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The Sentence Police

It can be difficult to provide students with the necessary repetition of a concept while keeping it fun and motivating. This is one way I’ve tried to rev up our editing every once in awhile.

20121128-163743.jpg I wear the hat (I know, I am weird) and hand out tickets. As students fix their errors they hand the ticket back. It keeps us laughing about mistakes but also attentive to details.

The tickets say “Capital Offense,” “Omission Error,” “Punctuation Violation ,” and “Spelling Infraction.”

Focus, Focus

Today I put together these folders. I remember being in the university library and needing to read behind a study carrel or I could not focus – there were too many people to watch, friends to talk to and, well, pretty much anything seemed better than studying.

These folders are to help my students focus. I added helps for paragraphs (an idea from Pinterest), spelling helps, and punctuation.
These could also be used for privacy for a test or just as a signal to others that concentration is needed and talking is not a good option.
I often tell my students that I had to use strategies to focus. A study carrel was one as well as giving myself a deadline to meet before meeting friends at the university coffee shop. I will still feel motivated by a really good cup of coffee!




I was helping a student with a classroom assignment yesterday requiring punctuation. I received a blank look after explaining the instructions. I knew that the student understood about commas and periods, etc. I realized that the breakdown in understanding was the term “punctuation” not the execution of the assignment. Instructions often seem to include “hard” words. I have to be careful not to assume understanding.


Today I made this poster. Students used painter pens on dark sticky notes. Now we have a visual for the term “punctuation” and we can take the stickies off to review or add stickies as we discover punctuation. I am a fan of interactive posters.

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