Teaching Writing Mechanics
Teaching writing mechanics can seem like an overwhelming task. Students will come to you having learned many rules of the English language. There are some rules they will remember and some that they will not. Your task is to reinforce the basic rules of English, while introducing others that will help students grow as writers.
You will undoubtedly begin by teaching the basic rules that need to be introduced according to your curriculum. You review important rules of writing mechanics, teach new ones, and then review the new ones that you just taught. However, if teachers are going to get students to really learn how to fix their writing, they need to assess first.
There’s the third grade student who still doesn’t capitalize sentences or use periods. This child’s main focus when he writes should be to make sure he is using capital letters and periods correctly. Every time. There’s the middle school student who is always writing run-on sentences. She needs guidance on the different ways that sentences can be written so that they do not become run-on sentences. And there’s the high school student who uses the wrong punctuation because he goes too fast and doesn’t edit his work. This student needs to be taught to use an editing checklist and to conference with peers.
While there is a process in place to help students build on what they know, we can’t forget to stop and reinforce when they don’t know something. Writing becomes better when students receive individualized feedback and are given the tools they need to succeed.
Time4Writing provides practice in this area. Sign up for our Middle School Basic Mechanics course or browse other related courses below to find a course that’s right for you.