TIPS FOR USING EVERY-DAY EDITS
Following are a handful of ideas for using Education World’s Every-Day Edit activities:
- Every-Day Edit makes a great “bell-ringer” activity. Print out the activity page each day and set it in the “Every-Day Edit spot” in your classroom. Students will pick up a copy as soon as they walk into class in the morning or immediately after recess or lunch break and settle right down and get to work as you spend a few minutes taking attendance or doing last-minute lesson preparations.
- When you photocopy the Every-Day Edit activities, print an extra copy of each activity on a transparency. As students are finishing up the activity, project your copy onto a whiteboard or a sheet of chart paper. Invite students to take turns marking the errors in the paragraph. Keep track of how many students are called on in order to correctly mark all ten errors. The number of students required to find all ten errors should decrease over time. That’ll be proof that students’ language skills are growing.
- How about having students complete the activity in pairs or small groups? (This is an especially effective strategy if the Edits seem to be difficult for your students; it’s also an effective strategy in the middle-school grades, because students of that age love to socialize.) The student pairs or teams can talk through — and debate — their corrections as they make them. See how many pairs/teams can correctly identify all ten errors. You might even keep score and award a prize each quarter to members of the team with the most perfect scores. Change the makeup of the teams at the start of each new quarter.
- Give students instant feedback. As students complete papers, you might correct them immediately. You can correct quickly by simply circling any incorrect edits that students make and handing papers back to them. No need to say a word; just hand back the papers. Then students have a second chance to correctly mark the errors. If they identify all ten errors the second time around, give them a perfect score of 10 points. If students correctly identify all ten errors on the first attempt, award them a bonus point — give them 11 points instead of 10! Keep track of scores over a 10-day period to create a 100-point test grade. (A student who gets all ten Every-Day Edit activities right the first time around will have a test grade of 110.)
- Use Every-Day Edits as a daily all-class activity. Divide the class into two teams. Present the day’s Every-Day Edit paragraph to the class. Have a student on one team share one correction that needs to be made to the paragraph. If the student makes a correctcorrection, his or her team earns a point. Then it’s the other team’s turn to point out another correction that needs to be made. Alternate between teams until all ten corrections have been identified. How many points did each team earn? Which team was the winning team? To add some suspense and competition to the activity, tally the teams’ points over the period of a week or a month. The team with the highest score at the end of that time will earn a special reward such as a homework-free-night coupon, an ice pop, or an extra recess
- Students’ editing skill will improve dramatically with regular use of Every-Day Edits. Once students are doing well, start supplying actual sentences and paragraphs from your students’ writing. Write or photocopy them onto transparencies and let students edit their classmates’ work. They will see that they and their peers make some of the same kinds of mistakes found on Every-Day Edits activities. That will drive home the practicality of — and the need for — the daily practice.
- Just for fun: Once each month, throw a pop comprehension quiz. Create a 10-question matching activity to test how much factual information students retained from that month’s Every-Day Edit activities. In the left column, include names of people and events that were the subjects of ten of the Every-Day Edit paragraphs that month; in the right column include a brief statement that identifies the reason the person or event is famous. Besides improving students’ language skills, Every-Day Edit builds cultural literacy; it makes students more aware of famous people and events in history.
Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor in Chief
Copyright © 2006 Education World