3 Writing Feedback and Revision Tips that Work

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3 Writing Feedback and Revision Tips that Work

Posted in Evolving Ed | April 09, 2019

Want to join in on the conversation with experts about feedback and revision that works? Check out “Writing Matters with Dr. Troy Hicks”, a podcast featuring expert teachers, writers, and bestselling authors. In each episode, Troy asks his guests to share their own successes around guiding feedback in the classroom.

In the first season, guests include Lisa Highfill and Sarah Landis of The HyperDoc movement, Jim Burke, Carol Jago, Brian Sztabnik, Dawn Reed, and more! Listen to the episode below, then head over to Apple Podcasts (or your favorite streaming service) to listen to more episodes of Writing Matters.

As every educator who teaches the writing knows: better feedback leads to better revision, which is the key skill to growing great writers. Unfortunately, only 27% of students in 4th, 8th, and 12th grade are proficient in writing (NAEP). Even as students progress throughout their education these numbers do not rise. With writing valued as a threshold skill in the workplace, how do we prepare students for what's ahead?

Learning to both give and to receive feedback is also a necessary life skill for 21st century workplace success. But knowing how to effectively guide this process can be quite difficult. Here are 3 tips from the experts on how to create a writing program that incorporates feedback and revision that works:

1. Incorporate targeted feedback: it’s how students learn about their own learning.

“When students have the metacognitive skills of self-assessment, they can evaluate their levels of understanding, their effort and strategies used on tasks, their attributions and opinions of others about their performance, and their improvement in relation to their goals and expectations… Writing improves when teachers and peers provide students with feedback about the effectiveness of their writing.”

Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research.

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The process of engaging in self-assessment and peer feedback is what activates the awareness of and understanding of one’s own learning. Metacognition is the most powerful predictor of learning, which is why this is the most effective method of opening the door to improvement and growth, especially when it comes to writing.

2. Organize and unify feedback rubrics across classrooms, disciplines, and districts.

Writing instruction doesn’t simply happen in ELA classrooms. It begins in the elementary classroom and expands as students progress in their education to social studies, science, career and technical classes, and even math!

In a 2016 study conducted by Gary Troia of Michigan State University and Steve Graham of Arizona State University, it was found that only half of teachers have taken a college class that devoted significant time to the teaching of writing, while fewer than a third have taken a class solely devoted to how children learn to write. It’s no wonder that every teacher has their own instructional approach to writing, often making it hard for district leaders to create unified writing programs and rubrics that are shared across classrooms and disciplines.

District leaders can help unify writing programs around a common set of rubrics and assessments, so both teachers and students understand and can use a common set of vocabulary when it comes to discussing writing goals and growth.

“We’ve developed a set of rubrics and professional development around our bi-annual benchmark assessment process in reading and writing. Writable was able to administer assignments and on-demand assessments using our writing rubrics, then help us save time on grading and instructional planning across disciplines, including ELA and Social Studies.”

Elizabeth Crooks, 6-12 curriculum coordinator, ELA, Social Studies, & Literacy, New Britain, CT

3. Monitor writing growth data to personalize student success.

Creating and implementing a unified and organized writing instruction program that is centered around guided feedback and revision is the first step towards increasing student success. But while it’s important to witness student success in the classroom, you also need to see it reflected in holistic and accurate data. By using real-time data collected around both student growth and struggle, you can refine instruction and invest in revision that really works, allowing you to personalize success for each and every student.

“Writable focuses and motivates the process of writing throughout all phases of writing instruction. Both teachers and school leaders can easily progress-monitor and students can self-assess their own development, making learning to be a better writer easier than ever.”

Greg Garner, Instructional Coach, formerly of The Friday Institute

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Want to join in on the conversation with experts about feedback and revision that works? Check out “Writing Matters with Dr. Troy Hicks”, a podcast featuring expert teachers, writers, and bestselling authors. In each episode, Troy asks his guests to share their own successes around guiding feedback in the classroom.

In the first season, guests include Lisa Highfill and Sarah Landis of The HyperDoc movement, Jim Burke, Carol Jago, Brian Sztabnik, Dawn Reed, and more! Listen to the episode below, then head over to Apple Podcasts (or your favorite streaming service) to listen to more episodes of Writing Matters.

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