COPS Editing Checklist

This month is all about cementing strategies for that student who just isn't getting it, and one skill that we consistently see our students struggling with is self-monitoring and editing their writing! We are bringing back one of our favorite freebies to help you help your students revise and edit their work.

Our COPS checklist allows students to use an acronym (COPS - Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation and Spelling) to remember all of the criteria they should be looking for when checking their work. This can be used with from the day a student learns to write a sentence, throughout their entire life. To learn more about why using the acronym is helpful, check out our blog frm earlier this week [here!][0]

This bookmark checklist goes one step further in terms of providing your student with an anchor. Not only do they have the acronym, but also a visual that they can check off as they go. This will help them check for and apply the rules that the COPS acronym tells them to look for.

We scaffold this for our students so they only have to start with the most basic skills, and gradually work their way up to check for all 4 criteria. Below we have outlined what each criterion includes, but use your judgment for what your student is ready for.


Do we have them where they belong? Do we have them anywhere they don't belong? Many of our students are equally guilty of throwing capitals into the middle of a word especially when it is a strategy that they developed to help overcome B & D reversals.


Do we have appropriate spaces and good overall appearance? If handwriting, are all of our letters sitting on the line correctly? Or for older students, we may be more focused on the organization of the sentence structure, or flow of the essay.


Do we have any punctuation? Many of our students are guilty of omitting these formalities altogether. Do we have the appropriate punctuation; a question mark for a question, and a period for a statement? For more advanced students do we have appropriate commas and other non-ending punctuation?


Often our students with dyslexia really struggle here. What we like to know is not necessarily if they can correct all spelling errors, they may not have the ability to do that independently. But - can they identify where a spelling error may have occurred? Can they underline or find words they think may have an issue? To us, that is a huge step in self-monitoring for writing since we have a number of technologies that can actually help us with spelling itself. For phonogram rules that have been explicitly taught, it is expected that students self-monitor for those.


Oh rats, this freebie has expired.

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