Five Ways to Improve Student Editing

24 August 2016 / 1 comment
Revising and editing are hands-down the most difficult part of the writing process for my students. I get it. When I am finished doing something, I rarely like going back to fix it. However, I found that one of the reasons that my students did not like editing, was because they really didn't see the point in it. They had a hard time picking out the errors. But, editing is necessary for great writing pieces.  Here are a few things that I've done in my classroom to help my kids get better at editing.

Change Their Mindset

A lot of students are reluctant to revise and edit their work because they feel like they are having to go back to "fix mistakes".  Instead of thinking of editing as righting all of the wrongs, it is important to make it clear that revising and editing turn good writing pieces into great writing pieces.  Something I need to continue to work on is changing my own language from "let's fix our writing pieces" to "let's make our writing pieces better".

Have Them Work With Editing Partners

Sometimes it is difficult to see errors that you have made in your own writing.  You know what you want to say so the errors might not jump out at you.  When students work with partners to revise their writing, they get some new ideas to make it better.  When they work with partners to edit, they are more likely to catch more errors.  

Read Their Writing Piece Aloud

When your students read their writing pieces aloud, they will pick up on little errors.  They will hear the difference between what they wrote and what they meant to write.  You can have your students read the piece aloud to themselves, read it to a partner, or have a partner read the writing piece to them.  I love watching partners work on this together.  The discussions and new ideas that flow are amazing!  

Have Them Write Every Day

The more you practice, the better you get, right?  Students should be writing every single day.  It doesn't even need to be during a designated writing block.  The more you incorporate writing throughout the day, the more comfortable your student will be with writing.   Even if you just have a few minutes.  They can take out their notebooks and write a few sentences.  Or a poem.  Or a song.  Anything!  Who knows what that little idea can blossom in to! 

Have Them Practice Editing Every Day

To start my writing block, I have my students practice editing.  When they practice finding and correcting errors in other writing pieces, they are more likely to catch the errors in their own writing.  

It only takes a couple of minutes but it makes a BIG impact.  The students get to act like newspaper editors and they find the errors in the newspaper article excerpts.  They love the challenge and it did improve their writing!  My students loved this activity so much that I created enough passages to cover the entire school year.  You can find them in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  If you think this is something you would like to try in your classroom, you can try it for free here.

You could also have them pull out their own writing notebooks to have them quickly edit a paragraph from an unfinished writing piece.   Just a few minutes of editing practice each day goes a long way. 

What are some other things you do to encourage your students to improve their editing skills?  I would love to hear your ideas in the comments.  

All the best this school year!  

1 comment:

  1. Nicole...this is such a great post! It IS so hard to get kids to revise, but it's a process. We just take a step at a time!


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