Teaching Editing – Writing Workshop Wednesdays

If you missed the first four parts of Writing Workshop Wednesdays…click below to catch up.
So, my editing ideas are a mix of Writing Workshop info, a mix of Hope King’s Editing to Perfection ideas, and based on experience and each class I’ve taught.  So it’s kind of a hodge podge of ideas.  But, the one thing we all know from teaching is you have to take something and make it your own. You have to make it fit your students, your grade, your curriculum, your teaching style, etc.  So, here goes… here is my favorite way to teach editing.
First, I share with the kids a piece of my own writing. This could be handwritten or typed. I like typed because it’s a little easier to see, but handwritten projected works well too.  I make sure to have multiple spelling mistakes, punctuation, clarity, and so on.
The chart you see on my board is from Hope King’s Editing to Perfection post.  She has five different focuses each time you read your writing. Here they are:
First read – Read for big mistakes
Second read – Check for spelling
Third read – Check for capital letters
Fourth read – Check for punctuation
Fifth read – Read for clarity. Ask yourself  – “is it clear?”
So, I went through this all very SLLLLOOOOWWWWLLLLYYY with my kids and I mean slow.  I first had them pick out their favorite draft from their Writing Workshop folder.  One that they would want to publish and share with their friends.  After students picked a draft out, I showed them my writing piece that we would edit together.
First, we looked at the first step – checking for big mistakes.  I read my story out loud and they helped me find any big mistakes in there.  (They will start catching capitals and all that, but have them wait on those).  I only show them one part of the chart at the time, so they don’t get too far ahead of themselves.  After checking for big mistakes in my writing piece, the students went back to their seats and using their purple pen, they checked their writing pieces for big mistakes.
We continued on through each step.  The second step is to check for spelling. I read through each line of my story out loud again and we stopped at the end of each line to see if we caught any spelling errors.  Then, students went back to their seat and checked their piece for spelling errors. This process continued on for each of the final steps.  We would do it together, then they would do it on their own.
As you can see from my writing piece, we found a lot of errors together.  This is good because it shows kids that writers make mistakes and it helps to show the importance of going back and checking your work.
Next, I had students get with a partner and read their story to the partner.  This acts as another way to edit their work and make sure that they caught everything.  After the student finishes reading the story, the listening partner gives two compliments and also shares one suggestion or thing to work on.  I love using partners because it gives kids a chance to work together, but also learn from each other.  How often do we read something we wrote and it sounds fine, but then someone else reads it and catches mistakes.  Partner editing is a great way to start working on that at an early age.
**The first time I teach editing, it takes at least two writing sessions.  One session to teach the chart process and go through it.  A second session to work on partner editing.
After editing using the chart and their partner, students then wrote their final copy on final draft paper. Next week, I’ll share more about publishing and sharing their writing pieces.
Editing Checklist
As the year goes on, and the kids become more independent, I have them use an editing checklist to help them edit their papers.  We use the same checklist for reports, narratives, opinion pieces, etc so that they are familiar with it.  This checklist is a good reminder for them to go back and look at each area of their writing and to double check it and make sure they have used the writing mechanics correctly.  It includes similar items that I talked about above in our whole class editing lesson.
Thank you for stopping by today to see some ideas for teaching editing during Writing Workshop.
Here’s what’s coming up next in the series…
-Publishing Pieces -Tying Up Loose Ends

FREE Writing Checklists

Picture of four writing checklists.
To make your life easier I have a FREE set of writing checklists for your students to use! These are geared towards the primary grades and include 8 different checklists – so you’ll be able to differentiate based on what you’re teaching and your students’ needs. Grab your writing checklists HERE.
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