Three Tips to Help Teach Editing

I LOVE teaching writing using the writer's workshop model, but each year my students were really struggling with editing.  I tried lots of different things!  I even used some different anchor charts that I found on Pinterest.  After awhile and some practice, I noticed a difference in my students editing.  I'm very excited to share three of my top tips with you guys.

I know that as teachers we hear this ALL the time but it's super true.  If you want your students to be great at editing, you have to edit your own writing.  Make mistakes and edit them in your own writing.  I LOVE having super pretty anchor charts but you know what, they don't help my students when it comes to editing.  Perfect writing doesn't happen, we have to edit our writing.  I cross out often and then remake anchor charts...and you know what ... IT'S OK because I'm modeling the writing process to my students.

"I edited my writing, and I didn't find any mistakes!"

I hear that ALL the time y'all!  Please tell me that I'm not alone!  Bless my students' little hearts because finding mistakes in your own writing is super hard.  That is why I have my students partner up when it comes to the editing stage in our writer's workshop model.  They grab a partner that is also editing and each of them grab a colored pencil.  They switch papers and edit their partner's writing.  I teach them that they aren't allowed to have a pencil during the editing process because they will just erase and rewrite it.  I want them to cross things out and know that it's ok to make mistakes.  The best thing about colored pencils is that they can visually see the edits that their partner made in their writing.

My last tip for helping to teach editing is to have your students practice.  At the end of last year, I would write a morning message and my students would edit it in their journal.  It was super easy for them to edit during our morning routine and it gave them the practice that they needed.

This summer, I started thinking ahead to the next school year and I decided that I wanted to create a stronger morning routine that helped my students get the extra editing practice that they needed.  I came up with these daily editing paragraphs that I'm super excited to try out with my students.

I'm going to project the big cards onto my Activboard and have my students edit them in their writing journals.  I'm also planning on putting the copies of the big cards in my writing center for the students to edit again for extra practice.  If you laminate them, they can write on top of them with an expo marker or you can use the clear pockets like above.

Big cards printed out for the kids to edit for extra practice.

Plus, how perfect would these recording sheets be to send home for homework.  I love how not only do they have to edit the paragraph, but they have to answer questions about what they edited.

Click on the photo above to check out this learning to edit daily paragraph practice.

I hope these tips help your students with editing.  Editing takes practice and if you model for your students, they will start to follow your lead.  Happy editing!


  1. I also love to teach writing! Thanks for the tips!! I love the tip about using colored pencils! I can't wait to check these practice sheets out too!
    Melissa from Mrs. Dailey's Classroom

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