As students learn to write, they must consolidate rules for punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and grammar, without forgetting the ideas they want to use. In addition, they need to have the mental “fuel” necessary to concentrate long enough on the task and not be distracted by the things going on around them. Some students may have an easy time remembering rules for practicing mechanics and grammar on a work sheet, but struggle to remember everything at once while writing a paragraph, story, or report. To spell words correctly, students need to have a good understanding about the sounds that make up words, and how these sounds can be put together to create letters and words on paper. Some students are very good at remembering what words look like, others may sound out the word as they are spelling it.

As students progress through school, it is very helpful if they can remember how to spell many words automatically. When students are able to spell a word without stopping to think about it, they can pay more attention to remembering and organizing the ideas they want to write. This chart describes some important skills related to the mechanics of written language.

Necessary SubSkills Common Obstacles Helpful Tips
Student uses correct capitalization and punctuation. Student has a hard time remembering and/or using the rules for capitalization and punctuation. view
Student correctly spells most words when writing. Student frequently misspells words while writing stories, essays, book reports, etc. view
Student uses grammar correctly when writing. Student struggles to remember and/or apply grammar rules, such as noun-verb agreement, when writing. view