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Citation: Angelillo, Janet. (2002). A Fresh Approach to Teaching Punctuation. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Title: A Fresh Approach to Teaching Punctuation
Year: 2002
Publisher: Scholastic
City: New York, NY
Medium: Book
Author(s): Angelillo, Janet
Grades: Second Grade to Fifth Grade
Categories: Teaching Punctuation
Annotation: In her introduction to "A Fresh Approach to Teaching Punctuation," Lucy Calkins writes that “Janet knows that punctuation is the key to complex sentence structure and complex thinking, and that it can be taught using the very methods that serve us so well in the writing workshop.” Janet outlines how to teach punctuation within a writing workshop model by exploring the work of published authors and providing instruction about written conventions as part of larger units of inquiry. While exploring this topic, she began to read with an eye out for punctuation: “I realized how much fun punctuation could be, because I read widely and began to think deeply about the punctuation in the books I was reading. This kind of reading and thinking is important in making sure your knowledge is current and clear. It can also help you see the possibilities for fun in punctuation” (p. 33). She’s created four units of study, each lasting two to three weeks that can be interwoven throughout the school year beginning with “Starting with What Students Notice,” then units that build on what students know (around an author, a genre, or a punctuation mark) and a unit on “Hearing Punctuation” (through read alouds and other oral reading activities). Janet has several great tips on page 80 for teaching about punctuation during individual conferences. Rather than correcting papers and marking errors with a red pen, we can examine punctuation errors as windows into what students know in order to ascertain where they need additional information or guidance. We have to celebrate approximations and allow students room to “play” with punctuation. And all of us, teachers and students, can begin to read with an appreciation of how writers use punctuation to capture voice and convey ideas.