So, this week was a little, well……not what I thought it would be.  My students loved writing their small moments and sharing some of their stories and so I thought completing the piece and publishing it would be the way to celebrate.  We definitely didn’t get to the publishing part this week as intended.  Our small moments piece will hopefully be completed next week!

:/…..It was not what I wanted it to be, but I can say that I learned a lot more about my students this week.  From the moaning and groaning to looking at me with the worst look ever.  I thought to myself several times this week, “am I making this too hard”, “do they not understand what publishing consists of” or “did I not model enough.”  I was a little lost and had to come home and think how I would make the next day better.

On Tuesday, I asked them to finish their piece and follow the ARMS procedure that we had talked about the previous week.  Later I explained to them the COPS approach on editing and proofreading.

C  – Capitals

O – Order & Organization

P – Punctuation

S – Spelling

This helped them understand what to look for when they are editing their piece.  One student even asked “do real writers do this?”  I answered the question by stating


Then, I said that writers who write stories to be published reread their piece several times looking for mistakes or things they need to fix.

My class sounded surprised.  They assumed once the “great writer” wrote the story that was it.  I corrected them and told them absolutely not.  It was amazing to see that famous authors are just like them.

After I explained COPS to them and began to conference with some of my students, I had students come up to me after 2 minutes and said they were finished.  I asked if they checked all their sentences to see if they are complete, capital letters for beginning of sentences and proper nouns.  One student said, “I added all the periods I needed.”  When I looked at his paper, he had written a whole page in his notebook and only had two periods.  I asked him to think about where he would have to stop and take a breath.  He began to get angry with me and didn’t want to work anymore.  I had some students say they were finished and didn’t even look at the names of people and how they were lowercase.  The students were getting frustrated because they really didn’t want to do the editing part and they wanted me to just say it looks good.  We have talked about capital letters and spelling before but this is the first time we have really published anything in the class as a whole.  I am really trying to get my students to take it seriously but it’s like once the fun writing part is over, they didn’t want to put anymore thought into it.  Even when I met with them one on one to edit, they still wanted me to do all the thinking.  I don’t want to drive their passion for writing away just because I want to publish a classroom book.

So, I guess for this post, I need advice.

 What are some ways you edit and proofread with your students??????

Again, the students loved the writing part and even the revising part.  THEY DID NOT LIKE THE EDITING AND PROOFREADING PART.  I felt that my kids were beginning to not want to write because of this.  I tried to make it less confusing as I could and I tried to help out as much as I could.  I felt that I was calm, I just need ways to help my students not get angry or frustrated when it comes to the final draft.  Some students were able to do the editing part but they still didn’t take it as seriously as I wanted them to.  My students have never had to edit a piece this long.


During a different time of the day, I let my students take part in another fun writing activity.  I provided my students with conversation hearts on Valentine’s Day and they made sentences or a story with their hearts.  They really enjoyed this!



3 thoughts on “Editing & Proofreading……HELP

  1. I felt your pain and discouragement some this week too. My students LOVE ,LOVE, LOVE to write. They LOVE to share but the editing and revising seemed a little scary and it seemed that some students were hurt that someone would even suggest that they needed to correct something in their paper. One idea I have is to Skpe or show videos of real authors explaining how they write, rewrite, edit, etc. Maybe this is something we can share, It sounds like all kids could benefit from this.


  2. Don’t get discouraged Beth! I’m sure it’s just a matter of getting them used to the habit of editing their work.

    One suggestion is to take one student’s writing, put it under a document camera with no name showing and have your students talk out loud as to what they see needs fixing. After several times of doing this, maybe they will start to see what it is you are expecting them to fix.

    Another suggestion is to give them a rubric similar to what Jackie posted on her blog (5 Star Writing) as an editing guide. They could check off the needed proofreading items as they go. You could even make it a rule that they had to have 2 other students proofread their writing before they came to you and said they were finished. If they came to you with all the items checked off and you find otherwise, then you could set some consequences.


  3. Hey Beth!

    I saw one of your comments on another post and thought that it was a great idea.. It was where you said you may pull kids a few at a time and walk them through the editing process. I think the kids would be really responsive to that, and enjoy the small group environment, as well as of course getting real help learning to proof read and edit. I know when we did the clinic with Dr. Morris, editing was the hardest part of writing for both the kiddos I worked with. Don’t get too discouraged! You will get them there!


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