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ZazzyTeachR 08-27-2011 02:09 PM

Need Help Teaching Basic Conventions
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I try to teach conventions through student's writing. I also hold small and whole group mini-lessons, for example a lesson on complete and incomplete sentences. As can be predicted, students never miss those. But the problem remains that they don't seem to hear that natural break/pause that flags a complete thought has been made and an endmark is needed when it comes to their own written work. I'm thinking I need to start listening more carefully for they probably speak in long run-on sentences! Has anyone been successful helping kids develop their ear along these lines?

QueenBee2011 08-27-2011 07:11 PM

Listen to them read what they write
I think for this you really need to teach through reading. As they listen to you read, use expression or don't, incorrect pausing, run on sentences. When they hear it, they should be able to stop you and say "That's not right". It will be a fun way for them to learn this. Then read aloud what they've written and see if they hear it. Finally, have them read their own writing and the writing of others. Sometimes you need to hear it to learn it!

imalith 08-28-2011 07:24 AM

I read your post and had the same reaction as Queenbee. Teach conventions through reading. There is a really good book called "Mechanically Inclined." The idea of the book is that you take real passages from grade level books and post them. Students make observations about where punctuation and caps occur. You can also take a sentence write it differently about 4 times while you invite students to notice differences. They will notice why punctuation is needed and why it isn't.

The book also suggests having students to activities related to conventions with their own read aloud book. Ask students to find sentences that contain words will capitol letters (excluding the first word of the sentence). They write down the sentence. Next, with a group they sort the capital letters. It is an open sort, so they make the decisions. Their reasoning helps them learn and have it stick into their brains.

I was going to try this same idea except: Find a sentence in your book that has at least 2 commas.

VAreader 09-09-2011 06:03 PM

Fluency Practice Center
I have not used this yet with my students, but the Florida Center for Reading Research has some fluency activities that chunk parts of the sentences together in meaningful phrases. I would think, as the previous posters mentioned, that if they are chunking correctly in their spoken language, perhaps they would be more likely to chunk in their written work.

I don't know if this would help address your issue, but it might. If you use it, let us know if it works!

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