The Open Pencil Box » a little box of inspiration for you + them

Teaching Early Childhood Students to Edit their Writing

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I can’t even take credit for this idea. I’m not sure where I found it at or how I came up with it but I’ve been teaching editing this way for the last two years of second grade. I realized how quickly editing your writing is such a big concept for young children. To them, their stories are over when they’re done writing. Editing and publishing writing is always a struggle and I’ve even used read alouds to help me teach this concept to children. Yet their editing skills are always subpar.  Simply recopying their writing is usually what I get when we work on editing.

So editing stations, (think centers) is how I resolved this problem. I set up stations around the classroom and at the each station the student works on only one area of editing. For example, “capitalization station,” at this station the student goes through their rough drafts and only looks for errors that need a capital letter. Do all their sentences begin with a capital letter? Do proper nouns start with a capital letter? I found when editing is presented to young students with one area of focus at a time they are better able to manage it. The next station is usually “punctuation station” and at this station- you guessed it- they only work on putting punctuation marks at the end of their sentences. I slowly introduce these stations at the beginning of the year. We do one station at a time and practice, practice, practice. By the end of the year we are off and going and the kids do each station for about 5 minutes max. They work quietly on editing their own writing and then move onto the next station. The day before we do editing or publishing stations, I always pair the kids up to read their writing with a partner and discuss it. Then they are encouraged to add or delete details in their writing then. The editing stations are just to correct errors and add or delete words. After editing stations have been completed its time to publish!

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