Today's lesson is going to be the editing/ revising/ final copy portion of the Ruby Bridges five paragraph essay. When student's enter, they again find their materials waiting for them with the addition of the editing/ revising checklist. Once again, before I let them begin, we read through the rubric so students can be clear in mind what they have to accomplish to get the best grade possible. After the rubric review, I read through the checklist with them, explain that they must read their essays once for each item on the checklist. I want them to look for errors in those areas only and this ensures they read it multiple times.
Editing and revising are difficult for my students because they don't really have a good enough grasp on writing to be able to look for, find and correct mistakes. I try to provide a very structured checklist, but editing and revising at this point is just practice- it doesn't produce error- free pieces of writing. Nonetheless, students must be exposed to editing and revising so..... on we go.
During this time, I just let the students work. I don't want to answer questions on spelling or give input on any aspect of their writing so I don't color it. I want this to be based solely on their own knowledge. I do, however, let students ask their peers questions about spelling or other problems they're experiencing in their essay.
As students finish their checklists, I hand out paper for final copy. All students are to have their final copy finished in this session.
Near the end of class, I begin to gather the remaining materials of students not finished. I have to find a time for them to continue to work- usually recess works well. Sometimes I let the very responsible take theirs home to finish and return.
In the final minutes we have, I ask students which version they think did the best job of telling the story and why.