March 19, 2012

Primary Conventions:

In answer to the quesiton: Is correcting a student's conventions errors effective teaching? Primary teacher Mary had this to say:

I absolutely agree that correcting is not teaching. Before I began to learn about the 6 Traits, I didn't realize that one of the only things that I evaluated in a child's writing was conventions. When a student would come up to me with a writing piece, I would automatically correct their grammar and spelling.

Little did I know that I was turning them off writing. I was focusing on what was wrong and not celebrating what was right (like great voice!). I didn't know any better. It was no wonder I would hear the grumbles as I would ask them to take our their writing notebooks.

It actually was very difficult for me to NOT focus on conventions at first. I had to get used to asking a child if they could read me their piece so that I would not be tempted to correct their mistakes.

I think that having a student edit their own piece it is not as discouraging to a child. Now, I might ask if they could read their piece and show me where there might be a good place to add some punctuation rather than me marking all over their paper.

(For more on editing vs. correcting check out this online lecture.

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