Punctuation for Beginning Writers

In my combined first and second grade, help and guidance with punctuation took place all year long with all writing. The first exposure for punctuation began with the beginning writing of first graders. When making only first drafts, after ideas for the plot were established and noticing a good amount of motivation, during early morning conferences with pencil and occasionally an eraser, corrections with explanations were made. Initially, it would just involve capitals and periods but as time went on, depending upon the maturity of the author, corrections might include much more – exclamation marks (called excitement marks), commas in a series, quotation marks, and sentence combining – perhaps for writers who were also readers and ready for that much complexity. Part of my job was to determine how much or how little to teach at any given moment. Usually, second drafts were in process for beginners by mid-year. Once involved in second drafts, for both first and second graders, corrections were made on first drafts after school hours using a red pen followed by explanations and agreement from a child during early morning conferences. This first draft was viewed as a working copy – with all corrections expected on second drafts. And most were, but sometimes a few would slip by, usually with no comments from me. Perhaps they weren’t ready. There was always time with the next story.

Learn more about story writing and teaching the techniques of writing in my book, Early Childhood Programs: Opportunities for Academic, Cognitive, and Personal Success. Included is a web site where programs and activities can be downloaded for use in a classroom. Also, see 7 reviews on www.amazon.com

   Teaching Young Children © Peggy Broadbent 2011 - All Rights Reserved