Interested in more technology tips to help you teach the Common Core? My book Creatively Teach the Common Core Literacy Standards with Technology will be published in June 2015 by Corwin. Just in time for summer reading!

Editing your own work is one of the biggest challenges that any writer faces.  It’s exponentially more challenging to identify and correct your own grammatical mistakes. As you edit, your eyes miss errors because your brain knows what you meant to say and skips right over the mistakes.

So, how can we help students to see their mistakes so they can correct them? I’ve recommended that my students use Grammarly (, a free Chrome extension, to help them catch their errors as they compose emails, engage on social media, and write assignments online.

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Grammarly checks contextualized spelling, grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and style. The number of mistakes will appear in the lower right-hand corner in red. Each individual mistake will be underlined in green. When you hover over the underlined section, a small window pops up to help you identify the type of error you’ve made and Grammarly suggests an improvement. You simply click on the suggested improvement and it automatically changes!

Grammarly catches errors as students compose messages almost anywhere online! Students can also create a document in their Grammarly account and begin writing directly on that document to catch errors as they write.

Because my students use Google documents for all of their written assignments, I recommend that they copy and paste their work into a Grammarly document to check it before submitting a final draft. Students are amazed by what Grammarly catches! Most don’t even realize their writing has errors until they use Grammarly.

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For those of us shifting to the Common Core Standards, this simple tool offers an easy way to support students in developing a “command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing.” If students begin to recognize the types of mistakes they typically make, it will be easier for them to look for and identify those mistakes in their own writing in the future. This also makes it easier for them to “develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, [and] editing.

I know some teachers feel programs like this give students the answers, but I disagree. Often students cannot identify their own errors and need support to develop as writers. I know in my own work as a writer, I’ve found tools like this, in combination with my editor’s feedback, enlightening. For example, I didn’t realize I have a tendency to split my infinitives (who knew!). However, when it was pointed out to me on a few occasions, I became aware of my tendency to do this and began to look for this error in my own writing.

Creatively Teach the Common Core Literacy Standards with Technology  Available NOW! Just in time for summer reading!

8 Responses

  1. I love Grammaly, and have suggested it to my peers. I have a few students who use it. I really like your suggestion of copying and pasting their Google docs; that is genius!! This will be great as students get frustrated that there isn’t a red line under errors, like in word.

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