Helping Students Own Their Writing Process: No Hand-Holding Required

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So many conversations during writing instruction have gone like this:

“Miss, can you read this?”

“Sure! What am I looking for?”

Blank stare.

“I mean, what do you want feedback on?” I venture.

“I want to know if this is good.”

Anyone else have similar conversations with their students?

Last year I finally figured out that students don’t only need to be taught “feedback language”, but that it has to be something woven into instruction and practice every single day.

As some of you already know, the majority of my students (about 80%) are ELLs who are predominantly from Hispanic immigrant families. This resource I shared on my TpT store today became one of the greatest little surprises of the entire school year.  I used it as a Do Now, then a “pick a side” debate where students got really cut-throat about convincing each other that a certain feedback question was “weak” or “strong.” Students kept the handout in their English binders and it was one of the least-misplaced papers of the year. Win!

But the best part was seeing them dive in and tackle really more and more complex writing assignments with confidence because each question on the checklist was tailored to address many of their common struggles. And the day students started asking if they could add their own feedback questions to the list? I mean:

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The bottom line: When students have access to the right language and lots of the right practice using it, they can soar on their own.

I hope the feedback sheet helps your students embrace their own path towards growth. Happy to answer any questions about the process if you have them! Thanks for stopping by!

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