Peer Editing for Success!

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Please ignore the horrible grammar, but enjoy the joke 🙂

Peer editing can easily become a waste of time, but I’ve tried several different ways and have hit on something engaging and beneficial to the students.  The idea I’m going to discuss tonight is a modification to Expert Groups which I learned about this summer at the AVID Summer Institute (are you tired of hearing that yet?).  Basically, I have 6 different tasks for the students to complete as they read.  Rather than have them read 1 paper and complete all 6 , I have them each read 6 different papers, doing something different with each paper.

For example, while reading the first paper, they must circle the first word in each sentence.  Why?  If every sentence begins with, “I,” perhaps they have forgotten to incorporate transition, sequencing and flavoring words.

With paper 2, they underline every verb.  It’s harder to write in L2 than L1.  Students tend to have a few favorite verbs, and this encourages them to consider more variety.

On paper 3, students draw a box (not rounded) around every transition, sequencing, flavoring word they find.  ACTFL doesn’t list that as something novice writers and speakers can do.  Come to Plano ISD, we’ve proven they can!

After reading paper 4, students write a specific positive comment about it.  I give good and bad examples.  I don’t want, “That was good.”  I do want, “I like how you transitioned from one idea to the next by using the transition, on the other hand.”

After reading paper 5, students write a specific suggestion for how the paper can be improved.  Again, I give good and bad examples.

Finally, I repost the original prompt/task, performance expectation, and requirements.  Peers note what the author included and what is missing, along with counting the words.

By breaking it down this way, the students do not get overwhelmed or feel inadequate to complete the peer edit.  Notice, I do not have them check for grammatical errors–though I always tell them that if they see something questionable to mark it with a “?.”  Editing in the LOTE/World Language classroom can easily and effectively be done with a little guidance from us.

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