Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Workshop 7: Responding to Writing: Peer to Peer

Peer responses provide a tremendous learning opportunity for young writers. These interactions help students with topic generation and idea development, increase their confidence about sharing their work, force them to look more objectively at their own writing, give them valuable feedback for possible revisions, and allow them to learn from the writing successes and challenges of their peers. Peer response also helps students learn how to give constructive feedback to others, an important life skill.

"Responding to Writing: Peer to Peer" visits the classrooms of three teachers—fifth-grade teacher Jack Wilde, seventh-grade teacher Velvet McReynolds, and eighth-grade teacher Vivian Johnson—to explore various ways that teachers can structure student interactions, from whole-class responses to informal writing partnerships.

The video highlights teaching strategies that help students learn how to respond appropriately and meaningfully to each other's writing. Both Jack and Velvet model response using their own writing, and Jack and his students demonstrate how a whole-class response to an individual writer can help all the students hone their conferencing skills. We also sit in as Jack facilitates a small response group, another way of helping students learn how to respond to each other's writing effectively.

"Responding to Writing: Peer to Peer" abounds with classroom examples of students interacting with each other. It also features interview segments with the three teachers, as well as comments from Linda Rief, an eighth-grade English teacher and the author of Seeking Diversity: Language Arts With Adolescents.

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