A huge leap for students is in developing independence in editing their own writing. In classrooms of the past red pen would be marked all over children’s writing highlighting all the ways in which they forgot to use punctuation!
Writing is a complex process and many children struggle with forming sentences in their minds, spelling words correctly and remembering to use punctuation at the same time! Supporting your child in paying close attention to punctuation will allow them to begin to use it independently in their writing.
WAYS TO BEST SUPPORT YOUR CHILD:
When reading to or with your child point out specific punctuation marks and discuss their purpose. You can do this at any age and stage – it will even benefit pre readers to be aware that the marks on the pages have a specific purpose in helping the reader.
Write sentences on strips of paper and cut up the sentence so that each word is on a separate little ‘card’. Make sure that the punctuation mark such as a full stop or question mark is on a separate card. As children reconstruct the sentence, this will bring attention to the punctuation used in the sentence, as well as the correct placement within the sentence.
Write a paragraph without punctuation. Have your child look at it and attempt to read it. Discuss that it is impossible for the reader to know when to pause when reading. Discuss how this negatively impacts the readers ability to make meaning of what they are reading.
As a bare minimum, primary aged school children need a deep understanding of the purpose and correct usage of the following:
- Capital letters
- Full stops
- Question marks
- Exclamation marks
- Quotation marks