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    One more idea!
    By Lou

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    I'm not sure kids are really the best peer editors, but I have tried a few things to help them become better by finding what they do right. Here are some ideas:

    Start by teaching kids to edit and revise their own short paper, usually only a paragraph, by doing the following as a WHOLE CLASS:

    1. Take a red pen. Read each sentence aloud. Circle the period at the end of the sentence. (If they notice a missed period, add it in with the red pen!)

    2. Take a red pen. Read each sentence. Circle the capital letter at the beginning of the sentence. (If they notice a missed capital letter, cross out the letter and write the capital!)

    3. Take a highlighter. Read each sentence. Highlight each sentence that is complete.

    4. Take a blue or black pen. Read each sentence, putting a star above any "STAR WRITER" words, words which are unusual, vivid, great descriptors, etc.

    5. Read the story backwards outloud, looking at words only. Circle every word that is spelled correctly.

    I think students are able to see their mistakes more quickly by looking for what is supposed to be there. At this point, I ask students to fix up any sentences that weren't highlighted, words that weren't circled (ask me how to spell, if necessary), add periods, capital letter, and try to add at least one or two STAR WRITER words if they didn't star a word.

    Next, I have students hand in the revised paper with all the circled words, etc., so I can see what they changed; then I do the final revision. I talk with students that individually that were unable to edit and revise, reteaching them.

    Final drafts are next, with the emphasis on copying correctly from the revisions made. Again, individuals who can't seem to do this have an individual conference giving them some pointers in rewriting.

    Later, we get into doing something similar to this with peers, then with longer pieces we start circling only words that are misspelled. As writing ability increases through the year, students are asked to do additional tasks when editing and revising.

    Anyway, it's another way to try to get students more aware of what revising is all about. At this stage, I really think it's all new, so very direct instruction in small steps is needed.

    The best to your writers!

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