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Compiled By: Jennypie

Editing is one of the components of the writing process. Here are ideas/activities to use with your students to teach editing skills.

Revising and Editing
Posted by: Tricia

I explain to my class that even adults use the writing process. I tell them that for every single paper I write for my college graduate classes, I revise and edit my work. This generally gets them hooked because they think of teachers as being full of knowledge and never making a mistake!

I model these 2 stages of the writing process for the whole class a lot at the beginning of the year. I use samples from previous years (so there are no hurt feelings), type them and make an overhead. As a whole class we revise the piece and edit. Last year, after the third whole class session, my students really got it and were off and running!

I explain step by step what each part of the process is. During the revising stage, the author of the writing piece reads the work aloud to me or a peer. This is the time when I would ask the author questions about a sentence that is unclear. I might say "Reread that sentence. I am confused about..." or "Can you think of a different way to word that sentence?" The revision stage is a great time for the author to catch mistakes such as repetition of words and/or complete thoughts, run-on sentences, etc. When students are doing this with a classmate it is very important that they provide POSITIVE feedback to each other.

During the editing stage the peer or teacher reads through the work, looking for spelling, punctuation and capitalization errors. My students use specific editing symbols that are taught at the beginning of the year. The author then gets the written piece back and looks it over, making necessary corrections.

Posted by: Lori

At this point in the year of second grade I am doing shared editing with the children. Once they complete a story, they fill out an editing checklist, this reinforces the min-lessons that I ahve taught. They meet with me with their dictionary. We each have a marker to correct with. I look for words I know they really know and WW words which they correct independently. Then I help them stretch out words and look for other mistakes they can "self" correct.

I find at this point my kids are just not ready for peer editing. Though they do share their story with an editing buddy prior to meeting with me, just for ideas and to make sure it makes sense.

editing rubric
Posted by: cm

Create an editing rubric that goes line by line through the writing project for caps, punctuation, sentence clarity. I use a paragraph rubric that counts the number of words in the paragraph. Students write the verb used in the sentence (we look for active verbs, not passive). We also look for "fabulous words" (words stretching their vocabulary).

I don't think it is fair to ask another student to edit an entire essay, however a paragraph each by different people is reasonable. You need to have them identify main idea of the paragraph to see if the message was conveyed. For example, if you are working on persuasive "write the number of the line where the writer used persuasive words or phrases".

I've found that pairing up students with similar writing skills to be the best method for editing. My top writer once dragged up his buddy and handed me his buddy's paper and said "Here, I can't work miracles!" Top writers and editors should not be responsible to edit everyone's paper.

Posted by: Sue

To me, editing is a useful skill. When I have students "edit" peer papers, the other student can or cannot take the suggestion, argue their viewpoint, etc. I never take a grade on the actual "editing." I liken it to the process that an author has with a book editor. I think the learning comes in the collaboration.

Posted by: csteach

I have my students check their rough drafts first with an orange pen. Before students edit their own paper they pull out their editing marks list and we discuss what we are editing for. This helps to remind them what they are looking for.
They check for indenting, capitals, correct punctuation, and spelling. Then they work with a partner, the partner uses a blue pen to edit. They check for the same conventions. I walk around and double check, with my eyes. If I see one paper that has a lot of missed errors, I call both students and edit the paper with them.

Posted by: Kathy

Editing can drive you crazy! I went to a wonderful workshop that STRESSED we only need to work on one thing at a time with each paper. If you want to work on punctuation, look for that. Just don't "correct" every mistake...their papers do not need to be are looking for growth. If several students are having trouble with punctuation, make it a mini-lesson. My kids use a highlighter to highlight any words that think are spelled wrong and we look at those also. They have dictionaries to look up words plus I have a list in their folders of the most common misspelled words by third grade. Also, set a limit to what they can publish. Mine can't edit with me until they have written 5 pieces and then they choose which one they want to publish.

Posted by: Amy

I have my students use an editing checklist to proof their work. For example, the list has a box that they check after they have done a scan for captial letters, etc. I taught them how to go through the check list and how to scan their papers for errors...

I also let the kids who have looked up "X" amount of words type their work on the computer. It serves as a reward and they can spell check their work after they have typed.

I don't think that work must be perfect to post, but it can be embarrassing to display work with lots of errors!

Posted by: Tara

One thing I tried this year that seemed to really worked for editing, was I gave each students a blue pen. After they were done writing a story and re-read/revising it, they took a pen and went back and looked for spelling, puctucution, and other mistakes. They were so excited to use the pen, it made them look carefully at the stories they had written.

peer editing
Posted by: Nick

I model, but the real powerful tool is peer editing! I have a guide that I made for them to use and I give them stickers! We come-up with a code for general mistakes and they write them on the stickers above the mistakes! VERY powerful teaching/modeling!

Peer Editing
Posted by: Kathy

My middle school students, grades 6 - 8, do something I call "responding" to each other's writing after the students have completed their first drafts. Each student is required to have 4 other students respond to their writing. Each student who responds does the following:

1. Paraphrase - this allows them to determine if the reader read what the writer was meaning to say - organization, ideas, etc.

2. Praise - students tell each other what they thought was particularly good - an importnant note here comments MUST be specific NO GENERAL COMMENTS ARE PERMITTED (it's good ... I really liked it, etc.) Responding students look at each other's work in terms of voice, word choice, sentence fluency, organization, etc. They are NOT looking to be copy editors. If they find big glaring errors, they are only to circle them. It is the author's job to edit for conventions!

3.Probe this is where we ask things like, where are you going with this piece? what will you do next? or else, we make note of the things we feel need improvement, again students must be specific in telling what doesn't work or what could be improved.

Posted by: CageyBee

I have sixth grade and also felt like I was doing more than I should have been doing for "corrections." I recently heard Rick Wormeli speak and he gave a suggestion that was wonderful. He said to simply put a dot next to the beginning of the line where the error occurs. Then the writer has a focus to find out where the error might be. The writer would then correct the error on his/her own or employ the help of a peer. After the corrections are attempted, a conference with the teacher follows.

I thought it seemed simplistic until I tried it. Man, was that easy to go through a pack of papers BUT challenging for the writer to think about and correct. Now the person who needs to learn from the corrections IS actually doing so. My class balked at first...were too dependent on quick fixes...but they are learning to spot errors, and in many cases, avoid the errors on their own.

I was observed by the administrator who accompanied our grade level team to the workshop, and was praised for implementing such an effective procedure/tool into our writer's workshop.

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Editing papers
Posted by: Sue

I have found that if I didn't "edit" papers would never be perfect either. I think of 4th grade as progressing toward perfection...

One thing helped several of my students - but it was time consuming. I typed their "finished papers" (errors and all) on the computer and printed them. Then, they could read the papers to the class. Before the read aloud, several students came to me with their papers marked. "Look what we found.."

"But, you said this was your final draft didn't you?" I asked quizzically.

"Well, uh, I thought it was, but I didn't...." then they proceed to find all sorts of mistakes.

I think that when the students "read" their own handwriting, they over-generalize what they think in their head. When they see it in print, the errors LEAP out at them.

Of course I can't type all their papers. Another method I use is read backs. They "read" their papers to peers. I will often hear them interupt themselves to make corrections.

Daily Editing
Posted by: sj

I've done the sentence correction daily activity this year, and last (I moved up from first to second with them), and my students seem to be pretty good at finding errors. However, the hardest thing for them is finding where one idea ends and another begins. I can lead them to the answer by asking, "What two things did the writer say?" They usually respond well to my question, but when left alone they will still stick periods in arbitrarily. I teach subject/predicate and noun/verb, but it seems that those ideas are almost as intangible as the "complete thought" idea to my slower students. I've wondered if their ability to distinguish between thoughts is a developmental thing, because I've never found a sure-fire way to get all my kids to understand.

Editing Marks
Posted by: Beth Allen

In Guided Readers and Writers by Fountas and Pinnell, there's a list of editing marks generally used in all grades. I made a poster to hang in the classroom and use the marks on all student writing. We also use the marks to correct our DOL sentences each morning. The kids can always refer to the poster if they need to.

Posted by: RC

There's a scholastic book, Great Genre Writing Lessons by Heather Clayton, that takes you through the process steps of writing with easy to use writing lesson plans and reproducible things. You teach the kids to prewrite, draft, etc. The revising and editing lessons include such things as students following a checklist that is specific - eg. Put a dot under the first word in each sentence and see that these words are capitalized, circle at least three words with questionable spelling and look up in dictionary, draw a box around the punctuation at the end of each sentence and check to see if appropriate, underline three adjectives and replace with juivy synonyms, etc. The ideas in this book have helped me considerably.

peer editing
Posted by: Jodi

I am using a Scholastic book called 10 Easy Writing lessons for my writing program. I am also requiring peer editing. My students go through the writing steps of web; sloppy copy; editing; then peer editing before teacher conference. The peer fills out a paper stating their name and whose paper they edited. They have to list 3 things that they noticed about the writing. Last week was the first time they did it. Most found problems with caps and punc. I'll see how it goes this week.

editing activities
Posted by: Kennedy

I have worked with teacher who use a book called, "Caught Ya - Grammar with a Giggle" by Jane Bell Kiester. It contains stories/activities that focus on editing and proofreading skills, as well as vocabulary. When we are completing the writing process, I can tell them to "find and fix 3 'Caught Ya' mistakes" and they have a good idea of the type of mistakes they're looking for.

I have come to develop my own activites that my students complete daily as a warm-up. I type out a sentence or two for each day on a template that the students keep and use for 4 or 5 days. Students need to read the sentences, and identify and correct the errors. I let them know how many errors there are each day. After they have a chance to work on it, we go over as a class. This helps them recognize spelling, punctuation, capitalization, word choice, errors, etc, as well as editing marks. It's actually quite similar to what may call "DOL" or "DLA". I've found it to be effective.