Friday, December 3, 2010

How can I organize peer critique in 1st grade?

Ms. Dorothy -
I have been having students share their writing at the end of author's workshop. The other children all want to comment, but they don't say much more than "I liked it." I have been trying to get them to be more specific and say what they liked about it. Any thoughts?
- Student Teacher

Do you keep a sign up sheet for students who want to share? Many students do better with teacher feedback and questions than with peer input, so making it optional is supportive of either preference.

After children read their writing, or share their research, you can have them ask the class if there are any questions or comments. You can limit the time spent on each student's work by asking them to call on a specific number of people to comment.

One thing that will enrich the dialogue is to have the kids say "I noticed" instead of "I like." It helps to keep the conversation focused on something specific and removes the judgment from the feedback.

Using "I wonder..." as a sentence starter can really change the direction of the peer critique as well.

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