We have gone over rules of grammar, spelling, capitalization , and punctuation in class endlessly. We've practiced together with DOLs. Students have their own booklets with rules and examples. I've helped students all year by showing them convention errors in the work they have turned in for reading and Basic Cells (even if they aren't getting a grade for conventions).
We are now moving to the time of the year when conventions will count more significantly on any final draft written work. For example, the Basic Cells sentence sheets have four points per word with a total of 16 possible. There is a percentage grade from that. Minus one is 94%, minus two is 88%, and so on. Starting in March, however, for every convention error, there will be one more point taken off. A grade of 88% with five convention errors will go down to 83%.
Why? The class can find mistakes just fine on DOLs. They need to get just as adept at finding the mistakes in their own work.
Please talk to your child as you read over their short story and correct the errors you see. Have them pull out their blue book with its rules if there is a question. Their biggest difficulty will be with run-on sentences and punctuating dialog, so helping them to understand where they have made mistakes in those areas will be so helpful to them.
They will come back to school next week and fix everything. They will print it again, as perfect as they can make it. And I will grade it. Chances are, I will still find things I want them to fix, or there will be suggestions I will make for improvement. Hey, it's my job!