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Day 40: Writing and peer feedback
By Mark Heintz
Oct 8, 2019

Day 40

How can students provide meaningful, peer feedback on writing?

Last Friday, I had my students do short writing that was similar to their document-based essay. Nearing the end of the period, they submitted their writings to a Schoology discussion post.  On Monday, after the students had some distance from the assignment, I paired the students together and had them read through one of the posts. Their job was to post as many questions they had about the writing.  They clicked reply in Schoology and posted their questions right under the writing they read. The questions became feedback, which provided the author with the feedback they can use to potentially make their writing clearer.

Why I Use It

Since the goal is to ask questions, the feedback isn’t mean spirited or nitpicky. It’s to ask questions you had as a reader. Sometimes, the reader is at fault, and sometimes the author is. It allows me to see students work through two difficult skill sets: reading and writing. As a bonus, students become better readers as they work through the sample.

As a teacher, I walk around and listen to the conversations and can read through the original writing but also the questions. I carry around a notebook and jot down similar questions I see which I use to address the whole class when the activity is over. It’s an effective way to get students to read through samples and actually care. It provides quick feedback to the whole class.