Register
The Inspired Writer Blog

Motivating Young Writers to Revise

Dec 9

Written by: Suzanne Klein
12/9/2011 12:55 PM 

Teacher Denise Dusseau created the 3rd grade curriculum for the Common Core WriteSteps

Today’s blog features simple and effective teaching tips from our 3rd grade Curriculum Creator, Denise Dusseau. Denise is a gifted classroom teacher who used the Lucy Calkins writing program until we launched the Common Core WriteSteps in September.

She reported in our December Inspired Writer eNewsletter that since she started using WriteSteps, even her struggling writers are making wonderful gains! A quarter of her students have learning disabilities and/or ADD.

After you check out Denise’s teaching tips, be sure to see her Inspired Writer interview. In it, she discusses Lucy Calkins, help for struggling writers, implementing the Common Core, and more!

Motivating Students for the Long Haul

 

If children are told to revise, it usually leads to corrected spelling and punctuation.
We need to teach that revision means “to see again.”

 

~ Donald Graves, in Writing: Teachers and Children at Work

In Denise's experience -- not uncommon, I might add -- revising can be the the most challenging writing skill to teach. She says, "When we’ve already worked on a piece for a long time, and I ask my students to revise it, sometimes they want to throw their notebooks at me!" (She's quick to add, "That’s normal for this age!")

She's right, of course. Yet revising is essential. All writers do it, students need to learn how, and besides, it's a Common Core Standard. Writing Standard 3.5 states that students should, "With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing."

Here’s Denise, on how to make revising more appetizing:

  • I tell my students this is the most exciting part of the writing process! I say, “All the hard thinking work has been done…now you get to go in and give it a makeover.” We make revisions with blue markers so we can see the improvement, and I point out, "Even if we’ve only change four things, we just improved this writing in four ways!"
    WriteSteps Common Core writing lessons include picture planning tools to help the youngest students organize and remember their ideas. WriteSteps Common Core writing lessons include picture planning tools to help the youngest students organize and remember their ideas.
  • I emphasize the positives first. There are always parts of the draft that are so good that I tell the student, “Don’t do a thing to it!” But then I’ll say, “Now look back at the beginning of your piece; are you equally pleased with that?” Starting positive opens students up to looking at their own work through a different lens.
  • I also reinforce exactly what revising is. When teachers say revise, students tend to think, “What? Go back and erase half my piece?” Once they really know what revising looks like, they don’t mind. Revising is:
    *substituting word choice
    *moving things around
    *deleting
  • I remind my students frequently, “Right now we’re in the planning stage,” and “Now we’re in the drafting phase,” and “Now we’re in the revising and editing phase.” It sets them up to remember that that good writing doesn’t happen automatically – it’s a process.
  • I connect it to their reading. I tell them: “We love great books like Because of Winn Dixie. Why? Because they’re not in draft form! You’ve put all this work into your writing, so do it justice by polishing it for your audience.”
Coming Soon -- More teaching tips from Denise!
Check back soon for more excellent tips from Denise, including her ideas about:

  • Collecting Your Own Student Samples
  • Opening & Closing Lessons to Drive Learning Home

 

Subscribe to this Blog
Search Blog
Quick Find
elementary writing (8)
professional development (8)
6 Traits (5)
Common Core (5)
technology (5)
writing (5)
CCSS (4)
Common Cores (4)
elementary writing program (4)
PARCC (4)
WriteSteps (4)
common core writing (3)
conferencing (3)
formative assessment (3)
Lucy Calkins (3)
Smarter Balanced (3)
ADD (2)
common conferencing challenges (2)
Common Core Standards (2)
conferencing tips for teachers (2)
curriculum directors (2)
Edtech (2)
Education (2)
effective writing instruction (2)
elementary conferences (2)
elementary teachers (2)
elementary writing instruction (2)
handwriting (2)
inspiration (2)
journaling (2)
K-5 (2)
K-5 writing (2)
keyboarding (2)
learning disabilities (2)
mentor texts (2)
principals (2)
quick writing exercise (2)
summative assessment (2)
teaching (2)
technology tools (2)
texting (2)
writing apps (2)
writing challenges (2)
writing exercises (2)
Writing Prompts (2)
Writing Workshop (2)
10 Leadership Truths for Curriculum Leaders (1)
2012 schedule (1)
3-2-1 Summarizer (1)
6 Traits of Quality Writing (1)
6 Traits Rubric (1)
animated video (1)
Ashton Kutcher (1)
assessing writing (1)
assessments (1)
back-to-school activity (1)
becoming a better teacher (1)
beginning the year (1)
benefits of handwriting (1)
blendedlearning (1)
blogging (1)
Bloom's Taxonomy (1)
brain research (1)
captivationstation (1)
CCSS ELA Standards (1)
challenges of teaching writing (1)
Chauncey Davis Elementary (1)
choice (1)
classroom activities (1)
classroom management resources (1)
classroom poster (1)
Classroom Posters (1)
Clever (1)
coaching (1)
college and career readiness (1)
Common Core tests (1)
Common Core Writing plans (1)
Common Core writing program (1)
conferencing video (1)
creating writing curriculum (1)
Crunch the Numbers (1)
curriculum creators (1)
Curriculum Leaders (1)
curriculum leadership (1)
Depth of Knowledge (1)
Developing a writing identity (1)
difference between formative and summative assessment (1)
digital tools (1)
disruptive classroom (1)
Donald Graves (1)
education infographic (1)
Education Innovation Summit (1)
ELA Conventions (1)
elementary writing conferences (1)
elementary writing lessons (1)
encourage students to write (1)
encourage writing (1)
ePals (1)
eWriteSteps (1)
failing teachers (1)
first week of school (1)
Flat Classroom projects (1)
formative assessment activities (1)
formative assessment data collection handout (1)
formative assessment tips (1)
formative years (1)
Found Poetry (1)
funding (1)
future of education (1)
get to know your classmates (1)
grammar skills (1)
graphic organizers (1)
guest blog (1)
iMovie (1)
improved teacher education (1)
improvement (1)
incorporating figurative language (1)
Infographic (1)
informative writing (1)
Inspirational Posters (1)
inspiring (1)
interactive white boards (1)
iPad (1)
keys to teaching writing (1)
kidblog (1)
leaders (1)
Leadership Truths (1)
learning (1)
Little Bird Tales (1)
LitWorld (1)
low-stakes writing (1)
modeled lessons (1)
NAEP (1)
NAESP (1)
National Assessment of Educational Progress (1)
National Poetry Month (1)
National Writing Project (1)
Newtown (1)
On-demand writing (1)
Opposite Poetry (1)
penmanship (1)
planning periods (1)
pocket literacy coach (1)
Poetry Book (1)
posters (1)
process writing (1)
publishing (1)
publishing writing (1)
Questions Teachers Have About Teaching Writing (1)
Questions Teachers Have About Writing (1)
ready to print (1)
revising (1)
role models (1)
Sandy Hook (1)
Sandy Hook Elementary (1)
SAT (1)
school culture (1)
school year planning (1)
scoring student writing (1)
self reflection checklist (1)
Self-Assessment (1)
setting tone (1)
Shel Silverstein (1)
six traits rubrics (1)
Smarter Balance (1)
StoryBird (1)
student feedback on writing (1)
student journals (1)
student writing (1)
student writing samples (1)
summarize writing (1)
summer (1)
Superhero (1)
Swivel (1)
Teacher Appreciation (1)
Teacher Appreciation Week (1)
teacher evaluation (1)
teacher improvement (1)
teacher tips (1)
TeacherFeature (1)
teachers (1)
TeacherStar (1)
teaching struggles (1)
teaching writing (1)
Technology Readiness Tool (1)
text-messaging (1)
text-speak (1)
thankful (1)
Thanksgiving (1)
The Flipped Classroom (1)
time limitations (1)
timed writing (1)
tips for teachers (1)
types of formative assessments (1)
Valentine's Day (1)
Valentine's Day classroom writing activities (1)
Valentine's Day writing ideas (1)
Valentine's Mad Lib (1)
video (1)
videos (1)
writer's workshop (1)
writersworkshop (1)
writing best practices (1)
writing conferencing tips (1)
writing foundation (1)
writing obstacles (1)
Writing prompts to deal with tragedy (1)
writing quizzes (1)
writing resources (1)
writing skills (1)
writing technology (1)
writing tips (1)
writing tips for teachers (1)
writing to learn (1)
written questions (1)