What should I do with this student? - ProTeacher Community
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 Kare3A Joined: Jan 2008 Posts: 799 Senior Member
Kare3A

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 799
Senior Member
What should I do with this student?
09-20-2011, 12:44 PM
 #1

I have a student who is proficient in all areas. She knows better, but she is absolutely refusing to use capital letters! She won't even capitalize her own name or the word "I." Her sentences don't begin with capitals. She was using capital letters in 1st and 2nd grades. She stopped last year in 3rd. She can be a little defiant. Do you think this might be her way of trying to be in charge???

What do you suggest I do? I've had her erase and write capitals. I've talked with her about this, reminding her she knows how to use capitals and was using them in 1st grade. Do I ignore it? Make her correct it? I just don't get it!:confuse d:

Thanks for your help. I've never encountered this with a 4th grader!

 tmar Joined: Jul 2007 Posts: 3,755 Senior Member
tmar

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,755
Senior Member
Capitalization
09-20-2011, 12:54 PM
 #2

I'd start taking off a point for each letter. I always do that for both capitalization and punctuation errors with my 4th graders, especially when they are copying something that is already capitalized or punctuated correctly. Sometimes I'll have a child who makes 100 but loses 10 pts or more for this. By 4th grade, they should be able to do this.

 cvt Joined: Jun 2007 Posts: 10,022 Senior Member
cvt

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,022
Senior Member
capitalization
09-20-2011, 01:19 PM
 #3

Give her a rubric on what is expected. Have her check off all the criteria so she will know how her paper will be evaluated. Capitalization and punctuation are (usually) at the lowest level of the rubric, so if she wants to get more than a 1 for a score, she will learn that she needs to use capital letters.

 kg123 Joined: Aug 2009 Posts: 449 Senior Member
kg123

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 449
Senior Member

09-21-2011, 03:28 PM
 #4

I would tell her that you will look at her work when she turns it in. If you see more than 2 capitalization errors, you will give it back to her and she will have to redo it. You will need to be consistent with this. But, maybe then she will realize that doing it right the first time will save her time in the long run. I use this technique with editing for skills. Hopefully it will work for you. Good luck.

 starwars Joined: May 2009 Posts: 256 Full Member
starwars

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 256
Full Member
maybe tough but....
09-21-2011, 06:49 PM
 #5

I'd tell her that I respect the fact that each person is different, but there are some rules we do not get to choose to ignore, due to consequences. I'd tell her if I run a red light while driving I could get a ticket or get in an accident. If she refuses to capitalize her letters, you're going to throw it away, and she can redo it during her breaks and lunches, until it is done right. I end with.... I know you are a smart girl, and I hope you make an intelligent choice. Done......no more discussion, every time it's not done trash, redo during "her" off time. The more you "plead" with defiance and talk, the more those students have control. If you need to simply place her in a corner desk with a new piece of paper and don't talk to her again until it's done right. These students often want a reaction.....the less you give the better. Don't show that you are upset or annoyed at any time, show her it does not bother you, and you will wait her out. Make a big deal of praising others for following the directions so she can hear Good luck!

 Kare3A Joined: Jan 2008 Posts: 799 Senior Member
Kare3A

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 799
Senior Member
09-23-2011, 02:37 AM
 #6

After reading your suggestions, I made up a contract for this girl. It states when she will be required to use capital letters, and if she chooses not to capitalize, she will redo the assignment. I signed it, she signed it, then it went home for her parents to sign. I went over the contract with her in the morning, and she used capital letters appropriately the rest of the day!

 Teachr4L Joined: Aug 2009 Posts: 55 Junior Member
Teachr4L

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 55
Junior Member

09-25-2011, 08:11 AM
 #7

That sounds great. I was going to say, what have her parents said? Sometimes, if you have talked with them and it doesn't improve a quick call to parents can do wonders. If they know they are accountable at school and at home and the teacher and parent both know what is going on, then they give it up. Hopefully she will continue to follow the contract. I'm glad it worked so far!

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