This is our daily warm up, wherein students work with two or three Latin roots per day. The resource that I use to get my roots is Perfection Learning's Everyday Words from Classic Origins.
Every day, when the students arrive, I have two Latin roots on the SmartBoard. Their job is to generate as many words as they can that contain the roots, and they try to guess what the root means. After I give them about five minutes, we share words and I tell them what the root means.
The students compile these daily activities in their class journals. After every twelve roots, they take a test on the roots themselves and a set of words that contains them.
Since today's main objective was for students to have one-on-one time with me to discuss the outlines that they are developing, I didn't want to spend a lot of time on peer editing.
So, I collected and redistributed the papers (to ensure that friends didn't get each other's) and I gave them two simple jobs -- to see if their peer had set the outline up correctly AND to see if the body paragraphs, as outlined, passed the "So what?" test. In other words, if your paragraph is done correctly, yet nothing you say is of any significance, you need to take a step back and think about the purpose of the paper.
I tell students that writing a paper is like zooming in and out with a camera. To fine-tune, you need to zoom in and work on the details. But you also need to pull back and make sure that your paper is accomplishing its purpose.
Note: When students got to me, I was impressed with most of the peer editing. They took their jobs seriously.
Basically, I wanted a chance to meet, face-to-face, with every student. So, I called them up, one by one (alphabetically.) It took forever, and at times, I found myself losing focus. However, I do think doing this is about a million times more valuable than writing comments..and it actually takes less time.
What I learned: