Updated: Apr 8
What a pain in the butt commas are, and even more frustrating to reinforce their use among students...
Commas are used so often in English, yet the rules of when to use many of them are too abstract for this stage. This is an introductory level, so we will focus on three instances where commas are used. First, to indicate a pause in a statement or thought. The second, to divide a list of more than three items. Finally, in dates.
It's been my experience that students don't typically understand or see a purpose for commas until long after they are taught in school. In fact, since the onslaught of social media and texting, they are kind of a dying art. They are typically introduced in the first three years of school, but must be practiced and reinforced if they are not to be lost to technology. Seriously though, they are important and necessary for conveying messages properly. However, they are abstract and do require a lot of practice and reinforcement for children to master. Commas have been a source of a lot of hair pulling and head banging against a wall. I wish you the very best of luck on your child's journey learning commas. Don't give up!
The best way to learn to write and all it entails is by actually writing. Commas included. Kids must practice writing in order to master commas. No amount of worksheets of isolated practice is going to replace actually writing content where commas are used in earnest.
Scroll down for real life, no-prep ideas for comma practice are listed at the end of this post.
Videos About Commas
Read Alouds About Commas
Practice Using Commas
Write lists: Ask your child to be the one in charge of your shopping and to-do lists. Rather than writing a vertical list, ask that they make them horizontal lists, separating each list item with a comma.
Don't forget the date: Whenever your child is writing, make sure they write the date on their paper. Not only is good practice, but it's an awesome for keeping records of their work.
Copywork & Narration: Both are excellent opportunities for comma practice.
Remember: Learning to write takes a long time, and a lot of practice. Be as consistant as you are able, but most of all, be patient. It will happen.