Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Peer Review Sounds Like Magic

A revision of one of my photographs that I edited
in Picasa Creative Kit for my photography students.
I love hearing students think out loud. In fact, I love hearing discussions where students use textual evidence to support their analyses of literature. Today, I was able to enjoy another auditory pleasure: listening to students assess each other's writing according to the literary analysis essay rubric and give advice to their partners for improvement. I asked them to be overly critical with each other's essays so after revisions they will be able to earn the highest score possible when I review the essays.  As I walked around the room offering advice and checking progress, I heard students give advice on organization, word choice, support, citations, and grammar usage and mechanics. Some students noticed, much like when I have someone review my writing, that mistakes they made glare at them, and they tend to catch them before the person reviewing the writing.

Revisions have been made, and I am excited that the peer review discussions have made the students more reflective on their writing processes. My hope is that students will begin laying the rubric beside them as they write so they will give attention to the categories. My eventual hope is that students will no longer need the rubric for writing or review, but will have high expectations for their own writing and automatically work the review and revision steps into the process.

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