Capitalization and Punctuation Rules: Teaching students the art of conventions

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If the Capitalization and Punctuation References are creating stress in your Shurley English classroom, let me offer you some relief.  Shurley English students are not expected to memorize the rules in one grade level.

Some teachers assume that their students are expected to memorize every single capitalization and punctuation rule and rule number listed in the references.  Well, that’s just - not true.  What is true is that knowledge of conventions and the ability to edit are essential to a blooming writer; in fact, Conventions are one of the Traits of Effective Writing.

In the lower grade levels, Shurley English students are exposed to basic capitalization and punctuation rules that support what they are learning about sentence structure and paragraph construction.  Early exposure to the rules along with multiple opportunities to practice them increases students’ ability to use the proper conventions when writing.

Capitalization and punctuation rules increase in complexity in each level of Shurley English.  (I have provided you with reference lists from our level four text at the conclusion of this article.) The intention is NOT to have your students focus on memorizing all of these rules at once; the intention is to continuously EXPOSE them to capitalization and punctuation rules AND give students plenty of opportunity to apply the rules during editing exercises and writing assignments throughout the year.  Applying the capitalization and punctuation rules over and over again in various exercises is the best strategy to help students commit these rules to memory. 

The Shurley English References are designed for your students to “refer to” when necessary.  This idea of “exposure” holds true for many concepts that are introduced to our young learners, so take a breath and remember: Shurley English students attain mastery through repetition!

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Kimberly Crady

Kimberly Crady is an adventurous woman with an immense love for life, learning, and teaching. After teaching in upper elementary classrooms for nearly 10 years, she joined the Shurley Team in 2005.  Kimberly has had the unique experience of teaching Shurley English lessons in all levels, Kindergarten-8th grade and training teachers across the United States.  Kimberly is a National Consultant and SEDA Teacher for Shurley Instructional Materials.


Kimberly’s passion for helping people and living a healthy lifestyle has led her to continue her education in the area of Health and Wellness.  She enjoys numerous outdoor activities from hiking and snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains to paddle boarding in the ocean; although, these days you can find her practicing hot yoga in a Bikram Yoga studio. She also enjoys traveling abroad, live music, reading, and spending time with her favorite mutt, Lu.  Kimberly’s experience as a Certified Health & Wellness Coach and Teen Life Coach helps support her firm belief in teaching the whole person, especially in the classroom.