Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading? Everyday Editing by Jeff Anderson

Thank you Jen and Kellee for hosting this weekly!  To see what others are reading and recommending, or to participate, be sure to check out their blog Teach Mentor Texts :)

Last week, I was at the Teachers College Summer Writing Institute so I missed sharing my reading last Monday, but stay tuned this week to hear more about my learning at the TC Writing Institute! 

One professional book that I loved reading last week is Everyday Editing by Jeff Anderson. One of my goals this year is to integrate editing instruction into writing workshop more often, to help students develop their editing skills as writers in meaningful and purposeful ways.  This is the book I packed with me for my train ride into NYC last Sunday and am so glad I did! It is a practical, user-friendly, organized text that will be a go-to resource for me this year for editing instruction.  
In the introduction, Jeff Anderson explains how editing is more than just the checklists we hang in our classrooms or the ones we give to students and it is more than just a stage in the writing process.  Throughout this book, he explains and shows us how editing is a process, not a stage, and that we need to invite students into editing.  I love his point that authors don't spend time looking at sentences with errors on overheads or worksheets, so why are we teaching our student writers that way?  Instead, Jeff says we should collect great sentences from books to share with students and invite them to notice and imitate how the sentence is written.  Then he invites students to collect sentences from their own reading to see how the authors of their books use the conventions they are noticing and studying.  Students can share and celebrate their sentence findings with their classmates on a bulletin board, in their writers notebooks, or charts.  Then students are invited to try out the conventions in their own writing during writing workshop.  

In this book, there are ten complete editing lessons that include commas, colons, capitalization, apostrophes, paragraphs, and so on.  love how Jeff Anderson shows us how editing is a process and how we need to invite students to notice, imitate, and collect great sentences using a particular convention being studied to help them try it out in their own writing.  I will definitely be doing more of this, instead of simply showing students incorrect sentences where they need to find the errors and correct them.  

We need to remember that we teach students editing skills to strengthen them as writers, not just to pass the "test".  Some students fear editing because they are always afraid they are going to get it wrong because "they aren't good at editing" but with this approach they are invited to take risks as writers.   With this approach, students are invited to notice and experiment what they see other authors doing in their writing, like real writers do.  I'd love to hear your thoughts about Everyday Editing by Jeff Anderson or how you teach the process of editing in your classroom so please share. :)

Happy Reading and Editing! :)

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