In the late spring, young writers tend to find their writers’ fluency. They are writing faster and faster, longer and longer. This is a great sign that their writers’ muscles are growing. Unfortunately, with all these details flowing, students tend to neglect their conventions. Even the writers who had been using capitals and periods are now forgetting them.
In hopes of getting her students to include conventions again within their first drafts, kindergarten teacher Lisa Vega at Maywood Elementary (Hammond, IN) created a “Convention Court” of sorts. Using leftover bulletin board border she created impromptu crowns. She has a Prince/Princess Punctuation Crown to plop on a student’s head whom she notices using punctuation during independent writing time.
She crowns an individual who regularly uses spaces while writing and another who is applying capital letters accurately. She also has a Wow Word Wizard crown for a student who independently uses his phonics to stretch out strong and specific words in his writing. As a result of these Convention Crowns, Lisa has found her students more deliberate about applying capitals, periods, and spaces within their first drafts. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of royalty? Great idea, Lisa!