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Capital letters and full stops!!!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by scoppen, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Does anybody have any suggestions/tips/resources on how you get your children to remember capital letters and full stops in their writing!? Other than putting it in their targets/success criteria etc do you have any other little strategies that you have used in your class?
    Many thanks!!
  2. Kelloggs

    Kelloggs New commenter

    I share your frustration. Despite putting it on the board or working wall as 'Success Criteria' they still don't do it! Lots of practice in writing whole sentences may help - the theory being that the more they do it the more they will use it without thinking. We can but hope.
  3. I've had an issue with punctuation pyramids which put the full stop as the easiest punctuation mark- I find mid KS2 do frequently struggle with the concept of a sentence, and thus full stops. They also struggle with using capital letters for proper nouns, but I think that is because of it being downgraded in priority of teaching.
    I think Alan Peat www.alanpeat.com has a useful publication on punctuation, devoting several pages and teaching strategies to constructing simple sentences. Basically creating grids with the content of the sentence being derived from the answers to questions placed as column headers such as Who? When ? Where? What? - the final column being the full stop.
    In KS2, I think LA pupils can get thrown by the variety of more complex sentence types they now encounter, and punctuation becomes a sign of this.

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. I put a pot of counters/tiddlywinks in the centre of the table and every time they use a full stop they get to take one. Then at the end of the lesson they look at each other's work and if they spot a capital letter being misused/not used they get to take a counter off the person who made the mistake. At the very end I draw targets on their desks with my whiteboard pen and they get to 'play tiddlywinks' with their counters and the one who gets the highest score overall gets a merit. They love it. I also wander round sometimes and take tiddlywinks off children so I get to play too - when they see me coming they frantically check their work which has to be a good habit to get into :)
  5. Never heard of this one. Did you invent it? I like it, but I think it helps children who understand sentences but are lazy about punctuating, not so sure how it would work with older pupils struggling with composing good sentences, which might be varied too. I still think understanding when a sentence begins and ends, can be the problem with LA KS2.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. I invented it. And you're quite right - it doesn't teach children how to use full stops / capital letters. I teach year 6 and most know, but don't bother / forget. For those who don't know I do one to one teaching/support a few times and the fact that everyone is getting involved with the tiddlywinks motivates them to be able to join in. I don't let the other children spot their mistakes, I do it myself until I feel they understand enough to do peer checking.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. terri1972

    terri1972 New commenter

    Hey I love this idea!
    Great! [​IMG]
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. manic28

    manic28 New commenter

  9. Sometimes I think we all worry too much, some of my SEN kids (primary) who I worried about constantly, are now fully fledged teenagers and when I accidently fall across their FB comments, they use capitals and full stops beautifully....it really surprised me..
    whitestag likes this.
  10. Have you seen Kung Fu punctuation? If you search for it on Teachers TV there's a video about it. I have used it and the children love it!
    Suzi xx
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. Sometimes getting them to take a different coloured pencil and "play the teacher" with their own work gets them to spot a lot of stuff they've missed out - no idea why it works but it does! (Interestingly - they correct their own work in all those "damaging to self-esteem" ways that we're told we can't do - great big crosses, alterations, going straight for the red pencil).
    Have seen a variation on the tiddlywinks system working very well much further down the school as well (used play money and team totals) - liked it then and was going to suggest something similar on here but you got there first!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. An old thread, but some useful ideas..
  13. tcalder

    tcalder New commenter

    Anon 63 that would be I teach Year 6!!!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    My children do the annoying thing of putting a full stop at the end of each line, regardless of whether it's the end of a sentence or not. They just associate finishing the line with needing a full stop, but they are only Year 1 so I'm not too panicked at this stage! I will try a variation of the tiddly winks idea and see if that helps - thank you! :)
  15. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

  16. literacystars

    literacystars New commenter

  17. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    I introduced my children to Punctuation Marking Men (http://www.sentenceplay.co.uk/MarkingMen.pdf) to my Year 2 class. Today I had an observation and my Head doesn't like it....problem is he can't suggest something 'concrete' to replace it, but I still have to 'throw' it out. So really, I give up!!!! The 'expert' has spoken.
  18. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    I think this is a good point. Very rarely do you see older children or adults who have no idea where to put full stops. It's one of those skills that just seems to fall into place naturally as they get older and more experienced with reading and writing. So we shouldnt really panic too much.

    Problem is, it doesn't help you in book scrutinies when they're in Year 2!
  19. MsNiChearuil

    MsNiChearuil New commenter

    I'm not so sure about this, my OH is a secondary teacher and the amount of Year 11s with no punctuation at all in their work would shock you. I've seen some books and I really do despair for what's down the road. I think the advent of texting has really done damage to the enxt generation's grasp of SpaG.
  20. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    You can be pretty confident that most Year 7s who sat last year's SATS will have considerably more knowledge of the mechanics of writing than those Year 11s. Arguably too much.
    MsNiChearuil likes this.

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