Monday, July 22, 2013

Peer Editing Pro

If your students are anything like mine, every time I have them peer edit each other's work, they end up making comments like "looks good," and "so-and-so did everything right!" Meanwhile in writing-land, so-and-so's paper is a hot mess and Johnny the peer editor is off working on his next class's homework.  After about a year or so of struggling with peer editing, I came up with a handy-dandy way to make peer editing easier and student accountability higher: mailing label rubrics!  They have been a game-changer for me, and I hope they help you out too!

Aside from daily free writing, my students are also assigned one graded reading-response journal entry a week.  The prompts for these are specific to in-class or whole-class reading and typically vary between analytical and evaluative personal responses.  Students are required to have a title and date, an indent, and a hook that is either a fact, question, thought or quote.  I also assign a Focus Content Area (FCA) which is typically a usage, grammar, or sentence structure issue that they must include.
They need to also include 3 correctly used vocabulary words (new vocab lists are given out each Monday), it must be on topic, and it must be a minimum of 250 words. 

On grading day students trade journals and affix a mailing label to the end of their partner's journal entry.  They need to highlight the writer's FCA and vocabulary words, fill in the rubric, and sign their name.

Once these are turned in, I double check the highlighted portions of the journal to make sure the FCA is correct and the vocabulary words are used correctly...if they're not, I change the grade and make a note for the student.  If they are correct, I place a checkmark next to the student-given grade and record it in the gradebook.

By learning how to peer edit, students become more and more knowledgeable about the writing expectations.  And let's face it...I don't have time to read 80 Freshmen journals every week...this helps me focus on the main concerns without spending my entire weekend doing it!

Hope this is something you can try in your classroom!


Mrs. V.


  1. I love this idea! I, too, struggle with students who don't give each other constructive feedback. Thanks for entering my giveaway-- hope you win! So nice to find another secondary English blogger.

  2. This is a great idea! I often feel that peer editing is the blind leading the blind. Something I've found to increase accountability is to have students do a "clocking" routine to look for specific elements (thesis, evidence, punctuation). I also have them mark/highlight what they've changed in revision.