Background: I teach 6,7,8 science, 6 language arts, and 7 literature. Last year it was all 3 language arts, 1 science, 1 lit. My degree is in secondary language arts, and I'm working on dual certification in science. Problem: I am banging my head against a wall with my 6th grade language arts class. We've been doing capitalization and punctuation this semester. Caps they did OK on, but punctuation is killing them. They won't learn the rules, or apply the rules, or even realize that they SHOULD be applying the rules. I talked to the 5th grade teacher, and she told me to tell them that they are making her look bad, which I did. She said they all were doing fine with punctuation last year. What's not worked: After the majority failed the last test, I told them we were remediating until time for semester exams next week. I found new sentence sets and made worksheets for them. We would do the first half in class, with me taking questions, explaining why we do what we did with the punctuation, etc. Then they did the rest by themselves and could look up the rules in their books. I would check them, circle the number to the sentences they got wrong, and send them back to try again. I would check and recheck until the 4th time I told them what they were doing wrong and make them write the rule they were violating. I have weaned them down over the last week of doing this to just one time of checking, and then they have to look up the rule and write it. AND I STILLLLLLLLL HAVE STUDENTS MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Like underlining and putting quotation marks around a book title. Mind you I have done my song and dance a million times about that being like oil and water, and they don't mix- can't do it- pick one or the other but not both- nope- uh uh- nada.............LEARN YOUR RULES or look it up in the dadgum book BEFORE you hand me your worksheet. So today I gave them a test- open book. I graded a few, and they're still full of dumb mistakes. I'm afraid to keep grading because I'm so mad. I LOVE English, and I know I do a darn good job of teaching. When I go over their mistakes one on one, they "get it." But then when they have to actually pull the info out of their own brains, they don't. Or won't. Or in most cases, won't even look it up in the book. PLEASE someone give me something new to motivate these kids into doing this right. Their semester exam is next Wednesday, so I have 4 more class periods to try to teach them. I don't want to give up yet.