Teaching Editing using colored pencils

At this point in the year, my first graders are really taking off with their writing. But, I still get papers turned in with poor conventions. The thing is, it's sometimes from kids who DO understand the "rules of writing". They know where those periods go and they know where they're supposed to put capital letters. So, we started talking a lot about editing. I wrote this sample narrative and made some mistakes on purpose. I had the kids read it to themselves first, looking for ways to fix it. Then I had them whisper to their "neighbor" about places where I needed to add punctuation or capital letters.  They just love finding my mistakes! Then as a class we read through it and edited. I used a different color marker so our editing marks would be clear. When we were done, they wanted to go even further and add/change words so my story would "sound more interesting". (Don't you love when they start to talk like you?)

This week, we've been going back in our writing notebooks editing our past stories. I gave them a colored pencil so I could see ways they edited their work. It makes it more exciting to have a colored pencil for some reason! We're not going to take these stories to a published draft, but I wanted them to get in the habit of editing their work. The other day we wrote in our journals for a while, then we set the timer for 5 minutes and everyone had their colored pencil out to edit their work. I'm hoping this will encourage them to start to do it on their own. 

Here' s an example of a student using colored pencil to edit:

Eventually we want them just to edit their work with a regular pencil without being asked, right? Well, I'm hoping this is just getting us one step closer. :)

I'd been planning on posting about this today or yesterday, but I'm glad I waited because I saw Hadar's post this morning with SUCH a great idea. Click here to see her post about using bookmarks to help with conventions. LOVE it!


  1. I just posted about editing with crayon/colored pencil too! Haha!!

    Krazy About Kiddos

  2. I love your centers. Are you going to be doing a center for September?