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Teaching Editing and Dictation

The day before yesterday we practiced editing and dictation (#4 and #3).  For editing, I found an essay online that Kaija wouldn’t hate to read (it’s about Pokemon).  I asked her to read it out loud to me.  Afterward, we went over it with a highlighter and pen and I summarized each paragraph in a single sentence and pointed out places where the wording or structure of the essay was weak.

Then I chose a paragraph at random from a nearby book — 3D Game Programming for Kids — and dictated it to her in my best French-teacher style – read it once through for context, once again slowly, repeating each sentence, and one last time for proofreading.

Dictating is more work than I expected.  I had to identify the words she might have difficulty spelling (“sphere” and “pyramid”) and write them out for her where she could see them.  I had to decide whether to pronounce the punctuation (not the first or last times, yes the second time).  I hadn’t realized that giving dictation is a skill, but it turns out to be one, and one I haven’t practiced.

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