Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines Day Two of Where's Plaid Pete? - Section 3: Partner Pairs


So much of the focus on revising in writing is teaching students to "add more" or to revise for sentence structure or word choice.  This approach can become problematic when working with upper elementary students on research writing tasks.  This is particularly true with students who have poor written language skills, including those who are learning English as a second language.

Oftentimes when you ask these students to quietly read and revise their paper, they are unable to detect their errors.  Then if they have the additional cognitive demand of fixing the errors at the same time, they get overwhelmed. For these students, it is important to break revision tasks down into simple, discrete steps. An important first step is to  recognize that there is a problem.  Then, they can revise it.  This is the "Pairs Revise" Strategy that I use with students:

  1. The two prompts are posted as a visual reminder for all students:  Is the information accurate?  Does it make sense?
  2. Partner A is allotted 5 minutes to read their notes out loud, while Partner B listens.  Partner B is checking for the two prompts.  If there is any concern that any of the notes do not meet the two criteria, the information is highlighted.
  3. At the end of the 5 minute time period, Partners switch and Partner B reads their notes, while Partner A checks.
  4. Revisions are done after the Pairs Check has been performed.


Following these steps forces students to check for a limited set of criteria (2) which prevents them from being cognitively overloaded, and leads to a greater chance that they will be successful.  Once students can identify their errors, then they are better able to work on correcting them.

  The Revision Process in Science Research Writing
  Writing Across the Disciplines: The Revision Process in Science Research Writing
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Day Two of Where's Plaid Pete?

Unit 5: Plaid Pete is Finding Earth's Place in the Universe
Lesson 3 of 13

Objective: SWBAT describe the organization of Earth's place in the universe.

Big Idea: How do scientists communicate very complex information in ways that make it easy for others to understand? Students create infographics of their research on the universe, using design elements to convey meaning.

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2015 05 01 10 40 55
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