Supporting Convention Work in the Units of Study: Punctuation and Spelling
Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille
One of the bottom-line essentials of writing instruction, detailed in Chapter 3 of A Guide to the Common Core Writing Workshop, part of the Units of Study for Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing by Lucy Calkins and colleagues, is this:
"Children deserve to be taught explicitly how to write. Instruction matters—and this includes instruction in spelling and conventions as well as in the qualities and strategies of good writing." Further, Lucy explains, “Writing improves in a palpable, dramatic fashion when students are given explicit instruction, lots of time to write, clear goals, and powerful feedback (p.21).”
How many of you feel like grammar should be celebrated every day, and not just once a year? Probably most of you, and we’re totally with you on that. Grammar is everywhere. When used properly, it tells a story. When used improperly, it tells a vastly different story. In a pre-celebration of National Grammar Day, we want to take a moment to touch on three of the most misused and maligned punctuation marks, along with links to some sites that support the text in a lighthearted way. Are we breaking one of the most basic grammar rules by focusing on punctuation? We’ll leave that up to you to decide.