Thursday, November 17, 2011

We Like to Edit? We Like to Edit. We Like to Edit!

In Writer's Workshop we have been discussing paragraphs. Last week, students pre-wrote and drafted a three-paragraph assignment in response to a camping or birthday party prompt I had given them. Students indented each time an action changed.

Earlier this week, we reviewed what we do during the revising stage, and students went to their drafts and used their red pen to add, subtract, and rearrange words to make their writing more powerful. Today we focused on editing. I wrote up a sample draft and put in my own red revisions. We discussed our editing rules that we use a blue pen to put the finishing capitalization, punctuation, and spelling fixes on our writing. They helped me find a lot of errors!
 Rather than giving students their own writing assignment to edit, I decided to give each student a piece of writing written by a different fourth grader. Had I known the excitement for editing this would generate, I would have done it a lot sooner! It seems as though kids are a lot more eager to find errors in other students' writing than in their own. :) (Imagine that!) Students referred to the conventions chart on their orange writing binders to help them remember all of our fourth-grade punctuation and capitalization rules.
 Granted, editing is one of the things students do during their peer conferences with one another, but for some reason, this editing activity really resonated with my kids. When they got to a part of their draft that they didn't understand, they went to the author and had purposeful discussion about the writing. It was awesome! Kids were working together to improve each other's writing. Many of them asked, "Are there any more papers we can edit?" (*Insert choir of angels here...*)

 It just so happened that there WAS editing to do during Social Studies today, too. After students read and wrote their paragraphs about the economy of the West, students exchanged their paragraphs and edited one another yet again. I couldn't believe my eyes...

We had a wonderful first night of conferences tonight! 
I look forward to meeting with the rest of you on Monday.

1. Reading - 15 mins.
2. Math - Facts, 16.2
3. Spelling - Test Friday
4. Science - Finish electromagnet investigation sheet
5. Social Studies - States/Cities Map Test
6. Sleep Diary
7. Thursday envelope


  1. I just searched for the book on amazon and it is all out.

  2. That's probably because I suggest it to everyone I know! Linda Hoyt's lessons are linked to picture books, with shared reading and short reader's theater scripts to help reinforce concepts. The charts you see in my students' Thoughtful Logs are ones I created myself for each book so my kids had a visual link for their written responses. I actually just emailed Linda Hoyt recently to see if she had any interest in the mini-charts in any way. Who knows! It doesn't hurt to ask, huh? :)

  3. You have been given the Sunshine Award! You can grab it on my blog :)!

  4. Hey Miss Bongers!

    I gave you a Shout Out on my blog!
    Come take a look!
    (This is one of my favorite places to visit!)

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  5. Can I be in 4th grade again with you as my teacher???? I love your blog-I just can't keep up with all that you do!!! Just this week (yesterday in fact) I decided to drop my "teaching english in isolation" and devote that time to writing since there has been no time in our day to really write. I teach 6th grade and writing is NOT a focus at our school so you wouldn't believe the writing that I see. I am really going to focus on writing and borrow lots of your ideas!!! Thanks so much for inspiration! :)