Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Revising & Editing Lessons *Freebie!

I'm camping out at Dunkin' Donuts. My hunny and I brought our laptops and we are oh-so-busy, working away. I broke down the data from our last third grade reading assessment (they kicked butt) and then I looked at fourth grade writing. Our fourth graders are having some trouble with revising & editing skills. This is not surprising. It's hard to teach these skills in a concrete manner, and apply it to a testing situation. 
I'm working with a pull-out group of students (it's a large group; about 20 kids), and so I wanted the most efficient way to practice a skill and then practice it in test questions. 
And this is what I came up with. I sincerely would like your opinion. Do you think this is something I should pursue? I'm rolling it out this week with a group of students who have struggled in the past on revising & editing, so I have pictures in action.
This was Monday. We worked on editing skills. One area I noticed the kids struggling in was when they should use an apostrophe and when they should make a word plural. (Shocking, right? But all the kid's seem to be confused with these skill's.)
To start, I read this paragraph and left out the blanks. Then I held up the two cards that said "words" and "word's". 
"What's the difference?" I asked.
"That one has the comma up there," said one brave student.
Ah, yes. The 'comma up there'. I've also heard 'comma in the air.' This apostrophe, apparently, is the Michael Jordan of commas.
I introduced the name for this punctuation mark: apostrophe, and we talked about its use; to show belonging. Then we looked at the other card and decided it meant more than one word. I had students reread the sentence and decide if something belonged to the word, or if it was more than one word. (It was more than one.) 

We repeated the process with "clues" vs. "clue's" and "authors" vs. "author's". This part of the lesson went pretty well.

After this, I had students practice two questions that required them to use this skill. That was our editing day. The remainder of the week, we worked on revising skills. I'll share those, too.

What do you think? If you like it, I can share the paragraph and daily sequence with questions.
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  1. I personally love this! This is an incredibly hard skill to teach and for students to learn! I love how you did this! Please share!

  2. My students could definitely use a lesson like this! :) We work on different grammatical concepts for morning work, and when we spoke about contractions, apostrophes confused them greatly. Please share!

  3. This is such a confusing issue with children when it really shouldn't be! I love this way of teaching it.