So far I have tried 2 ways to encourage students to talk about their own as well as their classmates’ writing. It is all based on warm and cool feedback.
But first we always revise the elements of collaborative, academic discussion. This year I am using Teaching the Social Skills of Academic Interaction by Daniels and Steineke, and created the anchor paper that we always refer to.
This seems so basic but is a crucial part of any successful collaborative activity.
The Teaching Channel teachers offer engaging ways to get students to talk about and revise their written work. I chose:
- Critical Friends. I actually showed the students the video because it gave me the opportunity to show how students (as well as the teacher) contribute to the success of the feedback. I am scaffolding a writing unit on how to craft an effective argument. The students’ first assignment was to write a persuasive paragraph using a visual prompt from an original site
We reviewed the criteria for an effective persuasive paragraph:
precise examples that support the main idea
analysis (Why should the reader care?)
After sharing their first draft pieces on Google Drive, the students offered the ‘warm fuzzy’ feedback followed by precise suggestions for improvement. It was interesting that the students were keen to discuss the writer’s argument and offer their own views.
However, this time the focus was on composing a cohesive perfect paragraph. I reminded the students to try and give the feedback in the form of a question (see second activity below) which forces the writer to come up with her/his own ideas for revision.
2: Warm and Cool Feedback Once again, I used the video as a way to take the students through the steps and model them in this revision activity.
What peer review activities do you use?