Editing is a step that can often be overlooked in Kindergarten; however, it is crucial that our students understand how and why to go back and fix their writing! When students go back and edit their writing, they are 1) strengthening their foundational skills, 2) practicing their best knowledge of writing practices, and 3) creating something they can be proud of! In the end, the editing process can be extremely valuable for students, and teachers alike.
Personally, I like to conference with my students and help them edit because it allows me to assess them and see where they are currently performing. Also, I like to conference with my students because I can directly see them learning in a one-on-one setting when I know their reading foundational skills and writing skills are being strengthened.
This lesson is the fourth step in my Writer's Workshop, and it usually occurs on a Thursday.
Prior to this lesson, the students and I will have completed an "information dump", a brainstorming lesson, and a rough draft. These lesson will have set the stage and given students their piece of writing that we are working on when conferencing and editing.
When students complete their rough drafts, they bring them to me and we have a conference.
When I conference with a student, I sit one-on-one with them at my table; during this time, my other students know to wait in their seats until my table is clear to come up to me with their paper. I try to keep my conference time down to about 3-5 minutes per student- I can always send students back to their seats to finish editing; however, I do prefer to edit along with my students and hear them talk their way through fixing their own work!
When students conference with me, they have a red pen and I have a blue one. We do this because I like for students to see the changes we are making. I like for students to be able to go back and see all of the things that they noticed and improved upon in red, while also being able to see some of the things that I needed to guide them on in blue.
(This really helps me when assessing as well!)
When I conference with my students, I follow this process:
1- I ask the student to read me their writing.
(Anything a student cannot read gets a line under it- it will need to be replaced.)
2- I remind the student to check for punctuation and capitalization, as well as spacing.
(Students can add in punctuation and can erase lower-case letters that need to be capitalized.)
3- I remind the student fix any misspelled sight words or easy to spell blends and digraphs.
(Students do this by checking the word wall.)
4- I remind the student to change any words that do not make sense.
(Students may need to fix verb tenses, is and are, etc.)
My really good writers also complete an additional step- I have them add any extra adjectives or verbs that can make their writing better. I think revising is a good skill to teach to the students who are ready for it because it allows them to personally strengthen their writing even more.
After conferencing, I have my students go and re-read their draft one more time before they put it inside of their writing folder. They will save their rough draft for the following day's lesson where they will create a final draft.
I do not assess editing until I see students' final drafts. I like to see their edited rough drafts compared to their final drafts to see the changes that were implemented. I like being able to notice that students did indeed fix things and then re-write them correctly when they tried again.
When editing, I take into account the colors of the pen on the papers- if the student made most of the corrections and changes in red, in their pen, that is great because they were able to figure our their own needs. If there is a lot of blue on their paper, from my pen, it means that students were unable to see where they needed to improve upon their writing. This plays a role in my assessment, as I truly want students to be doing most of the editing!
Also, I like to compare the rough draft and the final draft using my Proofreading and Editing Checklist for Rough Draft Writing Projects.