A Solution to Revising and Editing Work in Writer’s Workshop!!!

25 11 2013

During Writing Workshop I have been having my students working on writing their memoirs and working on a choice piece (a piece on any topic they choose). In my mini-lessons for the memoirs I have focused on writing effective leads,using senses in writing and revision vs editing.

The thing I love about my students is their hate relationship with proofreading, revising, editing, multiple drafts… anything that that has to do with re-reading and changing what they have written! In the past I have  found that when asked to proofread, my students have just read their partner’s paper and changed a few grammar/ spelling issues and said it was good.

I took an idea from a journal that I read about  revising work using the Focused Question Card Strategy.  It has really worked well for my students. We talked a lot about the difference between revision and editing in the writing process first.

I explained the entire process below(lengthly, I know- it was hard to sum up how it works!!)

I taught them the revision card strategy during their first quick publish piece of the year (click here to read about the quick publish piece). We went step by step through the process and we talked about good questions to ask on the card. After the students turned in their quick publish stories and revision cards (they always turn in all their drafts and revision and editing cards to me) I noticed that the students had asked good questions, but most of their answers were pretty pathetic! For example- does my ending make sense? Should I add more details. The answer: yes!- no other comments. So I need to work on how to answer the revision cards.. but we had a good start with the question part!

Here is the revision card process that I use during writing workshop:

  • After the students have written for at least  20 min.  for a few days and they have some content, I tell them  that they can conference with a peer if they want.
  • I let students pick their partners since they will find people they are comfortable with and someone who will give them suggestions and be honest. Remind students that they as the writer is asking for help, so they should accept comments relating to their card.
  • Students must conference with at least 2 students for revising conferences and one other student for editing conference.
  • When it is time for drafting. The writer needs to take a note card and write one questions or concern that they have that they would like help with. If it is a yes/no question, they need to ask why.
  • They write their name on the side of the card
  • When they conference- the writer reads his/her piece aloud without the partner looking at the paper.
  • The listener only responds to that one question that the writer had. The listener writes the answer on the back of the note card and puts his/her name.
  • No editing is done at this conference. This is only time for revising.

Students then write more.

Another Revision conference

  • Same as the first, students can pick anyone to work with but it must be with a different conference partner than the first.

Editing Conference

  • With peers. This time students sit side by side and are looking at one writer’s piece at a time. The writer reads the piece aloud. Make corrections and changes. The writer is the only one who writes on his/ her paper. Then they switch, writer becomes listener etc..

I, the teacher finally looks at the paper:

  • The paper has had 3 people look at it before I even see  it one time. I have glanced at their work, and helped here and there, but not in-depth.
  • The writer then writes on a note card one thing they want help with from me.  They attach the note card to their paper.
  • At this point, the writer is giving me his/her best draft possible.
  • I then looks at the piece, and responds to the student’s question and makes one suggestion.
  • The piece is then returned to the student for them to make corrections and changes and turn in for their final piece to be graded.
  • I needs to keep in mind that the writer can ignore the suggestions that the I suggested. I need to have the student go back to the rubric and focus on the things that they are being graded on.
  • I don’t correct grammar unless it is a habit and is seen consistently from the student. If it is a habit I only comment on one thing at a time- too many and they don’t internalize it.

**The article was from September 2006,  in the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy,  written by Alexa Sandman.

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Writing Groups & Organizing Writing Workshop

3 11 2009

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After 11 long weeks of not loving my organization system for writing workshop, I finally have found a system that works for my students and me! I have broken down my main components below:

Writing Folders:

Each student has a writing folder that they keep in the room at all times filed in a crate by their class period. Beside their works in progress and final pieces, in their writing folder is: a Books I have Read sheet, Written Piece Log, Personal Proofreading Sheet, Spelling Sheet and Writing Workshop Planning Sheet.  It may seem like a ton of papers but I have color coded each piece and they know what color to grab to get what they need. The problem I had with the writing folders was that the students were shoving them in the crate at the end of the period and they took forever to find their folder. To solve this problem I gave each  class period a color and each writing group a number. I wrote on the student’s folders their group number in the color of their class period. When the students go to get their folder, they know what color tab and what number tab they can find their folder in. I also have assigned a writing group leader for each group. This persons job is at the beginning and end of class to pass out and collect the writing folders. That way there are only 4-6 students at the crate instead of 30! The students can grab their entire hanging folder ( because it has the colored & numbered tab on it) and pass out the file folders to their groups- so far, works like a charm! I posted a picture of the writing crate above. I am going to split half of the folders into another crate because their folders are getting jammed with all the writing (not necessarily a bad thing 🙂 )

Writing Groups:

My students meet in writing groups when we have writing workshop. To get them into groups, at the beginning of the year I had them write on a note card three people they feel comfortable and would like to work with, and one person they would prefer not to work with. I then had the tedious task of putting my students into groups that worked. I guaranteed them that they wouldn’t get the person they didn’t want to work with, and said they would get at least one of the three they would like to work with.  When we have writing workshop, the group meets together to share their writing, comment on it, get help  (if they ask for it) or work on writing activities that we are doing in class. Writing groups have become a safe place for the kids to share their work and listen to each other. I have to admit that we don’t meet every single time we have WW, but I try to get them to meet at least once a week.

Conferences:

When students need a conference with me during WW, I have them write their name on the whiteboard in a list. Then I work my way down the list. I use this method after I have walked around the room and made sure everyone has something to start on and doesn’t have any housekeeping type questions. I have found that when the students see where they are on the list, they can estimate how long until they can get help. This helps them to go on to something else, without sitting with their hand up or constantly walking up next to me while I am working with someone else.

Revision/ Editing Student Conferences:

When my students want a  revision or editing conference. They put their name on the board and then the first two names work together, then the next two etc.. I wasn’t sure if students would like this method, but I have found that for those who want someone to revise/ edit their work now, they can get immediate feedback. Since everyone is on a different step in the writing process, If students wait for their friend to be done, they may be sitting around waiting a while. Putting their name on the board allows them to meet with someone who is on the same step as they are in the writing process.





A Solution to Revising and Editing Work in Writer’s Workshop!!!

28 10 2009

During Writing Workshop I have been having my students working on writing their memoirs and working on a choice piece (a piece on any topic they choose). In my mini-lessons for the memoirs I have focused on writing effective leads,using senses in writing and revision vs editing.

The thing I love about my students is their hate relationship with proofreading, revising, editing, multiple drafts… anything that that has to do with re-reading and changing what they have written! In the past I have  found that when asked to proofread, my students have just read their partner’s paper and changed a few grammar/ spelling issues and said it was good.

I took an idea from a journal that I read about  revising work using the Focused Question Card Strategy.  It has really worked well for my students. We talked a lot about the difference between revision and editing in the writing process first.

I explained the entire process below(lengthly, I know- it was hard to sum up how it works!!)

I taught them the revision card strategy during their first quick publish piece of the year (click here to read about the quick publish piece). We went step by step through the process and we talked about good questions to ask on the card. After the students turned in their quick publish stories and revision cards (they always turn in all their drafts and revision and editing cards to me) I noticed that the students had asked good questions, but most of their answers were pretty pathetic! For example- does my ending make sense? Should I add more details. The answer: yes!- no other comments. So I need to work on how to answer the revision cards.. but we had a good start with the question part!

Here is the revision card process that I use during writing workshop:

  • After the students have written for at least  20 min.  for a few days and they have some content, I tell them  that they can conference with a peer if they want.
  • I let students pick their partners since they will find people they are comfortable with and someone who will give them suggestions and be honest. Remind students that they as the writer is asking for help, so they should accept comments relating to their card.
  • Students must conference with at least 2 students for revising conferences and one other student for editing conference.
  • When it is time for drafting. The writer needs to take a note card and write one questions or concern that they have that they would like help with. If it is a yes/no question, they need to ask why.
  • They write their name on the side of the card
  • When they conference- the writer reads his/her piece aloud without the partner looking at the paper.
  • The listener only responds to that one question that the writer had. The listener writes the answer on the back of the note card and puts his/her name.
  • No editing is done at this conference. This is only time for revising.

Students then write more.

Another Revision conference

  • Same as the first, students can pick anyone to work with but it must be with a different conference partner than the first.

Editing Conference

  • With peers. This time students sit side by side and are looking at one writer’s piece at a time. The writer reads the piece aloud. Make corrections and changes. The writer is the only one who writes on his/ her paper. Then they switch, writer becomes listener etc..

I, the teacher finally looks at the paper:

  • The paper has had 3 people look at it before I even see  it one time. I have glanced at their work, and helped here and there, but not in-depth.
  • The writer then writes on a note card one thing they want help with from me.  They attach the note card to their paper.
  • At this point, the writer is giving me his/her best draft possible.
  • I then looks at the piece, and responds to the student’s question and makes one suggestion.
  • The piece is then returned to the student for them to make corrections and changes and turn in for their final piece to be graded.
  • I needs to keep in mind that the writer can ignore the suggestions that the I suggested. I need to have the student go back to the rubric and focus on the things that they are being graded on.
  • I don’t correct grammar unless it is a habit and is seen consistently from the student. If it is a habit I only comment on one thing at a time- too many and they don’t internalize it.

**The article was from September 2006,  in the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy,  written by Alexa Sandman.








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