Monday, October 15, 2012

Making Monday Better...New Peer Editing Freebie!

There is all kinds of research out there about the use of peer editing to improve the quality of student writing. There are even more opinions about the ideal way to manage peer editing.  After trying several, I have found that my students are most successful when the editing step of the writing process in broken into two stages: peer editing for content followed by self editing for conventions.  I have several tools that help with both stages in our writing workshop, and today I am sharing one of them with you as a fantastic FREEBIE!

Here is my Peer Editing Sheet:

It's a simple, one page, three question guide to peer editing.  Once I have two students who are ready to work with someone in editing and revising - for content only - I give each writer a copy of this form.  They each write their own name and date on the top, then they switch papers.  They again write their own name on the line for "Peer Editor's Name" and then talk for a moment about the titles/topics of their respective pieces.  To make sure they are listening to each other, have them write the title/topic of their partner's piece in the space provided and double check with each other to make sure they are correct.

The next step is your call.  Students can either read their own pieces out loud to their partners while their partners listen OR they can exchange papers and read their partners' paper independently.  I like to have have my students read their papers out loud to their partner so that they can start to hear their own writing voice and catch any simple mistakes they may have made right out of the gate.  It's also a good practice for listening skills for their partners.  I then allow them to let their peer editor see the paper as he/she answers the three questions. 

The questions ask for the peer editor to share three things he/she likes (Warm fuzzies make questions and suggestions easier to hear.), two things he/she has questions about (Focusing on areas where more details are needed or the audience/purpose is unclear is helpful.) and one suggestion that, in the opinion of the peer editor, would improve the piece.  Students usually only need a few minutes to reflect on what they just heard or read to answer the questions.  It's important that the author is quiet during this time so that the peer editor can do his/her job.  Once the form is filled out, the students can discuss and then switch roles.

Once both papers have been peer edited, the peer edit sheet goes back to it's owner and the writers now return to writing workshop, where they consider all that was discussed and make the revisions that they choose.  From here, self editing is the next step...a freebie for another day! :)

I hope this freebie and explanation of how I've used it in my own Writing Workshops are helpful!  Please consider sharing how you manage peer editing in your own classrooms in the comments below.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Freebie Fridays


  1. Thanks for sharing this at Manic Monday, Stephanie! I like the idea of breaking the edit process into the 2 steps of content and conventions.

    Linda Nelson

  2. Great ideas. I really like your idea of having the child read the writing aloud as that's what many writers do when they are editing their work. Great freebie. Thanks for sharing at we teach.


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