How do you find time to check their writing??

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by 773 Miles Away, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2010

    Arg... I wrote a post and I got an error so I need to write it again... here's the abridged version.

    I have 28 students and when we do a writing assignment I want to check theirs so we can work on a final draft. I am checking for sentence clarity, topic clarity, punctuation, spelling, etc. It's a lot to check! I spend about 5 minutes on each students paper .. so that's 2 hours and 20 minutes! Is that typical?

    I want to be able to do conferences where I can discuss the feedback with them face to face... but that would take even longer.. and that would fill up my entire literacy block!

    How do you manage writing and still read their writing to see how they're doing?
     
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  3. ParaPacker

    ParaPacker Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2010

    773,

    Great post and I can't wait to see other ideas. I struggle with this as well. I have 27 5th graders and this task is daunting and does not get accomplished as I would like. Last year I developed a schedule for writing conferences so that I saw all students Monday through Thursday and I played catch up on Friday. This worked great to see where students were in the workshop approach and I was able to help with editing even though they may not have been at that step yet. This year I am awaiting my first child and have not set that up yet, 2nd trimester will be the start of writing conferences unless I get a great sub. I started the students to self edit and help revise. I use the TAG system. I am not sure where it comes from (sorry for the lack of source) T= Tell something you like about the paper, A = Ask a question about the paper that you would like to know or about a confusing part, and G= Give one piece of advice such as word choice, punctuation, clarity - whatever we are working on at the moment. I am hoping that with some practice, they will take more ownership in their writing and help each other become great writers even if I can't get to them at the perfect moment.

    Good luck! There are so many ways and every classroom is different, as I said before, I am curious to see what others are doing without taking them all home - YIKES!!

    Parapacker
     
  4. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Sep 27, 2010

    I like the TAG idea. I do have my students partnered up with a writing buddy (assigned by me) and they do work together on revising in class writing assignments. I tell them to find three ways to make their partner's writing more interesting or clearer.

    (I would have responded earlier, but I spent 3 hours yesterday grading my own little darlings' first written assessment piece....I wish I knew an easier way, but to truly help make it instructional, you have to write comments on every one.)

    At this point in the year, I spend a lot of time on these. We do a weekly assessed writing assignment, so I have to get them in the routine relatively quickly - I cannot do the 3+ hours each weekend on top of all of the other grading/recording/planning/etc. I can get it down to about 1.25 hours, but rarely under that. One thing we found that helps is using a rubric with 8 items and each is worth 5 points. I find that I can assess more quickly when I am looking for specific traits or things.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2010

    I agree, rubrics are very helpful! When I grade drafts I use a checklist with common comments that I would write to each student. I always have an other, but find I don't need it as often because I just revise the sheet to fit what I would write. Then I use the rubric for final drafts, this way they can see how they scored and why.
    Second, I try not to grade papers away from the students. When a student has finished a paper or draft, I grade it with them as a conference. Take two minutes to read the paper and then 5 minutes to conference. Way better than grading and conferencing. It takes practice, but is well worth the effort for my little one at home!
     

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