PEER EDITING IS AN EFFECTIVE WAY FOR STUDENTS TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER, ENHANCE THEIR EDITING SKILLS, AND IMPROVE COMMUNICATION.
Resources to Empower Student Writers
- Every writing teacher knows the hours it takes to read students’ essays and leave personalized constructive feedback for each writer.
- Too often, kids look at the grade, then file the essay away without much consideration to our corrections and wise recommendations for improvement.
- These FIVE FREE resources empower students to use teacher feedback, peer editing, and reflection to significantly improve their skills.
PERSONALIZED WRITING CHECKLIST
- This activity prompts students to examine their evaluated essay then categorize weaknesses using a rubric with the following foci: CONTENT, ORGANIZATION, MECHANICS, MLA FORMAT.
- On a table with cells dedicated to each focus, students describe the errors that they made or weakness that were noted in their essays. The completed activity then becomes a checklist for their next writing assignment.
- I usually have students submit their checklists with their next essay, so I can differentiate my grading. If I notice that a student has the same mechanical errors on two assignments, for example pronoun/antecedent agreement, I’ll attach a handout and exercise to the essay for him to complete. Sometimes, I can group kids according to such weaknesses and devote a class to their working on grammar activities while I can roam the room and explain the skill.
GROWING FROM FEEDBACK
- This activity alleviates teachers’ frustration over kids ignoring our feedback. With the return of evaluated essays, students receive a table with cells labeled COMMENT, ERROR, CORRECTION, OR QUESTION.
- Students review their essay, copy the teacher’s comment in a cell, write the erroneous sentence in the next, then follow with a corrected sentence OR a question if they are unsure about the problem.
- Collecting these charts, checking corrections, and answering individual questions provides focus and saves time and is a great alternative to students submitting full revisions of their work.
- This revision letter is a creative option that prompts kids to note their writing challenges, reflect, and have some fun with a different writing format.
- Students write a letter in which they praise, reprove, encourage, and inspire themselves.
- These are fun to read and give the kids a break from formal essay writing.
MID-YEAR REFLECTION LETTER
- Another letter that prompts reflection and inspires confidence is the Mid-Year Reflection Letter which directs kids to dig through their writing folder, find their essays, order them chronologically, then note their improvement.
- Students then write a letter describing their writing progress, strengths, weakness, triumphs, and tragedies.
- The special feature of this activity is that they are to address the letter to themselves, their teacher, and their folks. Too often older kids don’t share their work with folks at home, but this activity compels them to share and hopefully get some support and accolades.
- This resource is not editable (sorry). You’ll like it though, it’s universal, the format is nice, and has engaging graphics and color.
LETTER TO PEER EDITOR
This activity is a great way to have kids read their own writing critically. Students partner to peer edit and their conversation is scripted in the form of a letter. “Dear [peer], I see in the introduction of your essay and your thesis statement that you will prove______________.... The letter/script continues to address the main points, development, signal phrases, transitions, citations, etc. and conclusion. They finish with remarks about specific skills that their peer should address.
- As a reminder, at the bottom of the final page is a list of signal phrases and transitional words for reference.
- This is a great activity to enhance collaboration and communication skills.
TOP TEN POSTER---A BONUS!
I have students create a Top Ten list of what they should remember to check on each of their essays. Each student has different strengths and weaknesses, but they love to share their posters. I have students post a selfie of themselves with their poster hung in their workspace at home. I then create a bulletin board featuring them all. Many are creative with Snapchat filters and special hats or makeup!
AVAILABLE AS A PDF AND I HAVE ADDED A DIGITAL LAYER USING THE TPT EASEL ACTIVITIES TOOL.
Lots of fun.
I hope you find these resources helpful!
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Have a pleasant day! Lori O