A Slice I shared with my students this morning ….
This morning, I was visiting a second grade classroom. The teacher, who by the way is a dynamic educator, was teaching her students about capitalization. Her students were so engaged, participating in the discussion and sharing when to capitalize words.
“Be sure to start every sentence with a capital letter,” one child excitedly told her friends. “Always use a big letter when it’s someone’s name,” chimed in another enthusiastic boy. “I always use a capital when writing the word ‘I’,” shared Johnny. “What about names of months?” asked Mrs. Smith. “Of course!” they all shouted.
There was a long pause in the classroom. Mrs. Smith made sure she had full attention from all of her students. “Second graders …” long pause. “You know all of the expectations for capitalizing your letters! You’ve just shared them with each other.” Lots of nods and smiles spread all over the classroom. “It seems that you just need to remember to use what you already know.”
With that, an even longer pause. As the second graders mouths dropped open a bit, I could see it in their eyes and expressions-“Oh boy, she’s onto us!” they thought.
FOURTH GRADERS … I challenge some of YOU! Are you using what YOU already know about capitalization? Challenge: Go back to a couple of your previous Slices … add capitalization (punctuation too…). I think your audience will be VERY grateful!
Fellow teachers … This is ALWAYS a struggle for me as a writing teacher. Clearly, conventions are necessary, but I continue to have students that do not edit their work (some that even wait until the very end to add punctuation and capitals!) When writing, I always speak to the fact that our audience deserves to read a piece that has been edited. In the same breath, I worry for our reluctant writers and sometimes find myself excited when they entertain the idea of writing. How do YOU foster this aspect of writing development?