Let’s try an experiment Read the three different versions of the same passage
The Code of Writing: Version 1 thesecretsofpunctuationaremanymorethanyouguessthes esecretsareasancientassmokesignalsorjungledrumsinpla intermsthetruthsignificantlyliesintheconnectionbetween signsandsoundsthatalittledotwithacurvedtailmightrepre sentapauseinspeechmusthavebeenarevolutioninwritingn ocuneiformclaytabletpossessedquestionmarksmusthave beentotallyradicalwhenpunctuationdawnedmeaningaro setoo
The Code of Writing: Version 2 the secrets of punctuation are many more than you guess these secrets are as ancient as smoke signals or jungle drums in plain terms the truth significantly lies in the connection between signs and sounds that a little dot with a curved tail might represent a pause in speech must have been a revolution in writing no cuneiform clay tablet possessed question marks must have been totally radical when punctuation dawned meaning arose too
The Code of Writing: Version 3 The secrets of punctuation are many. More than you guess, these secrets are as ancient as smoke signals or jungle drums. In plain terms, the truth—significantly— lies in the connection between signs and sounds. That a little dot with a curved tail might represent a pause in speech must have been a revolution in writing no cuneiform clay tablet possessed—question marks must have been totally radical! When punctuation dawned, meaning arose too. http://sanantoniowritingproject.org/punct/PunctuationMatters1.pdf
Teaching “Doing! Punctuation” “ Writing is learned behavior; talking is natural, even irrepressible behavior.” --Janet Emig, “Writing as a Mode of Learning” While students may be able to speak in syntactically and grammatically sophisticated ways, they don’t naturally translate this verbal proficiency into writing. One nexus for error in student writing is punctuation because it ties so closely to sentence boundary issues as well as misreading (as the “Let’s eat Grandma!” graphic illustrates). Handout— http://sanantoniowritingproject.org/pu nct/1pgr.pdf http://sanantoniowritingproject.org/pu nct/1pgr.pdf
Sentence Structure and Punctuation Punctuation signals the human voice Punctuation also signals sentence structure http://www.lirvin.net/WGuides/punct.htm
Let’s Practice http://www.lirvin.net/WGuides/punctpract1.pdf
Further Practice— Stand Up Punctuation! Doing your own stand up punctuation: http://www.sanantoniowritingproject.org/punct/shapes.pdf
Integration into Students’ Own Writing: Evaluative Marking
Integration into Students’ Own Writing: Minimal Marking Handout: http://www.sanantoniowritingproject.org/punct/MinimalMarking.pdf http://www.sanantoniowritingproject.org/punct/MinimalMarking.pdf
Sentence Combining: Approach Two to Building Sentence Fluency
Writing Next (2007) Writing Next http://carnegie.org/fileadmin/Media/Publications/PDF/writingnext.pdf
Start with Coordination and Subordination Coordination reinforces function #1 of Doing! Punctuation (“Connecting Sentences”) Subordination reinforces function #2 (“Comma after introductory element”) http://www.lirvin.net/WGuides/subcord.htm
Sentence Combining Exercise Example: I stayed up all night studying for my Algebra exam. I was so tired all day today. Coordination: I stayed up all night studying for my Algebra exam, so I was so tired all day today. Subordination: Because I stayed up all night studying for my Algebra exam, I was so tired all day today. You try it—combine both ways. 1. Grandmother lost her sight. Her hearing sharpened. 2. Catherine has weathered many hardships. She has rarely become discouraged. http://www.lirvin.net/1301sitebb/CoordSubord%20Exercise.pdf
Possible Answers 1.Grandmother lost her sight. Her hearing sharpened. COORDINATION: Grandmother lost her sight, yet her hearing sharpened. SUBORDINATION: Because grandmother lost her sight, her hearing sharpened 2. Catherine has weathered many hardships. She has rarely become discouraged. COORDINATION: Catherine has weathered many hardships, but she has rarely become discouraged. SUBORDINATION: Although Catherine has weathered many hardships, she has rarely become discouraged.
Try this one… The job offers an attractive salary. It demands long work hours. Promotions are rapid. The job offers an attractive salary and rapid promotion, but it demands long work hours. Although the job offers an attractive salary and rapid promotions, it demands long work hours. Even though the job demands long work hours, it offers an attractive salary and rapid promotions.
Additional Resources on Sentence Combining “What is Sentence Combining and How Does It Work?“What is Sentence Combining and How Does It Work?” --Richard Nordquist About.com Grammar and Composition site. Excellent. Strong theoretical basis; packed with additional exercises.
Third Approach to Building Sentence Fluency Kelly Gallagher’s Sentence of the Week Activity Handout describing sequence of using Sentence of the Week in the classroom: http://sanantoniowritingproject.org/punct/SoW. pdf
Sentence of the Week Monday morning students arrive to find three sentences written on the board. (These sentences all contain a common editing feature.) Students open to their “Sentence of the Week” (SoW) section of their Writer’s Notebook. Students copy the sentences on a new page. Below the sentences, students write the heading “What do I notice?” and then list what they notice about the sentences.
Sentence of the Week Students then discuss what they notice and generate the editing rule by this close examination and discussion of the sentences. Students are not given the rules ahead of time. Once the rule(s) is understood, students skip a line and write the heading, “Imitate.” The teacher models a couple more sentences in front of the class, and then ask students to generate three examples of their own. As they are writing, the teacher walks around the classroom checking for understanding.
Sentence of the Week “Table Check!”— When called out, the teacher gives the tables a few minutes to finish and collaboratively check the sentences of their peers. The teacher then goes to a table and randomly checks one student’s sentences. If the student is correct, the whole table gets rewarded; If he or she is wrong, the whole table get’s docked. This method encourages meaningful collaboration at the tables.
Sentence of the Week As students progress through the week, the teacher gives additional five-minute exercises to practice the editing skill. To encourage integration of this skill into their own writing, the teacher requires students to use the editing skill in their writing they will be doing that week in their writer’s notebook. Points are rewarded to students who highlight this skill in their notebook. After having worked on the skill throughout the week, the teacher gives a short SoW quiz on Friday. As part of the quiz, students have to write a passage that weaves that week’s skill into their writing. They also are asked to demonstrate two or three other skills randomly selected from previous weeks. Example SoW Quiz
Let’s try one! Mentor Sentences I am late, but I still want to play. Same ate the entire sandwich, and I watched him do it. You were rude, so they will not speak to you. It’s Monday morning; you dribble into class. 1. Copy down the mentor sentences in your notebook. 2. Skip a line, and write the heading “What I Notice.” 3. Then list what you notice about these mentor sentences.
Let’s try one! Mentor Sentences I am late, but I still want to play. Same ate the entire sandwich, and I watched him do it. You were rude, so they will not speak to you. Notice: 1. Each sentence is really two sentences put together. They are compound sentences!!! 2. I notice a comma plus a coordinate conjunction is connecting these sentences. (Opportunity to review FANBOYS to remember coordinate conjunctions) 3. I notice the comma comes BEFORE the coordinate conjunction.
Let’s try one! Mentor Sentences I am late, but I still want to play. Same ate the entire sandwich, and I watched him do it. You were rude, so they will not speak to you. Now let’s imitate. 1.Below your list of what you noticed, skip a line and write the heading, “Imitate.” 2. Then write three sentences imitating the features of the mentor sentences we discussed—in other words, create a compound sentence with a comma plus coordinate conjunction.
Other good resources to work on sentence fluency: Write for Texas Principle 3 Resources : http://writefortexas.org/r esources/teaching-sentence-skills http://writefortexas.org/r esources/teaching-sentence-skills Read Think Write (NCTE) Visit: http://www.readwritethink.org --Search: Sentencehttp://www.readwritethink.org Writing Fix: Teaching the Skills of Writing Fluency http://writingfix.com/6_traits/sentence _fluency.htm http://writingfix.com/6_traits/sentence _fluency.htm Sentence Composing Series by Don Killgallon
The last word What ever approach you use to teach sentence skills to students, to be effective you need to use ALL three elements of skills instruction: 1. Separated instruction 2. Simulated instruction 3. Integrated instruction