Each day, I begin my ELA class with Reading Time. This is a time for students to access a range of texts. I use this time to conference with students, collect data on class patterns and trends with independent reading and to provide individualized support.
Today's class focuses on pulling all the revision strategies together as they work towards a final draft. This is important because students need to see the whole picture of their narrative and not the strategies independently of each other. They need to see how the narrative is as a whole piece and not separate components.
While it is important to have a focus for each lesson, today's lesson is dependent on the completed work of the students. Some students have a complete draft and have been working hard on their narratives. For those that are able to, I give them time to peer revise and edit. They use the Peer Revising Editing handout as a way to guide their thinking as they respond and critique each others work. As they are working in groups, I remind them that the ownership of the narrative is based on the writer and not the responder. Students are supposed to focus on a certain area as the conference with each other. Those students spend the rest of class revising and editing as they conference with each other in groups using the handout.
Other students work independently to finish revising their narratives by looking at the strategies we have used throughout the entire unit.
While it's important to have a clear goal in mind for each lesson, I have no problem allowing students to create their own goals as long as they are productive. In this case, if different students are at various stages or have a stronger preference between peer revising and editing or revising on their own, that's fine. It's important to remind them though that there is a due date.
I find that it is important to give other students time to revise on their own because they need to work on these narratives independently in order to fully understand these revision strategies. These are students who need extra practice. I conference with these students individually to see where they are in their narrative and what they may need assistance with. It gives me to time to see if I need to devote more time to these narratives.
Some students are able to vocalize what areas they need to work on. We pick one or two areas and use that to frame our discussion. We do not read the entire narrative but a part of it. Other students need help to find those areas. I read part of it with them and offer my thinking based on the narrative writing qualities we discussed earlier in the unit.
Each student needs to leave class with at least one or two areas they are working on. Since today was the last day they will be revising in class, I want to make sure they know what they need to work on and how they can do that.
Here students discuss the importance of revision: Students Reflection On Revision. While these are exceptions, we do want all students to walk away from any writing process with the understanding of the importance and benefit of revision.