Using Peer Review in Your Writing Instruction
|Posted by Administrator (benny) on Oct 08 2008|
In my conversations with other teachers, I have discovered that there are many who feel somewhat befuddled about how to implement a peer review process as part of their writing instruction. So today, I did a little filming in my classroom to help those of you who feel this way. I shot some footage of my 4th and 5th graders doing their peer review today on two different writing samples. Peer review is powerful because it develops critical thinkers and engages students deeply in the writing process.
What is peer review? It is a structured activity where students work in groups to critique each other's work. In the example here, my students work in pairs to critique each other's writing assignment which was completed the night before for homework.
Here are a few pointers to help you use peer review successfully with your students. First, make a checklist of the exact things you want your students to look for during peer review. My checklist includes ideas like proper heading, correctness, quality of topic sentence, rich vocabulary, etc. Next, model the peer review process in front of the whole class. Take a student writing sample and place it under your document camera (or make a transparency.) Go through the checklist with the whole class listening in. Be sure to stop periodically and have the students reteach a neighbor what you are modeling for them. Also, as part of the modeling process, ask two students to peer review their papers in front of the whole class. As they work through the process, coach them so that everyone gains a clear understanding of your expectations. When you implement peer review with your whole class, be sure to structure the time to keep the kids on task. It is vital that the kids have a prescribed amount of time to peer review each paper. My students are given 5 minutes per partner during the first part of the school year. As their skills increase, I increase the amount of time spent on each paper. You always want the kids to feel like they ran out of time rather than feeling like they had too much time. It is also important to mix the kids up rather than allowing them to peer review with their close friends each time. Students will benefit from listening to and seeing the work of students with a variety of skills. Finally, be sure to provide feedback to the students on the quality of their peer review. I do this by carrying a clipboard with me to take positive notes. I sit with 2 to 3 groups each session and listen for good behaviors. Then, between the first and second peer review session, I share my observations with the entire class. This really motivates the students to make their peer review time productive.
Watch the following video to see what peer review looks like with real kids in a real classroom.
Last changed: Oct 08 2008 at 9:12 PMBack