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Obstacles to Revision for Little Kids

Katherine Bomer hosted a session on fabulous revision strategies for students in grades K-3 at the TCRWP Saturday Reunion yesterday.  I haven’t synthesized my notes from that part of her presentation yet, but did type-up my notes from the part of her presentation where she talked about the obstacles that get in the way of kids revising their work when they’re starting out in Writing Workshop.  Here’s a look at what Bomer said:

I. Topic

a. When kids are writing what they really want to write about, then they do their best writing AND their best revision work.

i. Choice of topic is one of the pillars of Writing Workshop.

b. Kids will learn to revise best when they feel passionate about what they’re writing about.

II. Purpose

a. Kids must have a real purpose for the writing they’re doing.

i. More than “it’s school.”

b. If you don’t have a reason to be making “this thing on paper,” then you really won’t be invested in it.

c. Little kids usually have a purpose for where their writing is going.

i. They need to be thinking about the purpose and where their writing is going constantly.

III. Audience

a. Children must have an audience for their writing.

i. Writing has to “go public” and be read by the public (i.e., publishing).

1. They can be sending it to someone, sharing it as a class-wide celebration, putting it in the class newsletter, putting a book in the library, posting it on a class blog, hanging it in the hallway, etc.
2. The writing needs to “go public” so it can be made better.

b. All young writers need daily contact with another human being (i.e., someone to share their writing with at all stages of the writing process).

Stacey Shubitz View All

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).

3 thoughts on “Obstacles to Revision for Little Kids Leave a comment

  1. I’ve had this post in an open tab for days now. I keep mulling over how to better have my first graders share their writing. We found that they did some of their best writing when they were writing letters to others. I just haven’t figured out how to keep that momentum going for having an authentic audience. Thanks for pushing my thinking, yet again.

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  2. Ahhh — topic choice. One of my favorite writing topics! If someone expected me to write a specific piece they assigned me, I wouldn’t be published. Thanks for all the ways you remind us to let students select their own writing topics.

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