Let’s face it. Of all of the 6 +1 Traits of Writing, conventions is not the most exciting trait to teach. The conventions trait describes the rules of the language. Essentially it is what makes a piece of writing readable. This requires editing and proofreading. I teach my students to edit using the word CUPS. Here is what that stands for:
- C= Capitals
- U= Understanding; do the sentences make sense?
- P= Punctuation
- S= Spelling
So lets make monitoring for conventions more engaging for our learners! Here are some great ways to utilize iPods to support the Convention Trait:
I created a google form that my students can use when editing their writing for CUPS. This form requires them to analyze their own writing and self-assess their effectiveness of their own conventions use. Here is a sample of my Google Form:
This app allows students listen and watch grammar songs. After listening to the song they do a “quick check” to see if they understood the concept. Here are the topics they can learn about: adjectives, contractions, nouns, pronouns, punctuation, sentences, and verbs. There is a free version and a paid version. Also, there is an elementary (grades K-3) version and middle (grades 4-8) version. My students love listening to the silly songs and I have even caught them singing the tunes while they are editing!
The Dictionary.com app is great writing resource. The Dictionary.com app not only has a dictionary, but it also has a thesaurus that my second graders can easily use. Perhaps the most amazing thing about the Dictionary.com app is that it allows you to say the word and it will find it for you! This is great for kids who don’t know how to spell a word they want to use in their writing or if they need to find a better word to use by utilizing the thesaurus.
I learned of this app when I was researching apps for students with Autism. This app is a customizable picture and sound dictionary. You can create word lists and add pictures. You can also record the word being said. This is a great tool for students to use as a personal collection of excellent words to use during the writing block. They can collect words they commonly use, but misspell.
This blog entry is part of a series focusing on integrating iPods during the writing block with a focus on the use of the 6 +1 Traits of writing. Please return to find out about specific apps I use to support the other traits of good writing. My next blog will feature the Presentation Trait!
Please share your ideas to support the Conventions Traits!