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. (Wagstaff, 1999)
Teach students to use proofreading marks when editing their own writing. Have students use a colored pencil or pen to edit. During modeled and shared writing lessons I demonstrate how to use these marks when editing my own pieces. I give each student a copy of the proofreading marks to keep in individual writing folders.
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
Have students check for spelling errors by reading their drafts backwards. This forces them to focus on each individual word rather than getting caught up in the meaning of the sentence and possibly skipping over errors.
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.