"The best student feedback, for me, is not correcting something, but questioning and probing."
- Susie Lebryk-Chao
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Peer review is an important part of a writing community. While we know it is valuable, we don't often know how to make it work effectively. These are some suggestions to spark new ideas in thinking about helping your students master the art of responding to their peers' work.
Kelly Quintero used this activity to help her students prepare for a complete a peer review session of essays they constructed in the manner of Sandra Cisneros's vignette "My Name (Esperanza). You might want to review this as a first step in thinking about students' responsibilities in peer review.
Susie Lebryk-Chao models peer review with her classes by first asking a student to volunteer to read. She then asks these four questions, writing student responses on the board.
Do you have a favorite tip for helping students become effective peer reviewers? Share your thoughts on Channel-Talk.
Dr. Robyn R. Jackson, currently a Student Support Specialist at Thomas Pyle Middle School in Maryland, often used a color-coded rubric to guide her high school students as they develop as writers. She feels it helps her see a student's progress at a glance.
If you'd like to see how your processes of evaluating student writing compare with your peers' techniques, try the interactive activity Arbiter.
The teachers in this workshop felt that introducing students to test-taking strategies in order to help them prepare for high-stakes assessments was very worthwhile.
If you would like to familiarize your students with some of the techniques and formats used in these tests, try visiting some testing sites together. The College Board's site for Advanced Placement tests, AP Central is a good place to start. Use a search engine such as Google to find sample test questions on your state or local assessments program.