For months I had been grappling with the issue of how to help kids improve and present better written work. Children are often in such a hurry to complete their written work, that sometimes they end up making careless mistakes or turn in untidy work with illegible handwriting. I tried all sorts of things to solve the problem, whether it was positive re-enforcement by acknowledging neat work, good hand-writing, or work turned in with no spelling errors in class, and making other children applaud, or ‘talking’ to them about the importance of good handwriting et al. I tried all the tricks in the book, and more. Well, not quite. It worked perfectly with some children, while with others; it worked only for a short period of time. Invariably they would revert back to their old habits. Either they would compromise on speed or neatness or if both were OK, there would be lots of spelling mistakes. I had to work out some solution for this.
I thought about it for eons and drew a blank.
And voila! There it was one day. Casper- The friendly Ghost came to my rescue! I made-up an acronym for the word ‘Casper’, and used it as a set of instructions/reminder to kids. It goes likes this...
It worked! Now after a child completes his/her work, he/ she just ‘Caspers’ it! It’s fun when kids ask each other, ‘Have you Caspered your work?’
For the past few weeks, I have been using this method successfully to encourage children in my class to present better-written work. Their written work is significantly better now.
I’ve been toying with the idea of having an Education blog for quite some time now. When that happens, I guess I’ll re-post this one on the new site. I’m thinking for a suitable name for my new Edu-Blog. Any ideas?