Strategy Seminars: Revising Edition

We are powering through our last major unit in writing- a fairy tale unit. It's fun, allows creative juices to flow, and builds off of skills from earlier in the year... a perfect unit while we wrap up this test prep in reading and prepare to take our big state test for the year. Today we started the revising process. We haven't done a whole lot of it this year- largely due to just learning the basics of writing to begin with. And sometimes, the revising techniques are great for some of my writers, but not for all. I had to think of another way to give them more opportunities for revising that fit their needs and now that they are more independent than at the beginning of the year; I had an idea: enter strategy seminars.

I looked at my students writing over spring break and noticed some reoccurring areas that could use some improvement. I wrote down some "glowing" things as well as some "growing" ideas to each of their drafts to help give some feedback to lead them down the revising path that could benefit them. 

I created 4 different seminars and prepared some station materials. Each station had the station name complete with a teaching point. On the back side of the frames, was the revising poster to remind them why we revise. We noticed that these different strategies help us revise in different ways, so it was nice to have this reminder.

Students got one of these half sheets to help them plan and record which seminars they attend. Why do I call them seminars? Because students ultimately have the choice. Really, most of them would benefit from any and all of the strategies, so I like that they have some choice- it gives them power and makes them invest in the work.

Each one had a teaching point tied to a revising strategy in my Editing and Revising Strategy Poster set. I included a small reference card of these posters to go with each center to help provide support for the group. I prepared some guided note pages for 4 different strategies.  On the front, students were to notice and discuss from a 'sample' of a student's draft (I just wrote one to fit my need). There were discussions prompts to have at the end with others at the seminar to help them realize the problem this writer faces. On the back, students then had a chance to practice a strategy to help this writer accomplish the teaching point. Plus, it serves as a reference for them to keep and look at when they do it in their own writing.

Students then got to pick their first seminar. Only 5 were allowed at each one (6 for 2 due to our numbers). Surprisingly, they split up pretty well. They worked together to read the sample text, carried on their own discussions based on the prompts, collaborated on the practice activity, and most importantly, stayed engaged and created their own learning with their peers. It allowed me to float around, check in with groups and guide. 

After about 10-12 minutes, students went back to their desks and applied the strategy with their own writing. My teammate (who also used these today on a last-minute whim... she said it went GREAT) had a genius idea I wish I would have thought of! Each station had a different colored pen. That way, she can see what types of revisions her students made! I wish I would have done that! Next time...

Many found the strategy they worked on to be helpful! And they were able to apply it to their writing. Tomorrow, we will continue again and hopefully get in 2 different seminars depending on time (since we had to take time to model expectations today). I can't wait to make some of these revising seminar practice pages for our other units for next year!

How do you deal with the revision step of the writing process? I'd love to hear!



  1. How cool! I loved how you looked at your students' needs, and made them into centers based on what you found. What a fun way to teach about the sometimes-dull topic of revising!

  2. This post is amazing!!! I would love to talk to you about guest blogging on the iTeach Third blog, but I can't f ind an email address. Can you email me at

  3. Love these stations!!! What a great idea!

  4. This is just awesome!! Would you be willing to sell these stations on TPT?

    1. It is something I am working on trying to make available. :)


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top