Do your students struggle with revising and editing their writing? Or better yet, do they struggle with including what the standards say they should be doing?
The Common Core standards are pretty clear about what they expect 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students to do in their writing. I have used these standards to create a ‘list’ of things students should include in their writing for each genre.
In order to check their writing, students use multi-color highlighters as a type of ‘search and find’ for each required writing technique.
Once students are finished, they can have a look at their writing and see what is missing. We talk a lot about how our writing should be colorful, and using the multi-color highlighters really puts that into perspective. Students can easily notice what colors or techniques are missing from their writing.
From there, we go back to our first draft and begin to set goals for our final draft. I was having my students place these on sticky notes, but I have since added a section at the bottom of each Interactive Highlight page. Once they have their goals outlined, they return to their first draft again and begin the revision process. Here’s a picture of the work in action.
I will have to say that this has been one of the most effective practices for my students and their writing. Other methods that I have found effective as well are looking at exemplar writing samples of the same writing prompt, teaching them to write to the rubric that will be used, and having a pre and post writing sample so they can see their growth. This will be my first year implementing a very structured writing period, and I’m so excited to see the outcome.
If you are interested in trying the Interactive Highlights in your own classroom, just click on the picture or link below.