Circle What You Know
This is a great way to provide a positive “backdoor” into editing. Instead of having students look for their mistakes, have them circle the skills they used correctly in their writing. Begin by modeling this in a Morning Message or shared writing piece. Have students circle what they know before turning in a draft. This also gets them to reread, and often they will fix mistakes as they go. This idea comes from Teaching Reading and Writing with Word Walls by Janiel Wagstaff.
Teach students to use proofreading marks when editing their own writing. Have students use a colored pencil or pen to edit.
After completing a draft, students use a writer’s checklist to guide them through the editing process on their own writing.
Call the C.O.P.S.
Before students turn in a piece of writing ask them to “call the C.O.P.S.” on their writing:
C = Capitalization
O = Overall Appearance
P = Punctuation
S = Spelling
I.F.O.M. stands for “in front of me.” Students should be expected to spell correctly words that appear on a worksheet or assignment that is right in front of them. (from Writing Strategies That Work! BER Resource Handbook by Diane Murphy).
One of the best editing/revision strategies to teach our students is to reread often as they draft. This needs to be modeled during shared, interactive, and modeled writing lessons. At then end of daily independent writing sessions I build in a time for rereading. I ask students to take out a colored pencil, reread what they wrote that day, and make any editing or revision changes. The colored pencil allows me to see which students are actually going back, rereading, and trying to make changes.