Monday, August 1, 2011

Revising and Editing Writing - Painlessly

My third grade students used to really struggle when it came to the part of the writing process that required editing and revising. Some weren't even capitalizing their own names! Not only could they not catch their own mistakes, but they also HATED to see the corrections that were being made to their papers. I came across Marvelous MiniLessons for Teaching Beginning Writing K-3 and discovered A Star and a Wish. It's a simple strategy that gives students positive feedback for their writing in addition to a correction that can be made during revising. I created this sheet and attached our school rubric to the back. We spent several lessons comparing writing samples to the rubric and samples to each other so that students understood how it worked. When students were ready to work with partners, they were paired up when a writing sample was finished. Each student had A Star and a Wish paper; they wrote something they really liked on the star (a short phrase) and something they wished the author did better.... like/star - described characters; wish - include dialogue. Then they scored their partner's work according to the rubric. Students then moved onto peer-editing and then had a final conference with me before publishing. Click the image to download it for free from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
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
deer childs 

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

  your teacher, 
 Miss Battista
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?!?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. You're blog tooo-cute! I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award: Check it out :)