a few suggestions for peer editing that have worked really well for me over the years.
Set Clear Expectations
I devote a whole writing block to just set up the expectations of what peer editing is. This is a tough one for kids, and adults for that matter, to wrap their heads around. No one wants to be told that their writing isn’t perfect. By setting up clear expectations and a purpose from the beginning you keep everyone on the same page.
I always tell my students that we are working together to make our writing better, not that it needs to be fixed.
Model, Model, Model
A large chunk of that first day is modeling how I would like to see peer editing done. I am fortunate enough to have an aid in my room during writing, so she and I model it up with our own writing, then we model some more with student writing.
Assign Partners Based on Ability
Now you might be asking yourself how those lowest babies can edit when they are struggling to write a sentence, and this is my response to that. They get their ability based partner, but they also get a peer coach to work with the set of partners. My peer coaches are my kindest, most patient, students. They aren’t always the highest writers, but I believe that this process is just as important to them to help them become those highest writers.
Now That We Know How…
Break Out Those Highlighters
Sometimes it can be hard to see what has been edited, so I have students highlight their edits. This serves two purposes. The first being that they can be easily seen when going back during the next draft. The second being that when I am walking around the room it is readily apparent who is working and who isn’t.
I love me some Flair Pens, and my students are always asking to use them. I usually decline their offer as they are my favorites and I don’t want to share. For editing, they are welcome to them. We have a whole jar of these suckers. They kind of serve the same purpose as the highlighters, because they are easy to see among all the pencil, but it is good to mix it up.
By starting small students feel successful, and that makes them come back for more!
Have a Checklist for Students to Complete
The checklist above is the one I use with my students. You can grab a copy of it below if you think it will work for you. If it doesn’t, I would recommend coming up with something. A checklist helps to guide students with their partners. Goodness knows no matter how many times we have done something someone always asks me what’s next, and I just don’t have time for that!
I hope that this post has been helpful! I would love to hear from you in the comments on what other writing struggles you are having. You never know, I might have a tip or two to share in the future!