Capitalization Tip

in Language Arts, Tips

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Lots of elementary teachers use the proofreading acronym COPS.





They also use MINTS for capitalization.  Month, “I” as a word, Names, Titles, Start the Sentence.

But that one didn’t work for us. We needed the “starting a sentence” to come first.  And where were initials and abbreviations?  Starting dialogue in the middle of the sentence?  I like keeping titles separate; they have their own rules with the not capitalizing the little words. So, I rewrote it. We use BANDIT:

Beginning the sentence (Do you like grammar?)

Abbreviations  (Dr. Bob Smith, U.S.A.)

Names (Ohio, Monday, December, Mother Teresa, Memphis Tigers, Civil War)

Dialogue (Bob said, “Do you like grammar?”)

“I” as a word (Bob and I love grammar.)

Titles (Where the Wild Things Are, James and the Giant Peach)

My kids write it at the top of any papers that require proofreading and capitalization.  We recite it together.  When they think they’re done, I say, “Did you check your BANDIT?”  Then I mention them in order.  “Beginning of the sentences?” “Yes.” “Abbreviations?” “Yes?” etc.  I wish it could be BANDITS, but I can’t think of anything for that last “s.” Anyone?

So, there you go COPS and BANDIT.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle June 25, 2015

Wonderful! I will add the S….just as COPS, S for spelling……….after they check BANDIT for all the capitalization rules why not check spelling too :)


2 Kristin June 25, 2015

Oh I like this! It gives the something concrete to proofread their own work before I start making lots of red marks on it.


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