By this time in our year in kindergarten, we’re really starting to ramp up some of our academic expectations. One way we work on our writing mechanics each day is with a fix it. We write a simple sentence on the board with LOTS of mistakes. Children have to identify the mistakes and ‘fix’ the sentence. We start with simple mistakes, such as capitalization, and then move to more complicated concepts like punctuation.
For weeks, our fix it has been missing a period and just about all sprouts notice the missing ‘dot’ at the end of the sentence. A few weeks ago, we introduced the question mark as an alternative to the period
Yesterday, our fix it was: cAN YOU Get A cat.
It was written just like that.
The first problems we fix are usually capitalization. At this point, most kids know we need capital letters at the beginning of sentences and for people’s names… and that’s it. For sure, this isn’t always transferred into the writing we see, but slowly improvements are happening.
After we fixed the ‘c’ to a ‘C’ and changed all the uppercase letters that to be lowercase, Andy raised his hand.
Andy is a reluctant writer. He once told me he ‘hated writing’ and wanted to ‘quit school and never come back’ if it meant he had to write. He’s come a long way, and I was thrilled to see his hand up.
“The ending… it needs to be a, a, a… a mystery dot!” He shouted.
Oh, the ever elusive, enigmatic ‘Mystery Dot’ – like Big Foot and the Lochness Monster, it’s rarely seen and its existence is still questioned by the scientific community.
After a few seconds, he continued, “It has a period and it’s a question… oh a question dot!”
He was getting warmer.
We eventually identified the punctuation mark as a question mark and moved on, but now, every time I see one, I’ll be thinking of the mystery dot.
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