Now that I have recovered from my ISTE experience, I am starting to go through some of the amazing resources that I learned about while I was there. One that jumped out at me is a Curriculum Pathways resource called Punctuation Rules!. You need a login to access Curriculum Pathways’s tools, but it is free.
I love grammar, but I have a hard time teaching it in a way that is interesting for students, especially since they usually have a wide range of skills when it comes to understanding and using grammar in their reading and writing. Punctuation Rules! is one tool that I think could help me target students’ individual grammar needs.
Once you launch the resource, you can see all of the punctuation marks that you can learn about. You can jump to a resource by clicking on it. It will take you to the menu where you can look through the different uses of that form of punctuation.
Once you select a usage, you have three options: learn, practice, and quiz.
The “Learn” tab has a short video outlining definitions, examples, and common traps associated with that specific usage.
The “Practice” tab provides sentences where students practice using the form of punctuation. There are choices or write-ins for each question, so there is an opportunity for students to control some of the practice.
Once you pick your sentence, you drag the punctuation mark where it needs to go in the sentence. There are sentences where you don’t need the punctuation mark at all, so you have to be paying attention. You check your work after each sentence to see if you are on the right track.
The “Quiz” tab provides sentences that allow students to assess their understanding of the usage, including any “traps” that they talked about in the video. You check all of your answers at the end, when you get a handy PDF with your name, usage, and results to share with others.
The definitions are not “dumbed-down” for younger students, so there is a helpful glossary that students can open up at any time if the video uses a term that they are unfamiliar with.
This resource is marked K-8, and I feel like it will be perfect for my 5th graders, but some of the language can be tricky. I think it’s good for students to use the proper terminology, so I like that the glossary is there as a scaffold while they are learning.
I am excited to use this resource as part of my writing workshop this year. My students need to learn about more advanced forms of punctuation, and this resource provides them with short practice opportunities that they could reference again at home if they need to. We could also do it as a whole-class or small-group activity, but I envision myself using this more on a individual basis, if students are struggling with incorporating more advanced punctuation or need additional practice with more familiar punctuation (like commas).