What Is a Dictation Sentence?

Dictation sentences allow students to practice writing in all subjects.
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Dictation is the process of writing down what someone else has said. Teachers can use dictation sentences to model speech that can be written down by students and then read back. This tool allows students to concentrate on the writing process without having to compose something original. Differentiating sentence topics allows teachers to introduce or review ideas in a variety of subjects. And by varying sentence length and difficulty, teachers can tailor sentences to match students' ages and language abilities.

1 Using Dictation Sentences With Students

Using dictation sentences allows students to take ownership of their own mistakes.
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Teachers should read dictation sentences at a normal speaking rate. Rather than naming punctuation marks when reading sentences, using intonation helps students know which punctuation to use. Before writing, students should repeat the phrase or phrases to be written. After students write, they should proofread their work. Depending upon the teacher's objective, work may be turned in and graded or reviewed in class. Teachers may want to post a list of commonly missed words somewhere in the classroom.

Kimberly Heffernan has taught in public schools for 25 years. Her professional works include numerous curriculum documents and project proposals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from UT Austin and a Master of Education from Sam Houston State University and credentials to be a school counselor.