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How can I make editing and improving more fun?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by JustJon, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. JustJon

    JustJon New commenter

    I'm currently a TA working with a mixed year 4/5 class. This term, the focus for intervention groups is to work on our editing and improving skills. Only, this is currently resorting to the use of boring worksheets where they are just given a story with questions to 'find the missing commas' or 'underline and correct the spellings'. Some of the children really aren't enjoying this - and it shows.

    Going through mundane work sheets is the last thing I want for them, but I'm not sure what else to do. How can I make this more active and involved so that they aren't stuck to going through a worksheet? How can I make this more fun for them?

    Any help would be massively appreciated, thank you! :)
  2. Sademos

    Sademos New commenter

    Sometimes I give my class an example of writing worked, based on something studied in class (not including names of students. It is marked according to my school policy and the children have to edit it.
    batul_raza and becky70 like this.
  3. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Editing their own writing is more purposeful - I don't know about fun. My class don't love editing their work but with clear guidance they will do it. If you get them to look at their own work then they'll see more of a point to it. Can they improve their own writing with a view to publishing it in some sort of meaningful way - e.g., making a class book, writing stories to share with younger children so it isn't just writing and editing for the sake of it.
    batul_raza likes this.
  4. essc

    essc New commenter

    We use purple polishing pens in our school(whole school) for children to edit their work. I’m currently in year 1 and we have just introduced them by giving them one sentence to improve (missing capital letters, full stop and Ed suffix spelt et!) they love using purple pens!
  5. smeldred

    smeldred New commenter

    You could do peer assessment where they are the teacher marking a peer's work. A list of success criteria helps and then they can purple pen improvements based on what their peer said about their work.
  6. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Approaches to writing are divided into two areas - the process approach and the genre approach. You would do editing and improving (aren’t they the same thing?) for both, but the session must be clearly framed within one or the other.

    Briefly, as others have said, treating the children as writers in their own right (process approach) is fundamental to the notions behind editing their work. The editing is an extension of their identify as a writer.

    The genre approach looks to establish the important forms and conventions of writing a precise genre piece for a precise audience and editing the piece to better match those forms and conventions.

    Sequences of lessons framed across one of those approaches is how you should be planning for these pupils. Each lesson should be contributing to the overall learning objectives of the sequence of lessons.

    I can’t believe they just gave you some worksheets!
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    This sounds like a daft focus for an intervention group.

    Editing and improving comes as part of the overall writing process. They do a piece of writing and then edit and improve it. If they haven't got a piece of writing to improve, it becomes a pointless exercise. (As you, and they, are finding!)

    Ask the class teacher for some writing the children have done in class and tell them that they are going to make it so incredible, their teacher will hardly believe it. Help and support them by doing this as a group exercise to start with, while you teach them the skills. Then gradually, they'll need less and less of your support. ie, their skills have improved.

    To be honest, if a year 4 child is up to finding missing commas and correcting spellings, they probably don't need an intervention group!

    SUPER.SUPPLY Occasional commenter

    There are ideas for small groups to improve their work and i echo what has already been said. Editing is part of the writing process and I would have thought it would be a lesson dedicated to that. If they haven't got writing then I'm sure you'd be able to photocopy or create a passage with mistakes in and focus in correcting those. Also, as it is a small group (i assume) give each child a container. Have a sheet with seven different ways to improve your writing cut into strips. Each strip has one way such as conjunctions, fronted adverbials etc and every time they have put one in they place that in their cup. Job's a good un.
  9. ptwest

    ptwest New commenter

    I make a bingo card with everything they should include. When the children find the features in their work they can colour in the square. We play for four corners, a line and a full house. If the feature isn’t there they can add it!
  10. batul_raza

    batul_raza New commenter

    Peer assessments givening criteria really works.
  11. nical73

    nical73 Occasional commenter

    I am in y6 but sure this would work for y4 also.
    Once they have written their own piece, have them read their own work out loud to a partner. As they are the author they have the purple pen. Their partner must listen initially and together see if any words have been missed out or any incorrect grammar. They then swap.
    When looking for spelling mistakes we read their work backwards so that we are just looking for spelling mistakes or missing apostrophes on contractions.
    Thirdly, we then read work out loud again and look for missing punctuation. This is our editing process. Once this has been done we move onto improving sections/sentences for redrafting and improving.

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