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ERIC Number: ED170766
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
When Children Want to Punctuate: Basic Skills Belong in Context.
Calkins, Lucy McCormick
Observation and interviews of the children in two third grade classrooms--one in which children write frequently and learn punctuation skills in context, and one in which children learn punctuation in isolation--suggest that punctuation skills are learned more effectively in context. In interviews the "writers" could explain an average of 8.66 kinds of punctuation, while the nonwriters could explain only 3.85 kinds. The writers liked using punctuation because they saw that it clarified their writing for their classmates, while fewer than 25% of the nonwriters liked punctuation. The writers understood that punctuation affects the pace and inflection of language: 47% of their explanations referred to this, compared to only 9% of the explanations of the nonwriters. While the nonwriters described punctuation by trying to remember rules they have been taught, the writers referred to their writing in defining the use of punctuation. It also has been noted that the writers learned punctuation due to their increased need for it as their writing increased in complexity and that, in contrast to the nonwriters, they absorb information about punctuation from books and from classroom interaction. Their teacher encourages experimentation with punctuation, deferring corrections to final drafts of their papers. (Numerous quotations from first and third grade children's writing and from their conversations about punctuation are included in the paper.) (GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Conference on Language Arts in the Elementary School (11th, Hartford, Connecticut, March 23-25, 1979)