For a few years now, I have been using the CUPS acronym to help my students proofread their sentences. As a resource teacher, my students struggle with the very basic writing mechanics. This handy little tool reinforces the basic things that all sentences should have.
Capital- Does you sentence begin with a capital letter? Understanding- Read your sentences. Does it make sense? Did you write what you think you wrote? Many times kiddos will leave out words on accident. This step is very helpful in catching those little mistakes. Period (or punctuation)- Does your sentence have an end mark? Spaces (or spelling)- This is something that a few of my little guys really struggle with. For older or more advanced students, you can change this to spelling. Are word wall words spelled correctly?
This tool should be taught as a mini lesson and reinforce during writers workshop. An anchor chart in the classroom is very helpful. I will try to post a picture of mine soon.
Each week, I have my students write a few sentences with their spelling words. I created these pages (one horizontal, one vertical) for independent writing practice. Each sentence includes a CUPS checklist. Students should go back through each sentence and put a check mark by the letter after they have checked or made the appropriate corrections. If students turn in writing that lacking these essential elements, I simply tell them to "check for cups." They know what to do.
Tell me what you guys think? Do you use something similar to this in your classrooms?