Teacher Conferences and Writing Our Good Copies - Day 7 Sharks

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SWBAT implement feedback and revise in order to improve their writing.

Big Idea

We are coming into the home stretch. After conferencing with the teacher, the students will implement the changes in their writing when creating their final draft.

Teacher Background Knowledge and Preparation

Today my students that are done with the peer editing process will conference with me.  We will talk about ways to make their writing better.  This is my opportunity to catch any mistakes that students didn't catch while peer editing. 

Editing is the final stage in the writing process.  By this stage in the game, many students just want this piece of writing to be over and done with.  The more you practice editing and conferencing though, you are helping your students to build stamina and see their piece of writing through from start to finish. 

In this lesson I am using a rubric that someone in my district wrote, and I'm required to use.  I have included it if you would like to use it.  You may have a rubric that you have to use for your district or you may have a different one that works.  The point is that the rubric provides a good structure for students to work within and a clear goal.  You will want to make enough copies of your rubric as well as enough journal paper so your students can start on their final copies.  I copy the first and second pages and make a double sided copy.  Then I take the second page and make that into a double sided copy as well.  Then I staple the 2 copies I've made.  This way, students only have to make one illustration, yet still have 4 pages to write on.

Explaining My Expectations

3 minutes

I wanted to state today's objective and explain what I expected from students today.  I said, " Today when you are done with your sloppy copy and peer editing, you will conference with me.  We will work on ways of making your writing even better than it is now.  This last step is what real authors do.  When you are in college, you will sit down with someone and work on your paper to make it better.  Real authors like Tomie dePaola, Eric Carle, Marc Brown, and all the other amazing authors go through the editing process just like we are going to do today.  They go through this process to make the best possible book they can make. "

Then it was time to get to work.  Students were at different stages in the writing process.  Some were still peer editing, some were working on their sloppy copies and some were ready to conference with me.  Writers go through the writing process at different paces, so this is perfectly fine.

Student/Teacher Conferencing

35 minutes

I called partner groups back to the table to work with me.  While I was conferencing with one student, the other student had the opportunity to sit and listen to the conference.  I was essentially modeling for students how to offer feedback during the editing process.  I hadn't figured out that this could be an effective way to model yet with my Honeybees and Crabs units, but, having done it in this unit, I am I'm happy to share this strategy with you because it helped support students in future peer editing conferences.  I learn something new each time I teach a writing unit!

After offering feedback and making corrections, I highlighted the rubric with one color of highlighter.  I highlighted each of the components on the rubric that the student had earned on their sloppy copy.  I told each student that once they've implemented the changes that I've suggested on their good copy that I would read their story again.  I would score their new writing  using a new color of highlighter.  Color coding has been a great success in my room.  Because they are only six, giving students that visual representation in the change of score helps them to see that editing does serve a purpose.  It makes their writing better, and as a result, the grade on the rubric went up.  They love getting their rubric when their writing is finished.  It is an exciting time for them to see their progress.

Once students have conferenced with me, they sit at the table and listen to me give feedback to their partner.  Again, this helps them see how I offer feedback to their partner.  Next time we peer edit, they will have more ideas on how to offer feedback.  When both partners are done, I send them back to their tables to work on their good copies.  Then I'll take another set of partner groups and conference with them.

The conferencing part will probably take you more than one day to complete.  You may have students that finish early.  I put my early finishers to work helping others.  They love to peer edit someone else's work or will help assist one of my lower achievers stay on track.  I have taught my students to stay busy and not goof around.  They know what is expected of them. You can see how my student's did writing their good copies by watching the video here in the resource section.