I Teach Revising. Again.

I'm on a revising kick.  Can you tell what we worked on this week?  I started off by putting out my revising cards for the kids to use to support their writing.

They were a big hit!  One of my supremely reluctant writers came to me afterwards and showed me the revisions he had made and told me which card helped him with each one.  I had a big happy teacher moment.

It was also time to bump up the revising expectations.  At the beginning of the year, I was just happy that I could get them to realize it wasn't the same as editing and actually change anything.  However, now they're more comfortable with it.  And a few were getting complacent.  I'll use complacent instead of another word.  I require them to revise their age (if you're 8, you revise at least eight things, etc.)  So, some of my little friends replaced eight different words and were calling it good.

Um, no.  

We had a spur of the moment lesson (don't you love teachable moments where something comes out of your mouth that you weren't planning but works?) on the three levels of revising.

Level 1: Change boring words

I was happy.
I was overjoyed.
That's good, but . . . .

Level 2: Add descriptions

I saw my trophy.
I saw my green and gold trophy.
Nice, but don't stop there.

Level 3:  Add in comparisons

(This one is straight from a student's revisions)
I was nervous
I was so nervous I was sweating like a pig.

Level 4: Help your reader visualize

I opened the present.
I ripped the red and green snowman paper off the tiny box I hoped would be my new iPod.

Is this all there is to revising?  No way.  But, it's something concrete I can refer to with my kiddos.  It also helped me focus when I checked in with them on their writing.  I could talk with them about where they were and discuss some ideas for taking it to the next level.

If you've been reading my blog for even a small amount of time, you know what's coming next.  I had to spend a little quality time with Photoshop making a poster.  
You can download an 8.5x11 here from my TPT store or an 11x17 here from Dropbox.  I was using Scribd for my posters, but they betrayed me and went with a paid subscription thing.  Now I have to move all of my stuff over from Scribd to Dropbox and fix the old links. Nice.  I guess nothing lasts forever!

your photo name


  1. Magnificent post!! Revision is the essence if good writing. The moment our students understand this is the moment the become writers!! I love your cards...I love your poster....I will be using them on Monday!

  2. Love these - especially the little revising cards! So smart!

    - Sasha

    The Autism Helper


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