Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Capital Letter & Punctuation, Oh My!

I use COPS to remind students of capitalizing and punctuation when writing in 7th grade. You would think students would have their capitalization technique down when they reach middle school, but they do not. Here are some great ideas from Stowell Learning Center:

"Does it drive you crazy that you constantly have to remind your child to use capital letters and punctuation when they write?

Is your child feeling angry and picked on because you have to be the punctuation and capitalization "police?"

Below is a simple technique to help writers of any age become more independent in proofreading their written work."

Don't be the"Police." Instead, Teach Your Child About "COPS!"

Have your child write "COPS" on a 3x5 card at the top of their paper.

Explain what each letter in the acronym stands for and walk through the process together with everything your child writes - even single sentences. Very quickly, most students will begin to apply COPS all on their own.

Even though they many continue to need some help locating or correcting their errors, you are no longer the bad guy. Just COPS - a process we do every time we write.

Here's what COPS stands for:

Overall Appearance (Spacing; clean, clear, well-formed letters; mistakes erased completely)
Spelling (Have the student check spelling by starting with the last word in the sentence or paragraph. This takes the words out of context. The student should check to see if the word "sounds right" and "looks right."

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