Mathemafix Collaborative Writing Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Peter on November 24, 2015, 02:27:20 AM

Title: How to improve punctuation and sentences
Post by: Peter on November 24, 2015, 02:27:20 AM
This is a very effective strategy to improve punctuation to help the kids write better. The core of punctuation is about the use of the comma and full stop to make it easy to read. This skill implies the knowledge of English sentence structure. Then less important aspects of punctuation such as capital letters, speech marks and various other marks come into play as more advanced features. The key is to get the sentence structure, comma and full stop correct.

In the child board Online Resources and Guides, there are many guides (more useful for parents). The punctuation guide will help.

In the child board Story Analysis, there are about 20 sample stories that could be used for doing exercises.

The exercise

This is best done with a parent.

1- Copy one of the stories into Word, remove all commas and full stops. Then select all text, press SHIFT-F3 to convert all capital letters to lower case.
2- Set line spacing to 2x and print a copy
3- Get the kids to put the punctuation back into the story. Do just 1/2 of a page.

Then compare with the original story to see where the errors have been made. Try to explain why these are errors.

Then do the rest of the page, and compare the number of errors with that from the first 1/2 of the page.

Keep doing this with other stories until the number of errors gets under 5 per page.

Extra activity

If parents cannot help. Use Word grammar checking to help.

Do the punctuation exercise in Word rather than on paper. Get Word to check the grammar to see if any error is still there and see how Word suggests to fix  them

A new training module has been created to automate the above exercises. After logging on Mathemafix, go to the link "More ..." and look for the module Punctuation. Just by using this module, students learn to put comma, full stop and capital letters back into the sample stories. This module also provides links to videos that teach students about English sentences, how to write better sentences and the common errors in writing.