I’m trying a Vopat Editing Technique called “Minimal Markings.” It’s basically where you put check marks in the margin of a student’s paper, which signals them that there’s a misspelled word on a line. Then, it’s up to the student to use resources (e.g., word wall, high frequency word list, dictionary) to fix the mistake.
Tonight, when I took my kids’ drafts home, I decided to try this instead of circling each word and writing sp. on top of the circle. That literally points out the actual word on the line that’s misspelled. This technique makes kids search through their writing to literally find the word(s) on a line that are misspelled.
I think this might be a way to help kids self-manage the editing process… will let you know if it does.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).