Learning with Mrs. Langley

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Peer Editing in Kindergarten

I've been talking about this a lot lately but it has been my HURDLE to CONQUER in the classroom lately.  I've heard so much from upper grades (they are all upper grades to us!) that teachers want their students to be able to effectively PEER EDIT with a partner.  In our Writer's Workshop schedule I have never worked on peer conferencing one on one.  We are all about sharing our work with the group (we do whole group share every day) and one on one conferring with the teacher (hehemmm...me!).  That has sustained me and I am always really happy with our results at the end of the year.  

When I first heard a teacher ask that the younger grades start peer editing I thought, "Yeah right, can you imagine?"  I had visions of students scribbling all over each other's papers, throwing crayons at each other, rolling on the floor.......you get the picture.  This year I decided that if I can get them to work as a partner in every other aspect in our room why not in writing too?  I jumped in feet first! (Like I always do!) 

Here is how I have handled the logistics of it....

We have a "No messing around" policy in our room.  Find someone, ask them if they will be your partner, and politely answer "yes".  This ensures no one will ever be too embarrassed to ask, no one will ever feel left out, and we get different partners every time.  It takes 2-3 minutes for everyone to find a person, get their stuff, and find a spot.  (on the floor, at a desk, on the benches....wherever as long as it is visible to me and they are sitting next to each other). 

I wanted to ensure that students were sitting close enough to actually help each other so we came up with the "side by side" rule.  Students put their stories side by side so they each have a chance to share. 
Today we talked about what to say to your partner that will help them.  We have been doing this in our whole group share all year so it was pretty straight forward.  I wrote a story on my chart paper and then invited them to be my peer editors.  They had all kinds of tips for me and then I fixed up my work as they gave me ideas to make my writing better.  I then told them that this was what they were going to do with their partner.  THAT was the trick!  Today was so much better than last week! 

Instead of conferring with my individual students I am conferring with partners instead.  This helps keep us on track....visiting the kiddos that need help refocusing on the the task at hand....and it  gives me the opportunity to model those new editing needs.

That's it for today friends.  I am really excited about this! The kiddos love it and I'm loving seeing their cooperation and enthusiasm for writing!  Thanks for stopping by!