Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Peer Editing Flash Fiction

Almost nothing receives as much universal skepticism from students, their parents, and other teachers than announcing that an assignment will be peer edited. A particularly contrary student (who I love) asked, "Does that really work?" indicating in his intonation that his own answer was, "No, no it doesn't."

But I, and most other writing teachers, disagree. However, as with any pedagogical endeavor, peer editing has to be well planned and cannot be the only source of critique that students receive on their writing. The teacher still plays a role, just not necessarily the only one.

Also, students must be peer edited by multiple students, so that they receive a variety of perspectives. In addition, they choose who peer edits them. They can select people that they trust and with whom they feel safe.

Students peer editing. 

After the peer editing day, students submit the second draft to me. They turn in the peer editing worksheets, and as I grade their second draft, I will note if they made the necessary changes. When a peer editor suggest a correction in which the writer doesn't agree, the writer can respond and challenge the correction. Therefore when I'm reading their peer editing worksheets, I understand why the writer didn't make the change and can weigh into the conversation.

Peer editing fosters a community of learners and helps students hone their own skills by looking at other examples of student work.

Here is a link to the Flash Fiction Peer Editing Worksheet.

Here is a link to the Flash Fiction Assignment.

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