I'm just curious. I did a lot of practicums in college so I saw writing done a lot of different ways. I thought it was interesting that most teachers I worked with didn't focus on conventions at all- they wanted the students to "get their ideas out" and they seemed concerned that focusing on every little mistake would make the student hate writing. I definitely understand that focusing on re-writing the same piece 10 times to fix every single error would be frustrating for students (I did work with one teacher who made them rewrite the entire paper if there was one tiny mistake- often up to 10-15 times- what a nightmare), but I also find it a little concerning how little they know about writing conventions when they aren't a focus at all in lessons. One semester of practicums I was in a 3rd grade class in the morning and a 7th grade class in the afternoon. Both were general ed classes with 4-6 special education students and about 20 general education students. I couldn't believe how similar my 7th graders writing was to my 3rd graders. They were still making the exact same simple mistakes like forgetting capitals or periods. We had to spend a lot of time in the 7th grade room reviewing concepts that the students should have mastered years ago! I spent a lot of time on basic conventions in my writing interventions and I felt it helped the students improve SO much. In many cases, I can honestly can their writing looked better than a lot of their gen ed peers. The one thing I wasn't a total stickler on was spelling. I expected students to spell sight words correctly, but I didn't want to focus too much on spelling every single thing right because I didn't want them to be afraid to use bigger words that they might not know how to spell exactly. I helped a lot with spelling (or at times let them use inventive spelling) but I completely expected them to know to start with a capital, not capitalize in the middle, use punctuation, and not write run on sentences. How much do you work on conventions in your classroom? Do you feel it helps or hurts your students?