Writing Mechanics Programs


Capitalization Commas Punctuation Graphic

For each of these programs, teachers correct students' application of the strategies in their written sentences at the end of each lesson. Otherwise, the program is self-paced and self-correcting.

CD Program

Author(s): Jean Schumaker

Publication Info: Edge Enterprises, 2009

Should “basketball team” be capitalized or not? What words should be capitalized in a title? What words should be capitalized in a quotation? Sometimes, questions like these can make one’s head spin! Not to worry! This computerized instructional program simplifies everything into four easy capitalization lessons that students can work through at their own pace. Students learn a simple poem that helps them remember the capitalization rules, and they learn a strategy for each rule. Included on the CD are an instructor’s manual, the instructional program, and all the materials (e.g., pretest, posttest, handouts, worksheets, answer keys) needed for the program that can be printed out, if necessary. Nevertheless, students can print the materials themselves as needed at various points in the program if their computers are connected to a printer.

For the most part, students can work through the program independently since the program provides feedback on student performance during all computerized activities. An instructor is needed to score papers and provide feedback toward the end of each lesson when students must write sentences that demonstrate their use of the capitalization rules. Additionally, the instructor administers quizzes at certain points to check student understanding and provides “pass codes” that allow a student to progress from one part of the program to another once a rule has been mastered by the student. The program has been very successful in teaching students to find capitalization errors in others’ writing and to use capitalization rules well in their own writing. All ages can benefit, starting with fourth graders. With purchase of each CD is a license to download it onto eight computers.

Capitalization Strategy Research (pdf)

Research Articles:

Schumaker, J. B., & Walsh, L. (2009). Effects of a hypermedia program on the punctuation and capitalization skills of students with learning disabilities. Phase II Final report for SBIR Grant #5 R44 HD043618-03

Author(s): Jean Schumaker, Jan B. Sheldon

Publication Info: Edge Enterprises, 2009

Is this a restrictive adjective clause or a nonrestrictive one? Where do I put a comma in a quotation? Does this appositive need commas around it? Sometimes, all this terminology is confusing and complex. Fortunately, this computerized instructional program boils it all down to some simple rhymed phrases like, “Commas like to take out the trash!” Indeed, this program simplifies everything into six easy commas lessons that students can work through at their own pace. Students learn a simple poem that helps them remember the comma rules, and they learn a strategy for each rule. Included on the CD are an instructor’s manual, the instructional program, and all the materials (e.g., pretest, posttest, handouts, worksheets, answer keys) needed for the program that can be printed out, if necessary. Nevertheless, students can print the materials themselves as needed at various points in the program if their computers are connected to a printer. For the most part, students can work through the program independently since the program provides feedback on student performance during all computerized activities. An instructor is needed to score papers and provide feedback toward the end of each lesson when students must write sentences that demonstrate their use of the comma rules. Additionally, the instructor administers quizzes at certain points to check student understanding and provides “pass codes” that allow a student to progress from one part of the program to another once a rule has been mastered by the student. The program has been very successful in teaching students to find comma errors in others’ writing and to use the comma rules in their own writing. All ages can benefit, starting with fifth or sixth graders through college. With purchase of each CD is a license to download it onto eight computers.

The Commas Strategy Research (pdf)

Research Articles:

Schumaker, J. B., & Walsh, L. (2008). Effects of a hypermedia program on the use of commas by students with learning disabilities. Phase II Continuation Report for SBIR Grant #5 R44 HD043618-03.

Author(s): Jean Schumaker, Jan B. Sheldon

Publication Info: Edge Enterprises, 2011

Should I use semicolons in this list, or should I use commas? Do the quotation marks go inside or outside of the comma? Is this a compound adjective that needs a hyphen or not? Is this a singular or plural possessive? The answers to such questions require quite a bit of understanding related to the punctuation rules, which are sometimes complex and confusing. Fortunately, this computerized instructional program boils it all down to some simple rhymed phrases like, “For plural words that end in ‘s’ a lone apostrophe is best.” Indeed, this program simplifies everything into six easy punctuation lessons that students can work through at their own pace. Students learn a poem that helps them remember the punctuation rules, and they learn a strategy for each rule. Included on the CD are an instructor’s manual, the instructional program, and all the materials (e.g., pretest, posttest, handouts, worksheets, answer keys) needed for the program that can be printed out, if necessary. Nevertheless, students can print the materials themselves as needed at various points in the program if their computers are connected to a printer.

For the most part, students can work through the program independently since the program provides feedback on student performance during all computerized activities. An instructor is needed to score papers and provide feedback toward the end of each lesson when students must write sentences that demonstrate their use of the punctuation rules. Additionally, the instructor administers quizzes at certain points to check student understanding and provides “pass codes” that allow a student to progress from one part of the program to another once a rule has been mastered by the student. The program has been very successful in teaching students to find punctuation errors in others’ writing and to use the punctuation rules in their own writing. All ages can benefit, starting with fifth or sixth graders through college. With purchase of each CD is a license to download it onto eight computers.

The Punctuation Strategy Research (pdf)

Research Articles:

Schumaker, J. B., & Walsh, L. (2009). Effects of a hypermedia program on the punctuation and capitalization skills of students with learning disabilities. Phase II Final report for SBIR Grant #5 R44 HD043618-03.

These product are published by Edge Enterprises, Inc.  Professional development is recommended, see the SIM Event list for sessions.