Caught'ya Again: More Grammar with a Giggle

Caught'ya Again:
More Grammar with a Giggle
by Jane Bell Kiester

“Caught’ya” is a method to present grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and parts of speech in a fun, enjoyable way. By integrating the soap opera suspense of the Caught’ya storyline, good natured teasing by both students and teachers, and built in success Caught’ya becomes an effective means of teaching grammar, mechanics, listening skills, handwriting, proofreading skills, editing skills, and some spelling in only 10 - 15 minutes per day.

How Does Caught’ya Work?

  1. Write the day's sentence on the blackboard. Box the vocabulary word clearly and discuss it. Write the day and date above the sentence. Count the number of errors and put the number in a circle to the right of the Caught'ya.
  2. The students read the Caught'ya, identify the problems, and write the passage as correctly as they can in their Caught'ya folder. While the students attempt to write the Caught'ya sentence as correctly as they can, you circulate, offering individual encouragement and issuing challenges in a good natured way. When you find a student who hasn't caught an error your can tell them "Caught'ya" and encourage them to find the missing error. Sometimes you may want to give them a hint.
  3. After the students have written the sentence as correctly as they can, return to the blackboard and elicit the corrections from the class. Ask them what is wrong, press further and insist on an explanation of why the correction needs to be made. Correct the Caught'ya on the board using proofreading symbols to mark the errors. The students use a colored pen to correct their Caught’yas and indicate how many mistakes they made in a circle to the right of that days Caught’ya.
  4. All Caught’yas for the week are kept on one sheet of paper and collected on Fridays. Points are not taken off for making mistakes but they do receive fewer points for failure to correct their errors. I use the following rubric for grading Caught’yas:


Name and number written correctly. 2 points
Title correctly written and capitalized. 1 point
Days of the week correctly spelled above each sentence. 5 points
Number of uncaught errors indicated and circled to the right of each Caught'ya. 5 points
Errors corrected in another color. 5 points
Margins fairly even. 2 points
All caught'yas for the week on the same sheet of paper. 5 points
Every error not caught, not marked, or the correction not written above the marked error. - 5 points
Every error added in, words missed, etc. -5 points

My rubric gives the students 25 points per week for their Caught’yas. The rubric in the book allows for 100 points per week.

The book comes with three scripts ranging from 3rd grade through 11th grade. For each lesson she lists the vocabulary words and skills, the incorrect version and the correct version.

Example: Lesson 12 from “The Magic Purple Umbrella”

Vocabulary Words and Skills: paragraph, abbreviation, homophone (their), comma (appositive, interruptive)

Unedited Sentence: all the students however just stared at the old lady and ignored ________ there teacher

Correctly Written Sentence: All the students, however, just stared at the old lady and ignored _______, their teacher.

Many of the sentences include blanks for personalizing the story with the names of students from the class and the teachers name.

The book also presents methods for incorporating spelling tests, vocabulary tests and caught’ya tests into your program.

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