did not find any sentences that needed editing.
This idea comes
from Robert Bartley
First I tell my kids that a sentence must make sense. Then I have my kids read each word and then I ask them if it made sense. For ex. if a kid wrote: One day a little dragon was walking down the road he met an elf. (etc.) I then say if I walked up to you and said, "One" would that make sense? Would you know what I'm talking about?" Of course, kid says it wouldn't. Then I say "One day." Kid says that didn't make sense. I say "One day a." I walk the kid through the entire sentence until he says it makes sense. Most of them begin to know where to place periods when I do this. I make them do it on their own and they place them correctly. However, they will not doing it unless I force them!
This idea comes
I often will read their story and "act like" I am out out of breath--because there was no where for me to stop and take a breath. Then we reread it, and when I stop and take a breath, they "hear"" wherethe period needs to go. After a few lessons and practicing, they soon can do this by themselves.
We just had an inservice on the "Write From The Beginning" program. The schools in NC that have used it, saw a dramatic rise in writing test scores. Each grade level "builds" upon each other and of course, with everyone talking the same talk, it helps children connect. There is much modeling at the beginning of first grade, but basically children begin learning to write three sentences using a circle map (graphic organizer using describing words about an object) and transfer it to a tree map,having three branches. The teacher adds the connecting words such as has, is, feels (we used a teddy bear). From that you model writing three sentences. Using details in their picture is also important for writing sentences.It's a great way to check for comprehension. Using a detailed picture is how kindergarten starts. They write their sentences from a detailed picture. There is a scoring rubric to use to assess each writing.
idea was submitted by Amy K.
Grade 1- New Jersey
Well I do something on a near daily basis (it's meant to be daily - but you all know how that goes! :-) Anyway - I have one of those double sided cut outs from Carson-Dellosa put up with a magnet on my board. The one I have is the fish and I named him Simon- but that doesn't matter! Anyway - I have it on the board and I draw a cartoon bubble coming out with a sentence inside the bubble with grammatical and punctuation mistakes. underneath the bubble I put the number of mistakes they need to find. We call this "Simon's Sentence". On the first day of school I introduced Simon and told them that he missed first grade and so his spelling, grammar, etc. needs help. His messages are usually pertinent to what we are doing, or a birthday message, etc. I ALWAYS make sure to make 2 of the mistakes be no capital to start the sentence and missing the ending marks. It's a GREAT way to introduce new grammar and punctuation items, commas, contractions, quotation marks, etc. and since it's daily (or should be :-) it's a fun way to reinforce older concepts as well. At first I do it all orally with them, but around December they copy the sentence EXACTLY the way they see it into their composition books - mistakes and all! Then they have to try to fix the mistakes using a colored marker (to make it stand out) in their books. I give them about 5 minutes to find as many as they can and then we come together to discuss it. Later in the year - I will actually make them pass them in occasionally to correct them and go over it together later in the day. It's an evolutionary thing - but it REALLY works and it's fun for them! Just a suggestion on how to keep on reinforcing the same things over and over without it getting boring and nagging!
This idea comes
from Marsha Beahn
When my students are writing, I walk around the room and I tell them that if I tap their desk with my finger, it means that I see a place that needs fixing. It causes them to stop and look for themselves. When it gets closer to state testing time for story writing, I start making them write a sentence over 3 times if they turn in a story that has a sentence that lacks a capital letter at the beginning or punctuation at the end. I also dictate a sentence every Friday as part of the Spelling test and I take off points for capital letters and punctuation. We do a lot of "share the pen" and the tutor works with a couple of kids on writing at least twice a week.
Sue Luthe writes: An idea I borrowed from another teacher:
I model writing a sentence and make mistakes. I say, "I want other people to be able to read what I write, I wish I had a rule that I could look at every time I write." Someone says why not write a reminder on the board. So I write, "I will begin a sentence with a capital letter." I think aloud, "I think I will put a "C" at the bottom of my journal page and check it off after I check my sentences for capitals," and then I model doing that. This evolves over the weeks into a chart of sentences strips that we call our writing checklist: C = capitals, U = understandable (makes sense when you read it), P = punctuation, S = Spelling . The children are led to discover that the letters spell "CUPS" and they can write that at the bottom of their journal page before they start an entry, and check off the letters as they edit. Some are getting good at this...others are still learning... but we go over the chart every Monday as a group and I roam and remind as they write daily. Here's how it looked at one point in the first quarter:
C = Capitals
___ I will begin a sentence with a capital letter.
___ I will use lower case letters except for special names.
U = Understanding
___ I can read back what I have written.
___ I leave a finger space between words.
P = Punctuation
___ I put a period at the end of a telling sentence.
___ I put a question mark at the end of an asking sentence.
S = Spelling
___ I spell Word Wall words correctly.
___ I use letters sounds to spell words.
___ I circle words I think are misspelled.
C U P S
Each day when we do news I have been writing the first five on a board. We give sound effects to all of the punctuation and the kids love it! Sometimes,for short stories, we will read with the sound effects. The students then realize in their writing that they forgot a "clap". The sound effects are "theirs" and they draw the punctuation in the air with their finger.
Denver Tolbert suggests:
Several years ago I attented a writing workshop. One of the ideas that has worked well for me is to ask if your sentence has it's shirt and pants on...the shirt being the capital and the pants the punctuation. You tell the children you can't bear to see a naked sentence. We also use check 4. Our children seem to be getting this concept.
idea was submitted by Judith Feather
I find that it you take a transparency of one of the children's stories and then together find the proper placements and capitals it is more effective. When they see their actual work it seems to sink in better. Of course we would celebrate the successes and good points of the writing in each piece and discuss how we're using the work as a teaching tool. By using each child's writing at different times (as well as the teacher's) and using a positive class tone, corrections are seen in an accepting light.
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