Growing Independence and Fluency
Kiri McFarland

Rationale ­ This activity is designed to help children grow in fluency by strengthening reading and writing skills.

Materials ­ Pencil, red crayon, and Oooops! handout (one of each per child). The Oooops! handout should have sentences with mistakes such as capitalization and punctuation. There should be space under each sentence for correction.

Procedure ­

  1. Pass out handout, pencil, and red crayon to each child.
  2. Tell the children that you are trading places with them. They are the teachers and you are the student. This is a paper you have written and they are to grade it and correct it for you. Explain to the children that the mistakes in your paper include capitalization and punctuation errors.
  3. Review capitalization rules with the children. Be sure to remind them of abbreviations such as Dr. and Mrs. as well as proper names such as Sue or Auburn. Remind them also to check the words at the beginning of the sentence.
  4. Review punctuation rules with the children. Remind them of periods, exclamation marks, and question marks at the end of a sentence. Also, review the use of commas.
  5. Explain to the children that they are to find the mistake in each sentence. When they find it, they are to write Oooops! over it with the red crayon.
  6. With their pencils, they should correct the mistake in the space below.
  7. The teacher should model a sentence or two on the board.
  8. When the children are done, the teacher should collect the handouts and check them as assessment. The teacher can then determine the problems that are affecting the child's fluency and address the problem with the child.
  9. As a bonus assignment, the teacher can have the students break into groups and write a short story using the capitalization and punctuation rules covered.

Reference ­
                      Amy Hall, Mobile County Schools. 2001

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