Today will be the day to revise and edit our personal narratives. My students have had lots of practice in revising and editing but I am still getting little more than glancing over the page and saying, "I'm done. I'm ready for final copy."
One thing I do to combat this is to have the student themselves read the paper using one of our tools- whisper phone, reading to a wall or reading backwards and then I have them use a checklist and finally I have them choose two people to read the stories and make corrections. One thing is for sure- I like to stay out of the editing because once I sit down with a group, they all want me to read and correct theirs which defeats the purpose!!
Today is no different. When students enter the room, they find their writing on their desks with the checklists they will use for editing. We review the procedures for editing- the use of the tools, the use of the people, the use of the checklists. I also remind students that they need to read their story the same number of times as there are items to check for. So, if there are nine items to read for they need to read their story nine times.
This working time is very much an independent one. Students need to be responsible for getting their editing done in all the stages. I give them the directions and urge them to do their best on their paper as well as on their partner's papers. This is, in fact, essential as they are their partner's key to getting the best grade possible on their story.
I turn on the music quietly in the background and let the students begin working alone or with a partner- wherever they feel it's best to begin.
While my students are hard at work editing, I monitor behavior and make sure that everyone stays on task.
Near the end of class, I gather the students back together and collect the edited rough drafts along with the checklists. I ask a question for sharing- "What was most helpful today?" and "What was not helpful at all?" I want them to begin talking about the steps people took to actually help them edit. I want them talking about the steps they took to help themselves so that hopefully those steps will inspire someone else next time we write.