When it came to editing, my Morning Message did the trick. Each day I'd write a 3-5 sentence paragraph to my students telling them what we'd be doing that day and asking them a question. The first thing they had to do after unpacking and writing down homework was to read the message and use colored chalk (haven't had a chalkboard in 3 years now!) to make an edit to the message before starting their journal question. Here's an example:
tuesday september 6 2011
today we will had our first day of school arent you excited we will start of making some class rulez can you think of nething important
By third grade, they were expected to know the parts of a letter (we acted that out using our bodies from top to bottom, touching our heads for the heading, waving our hands for the greeting, touching our stomachs for the body, "closing the door" for the closing, and signing for the signature), where to indent, what to capitalize, what to punctuate, and how to correct simple spelling and grammar mistakes. When I taught second grade, I limited the mistakes to a skill we were working on. For example, if we were learning about proper nouns, we'd only work on capitalizing them or I might put several of our spelling words in the paragraph and misspell them. I chose one student to be the "teacher" after I modeled calling on students to explain why the corrections were needed. A student response to the above message might be, "You need to capitalize Tuesday and September in the heading because they are proper nouns. You need a comma to separate the day and the year." It was really important for students to know WHY they were making edits and what rules they followed.
Side note: I switched to basic skills and then science before I got a Promethean Board. My students loved using colored chalk and markers. I'm positive that students will find it even more fun to do if you use technology! The only thing that I had to change was they got so excited to make edits that there was a long line at the board. Instead, I had them finish their journal prompts before they could edit.
Would you believe that they started BEGGING me to start writing time every day?!?