Peer Editing in Writing

This year my PGP {Professional Growth Plan for you non-TESS-ers} is in writing.  We are working to make kid-friendly rubrics to assess writing this year.  This is going to be so helpful to me since I moved to a new district this year.  PLUS, getting kids to self-assess is one of the ways to move along into the distinguished column for TESS! 🙂

I absolutely LOVE having kids check their own writing and their friends’ writing too!  Here’s a look at what a little self-assessment looks like in my classroom…

Most Fridays, we spend our writers’ workshop time peer editing….okay, I should edit that to say, after the first few weeks of school and once we got settled into our routine we started peer editing! 🙂  For the first few peer edits, we have used our Good Writers’ checklist anchor chart.  {You can read more about the teaching of this anchor chart HERE,}

In my writing rubrics packet, I have a mini-version of this checklist for self-assessing!  I have them available on pre-made writing paper…

…or on their own for gluing in their writing journals (shown in the pic below!) As we peer-edit, students read over each other’s writing one at a time and give each other a grade on how they did on each item…

Then, they total up their “checks” and write their score at the bottom of their pencil…

They even give themselves a “face grade” as this guy did above…either a smiley, okay face or frowny face!

And that’s it….well, that’s the basics of it!  Here are some answers to a few more questions you may have…

How do kids learn all of these procedures?

I model this during share time even before we begin to peer edit.  We use the anchor chart to look at the sharer’s writing and decide what they did well and what they need to work on.

Also, for the first two peer editing sessions, we model filling out the checklist for one of my “journal stories.”  Students play the role of my editing partner and help me find what I did perfectly and where I made mistakes.

How are editing partners decided?

I use one of my favorite grouping strategies for this. I don’t know what the official name is for this, but I call it, “Top to Bottom!”  Using a writing sample, I list my kids from….you guessed it….top to bottom.  #1 is my highest writer, #25 is my lowest.  Then, I take the bottom few in a small group with me.  For me, it’s the bottom 5, #21-25, who stay with me.  But it depends on the year…sometimes I have a lower group and more need to be with me.  Sometimes, fewer need to be with me.  This year, I needed these 5 to stay with me {for now anyways} because they are too low to read a friend’s writing and their writing is too low for a friend to read and edit with them.

Once I take out my small group from the bottom, I split the numbers in half for pairs {top 10, bottom 10} and pair up #1 and #11, #2 and #12, #3 and #13, etc…. {side note: I also use this for groups of 3s and split the list in thirds, groups of 4s and split it into fourths, etc…}

Why do I do this?  Because it ensures that my highest writer {#1} isn’t paired with my lowest writer {#20} and doing all of the work for them. High-medium and medium/high-low pairings are the most effective in my classroom {and the research agrees with me! *wink*}

So, what happens with the small group?

Those low babies are at my small group table with me, and we are taking the checklist apart one item at a time.  I have them point to the first letter of their sentence….”is it a capital?” They check if it is and put an X if it isn’t and correct it…

We go through each item in this way.

I grade them on stretching out their words because I always tell the kids that someone else has to be able to read it or else you didn’t stretch it out well enough.  And on the last one, they have to reread their story to me and I check it off if it makes sense.  The orange highlighter marks above are my marks for those two items!

After my intercession break, we will be moving into the other rubrics from my packet including the formative rubrics I’ll use for assessing writing,

and more self-assessing rubrics based off of my teacher rubrics.

For now, check out my Kid-Friendly Rubrics for Writing….I have the specific version I use as well as a copy without my district specifics so you can customize it more! Catch it at 50% off in my TPT store through the weekend! 🙂 {I might be a *tad* excited about a 2 week October break from school!}

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