Slice of Life 14: Editing Skills

Slice of Life Challenge Hosted by Two Writing Teachers

Today has been exciting!!  My brain is ready for a break, but I wanted to capture a session I went to today.  I heard Jeff Anderson speak on “Express-Lane Editing”.  He has written the book Mechanically Inclined (which I had to buy).  Jeff shared how to make editing stick with students within the writing process.  Often times, teachers often have students practice editing skills and believe that they have taught the skill.  Jeff said that “practice is just practice; it’s not teaching.”  We have to intentionally teach the skill.

Jeff Anderson recommends using mentor texts to begin the process of immersion and learning, referencing Janet Angelillo.  What I learned the most was to use this quick editing check during the drafting.  He suggests teaching them to reread looking for one punctuation skill within two minutes at the end of the workshop writing time. 

For example, on day one of the draft, they are to read down say half a page and make a line.  During the two minutes, the students look at that section for the punctuation.  Sure, the kids can read on and look for more, but it’s the practice of rereading that helps.  It’s also just enabling our students to feel confident when focusing only on one area of need.

I know that Jeff explained much better than I on this blog, so I highly recommend reading the article and/or the book.  He makes sense.  Our kids struggle punctuating and having it stick.  Jeff wrote an article for Voices in the Middle about Express-Lane Editing.  Click the link to get to the article. 

Side note:  the cell phone was on vibrate but I did receive texts.  My youngest is sick and my husband is taking care of him, after fixing the brakes on the van.  Our two older children won first place in their quiz bowls today, so they are excited.  Me, I’m ready for a meal out – one that I don’t have to cook or clean up!!  Last night, I went to dinner at a unique place that had duelling piano players.  It’s an experience I will not forget soon.


3 Responses to Slice of Life 14: Editing Skills

  1. Kathy says:

    Thank you so much for keeping us up on what you are seeing. Wish I were there to go out to dinner with you all. I will be thinking of you in NYC next weekend! Hope all is well on the home front. By the way, we are making Wesley and the gang famous in FWCS with his persuasive writing!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I love this book–used it as the basis for my college class’ grammar groups. You’ll be happy you bought it.


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