I have had great success with students making revisions while rotating through stations. I am not positive why it works so well, but I have a feeling that it is the short amount of time along with the movement that makes the students more productive than usual. Whatever the reason, revision stations work, and they are easy to manage!
Since I only have 3 stations today, I'll have three sets of stations set up and running simultaneously. That way, everyone will be finished in about 30 minutes, and we can all wrap up and reflect together.
I'll have students choose a partner or group of 3, and that group will rotate through together. I want my students to choose a partner because I feel that they will be more motivated to help their friends improve their writing than some randomly assigned kid.
I'll give each student a checklist with directions for completing the stations. I have them initial when they are finished, so that I know if they need more help in a certain area. I find that the checklist helps keep them on task too.
I'll set a timer up on my SmartBoard for 10 minutes to keep us all on track.
The first station is pretty simple. Here we are looking for spelling errors and circling them. If students have time, they can go back and correct them. I also want students to correct comma mistakes here. We have just gone through what I like to call the "comma coma" where we worked on correct usage, so hopefully that will now transfer into their actual writing.
In this station students are looking for overused or vague words. I'll have students look at their own papers here, and highlight words that should be changed. Many of my students repeat words within their writing over and over and over....Seeing them highlighted, helps them recognize the problem. Many of my students also choose the wrong word for the situation. They are likely to use a vague word or one that makes the tone too casual. I am hoping to catch these mistakes in this station. I'll have word lists for strong adjectives and verbs and thesauri available to help with the revision process.
Station Three will be a little painful for some students, so this is probably where I will hang out. I've noticed that many of my sixth graders do not have enough supporting detail in their paragraphs. Maybe they have five paragraphs, but three of the sentences say essentially the same thing. Or, maybe they have a two sentence paragraph that still needs beefing up.
I will ask partners to help identify these areas, and offer advice on fixing them. Students may have to go all the way back to their original tree maps or research articles, which is what makes this station painful.
At the end of the station time, I want students to take a minute to really think about their writing. I'm asking them to reflect on one strength and one weakness that they noticed in this particular piece of writing. I think that it is very important for all students to really process what they are creating. I hate the idea of students mindlessly writing and not ever thinking about their growth. I try to build in time for student reflection whenever possible, but it one thing I definitely need to do more often!