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Friday, January 22, 2016

Strategy #3 - Read-Around Groups (Engagement Strategies Series)

Happy Friday!!

Here in South Jersey, were are eagerly awaiting snowageddon!! Blizzard + coastal flooding + four kids under the age of 7 stuck inside all weekend = CRAZINESS!!

Anyway, before we lose power to the snowpocalypse, I wanted to post the latest in my engagement series and it's one of my absolute FAVORITES!! Now, I will make no claims to have "invented" Read-Around Groups. Just a quick Google search will lead you to countless awesome teachers who rock this strategy on the daily.

Read-Around Groups are for sure, the BEST way that I've ever found, to actually get students investing in revising and editing their papers. THE BEST!! You have students complete them after they've finished writing their first drafts of an essay. Don't let students write their names on the paper... Have them use a number instead (like their birth date... Nothing too personal, but a way to identify them without the whole class knowing whose paper is whose).

Try them a few times and you will be hooked, I promise! It's great for the kids to glimpse almost everyone's first draft of their paper, and it really helps them get some great ideas for revising and editing their own papers.

 Have you ever used Read-Around Groups? How do you do it in your classroom? I'd love to hear about it!!

Happy Teaching!!

Check out all five of the posts in this series:


11 comments:

  1. Here's a question: must each student be finished with their drafts in order to participate? I tried to do Read-Around Groups during our Expository Writing, and there were quite a few students that didn't have their draft done. What do you do in that case?

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    1. They have to have them done! If students aren't finished the day before, they need to finish for homework. If it's not ready the next day, then it's an incomplete and they do not get to participate. I'm pretty tough about this :)

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  2. How do you prep for this? Do the students have to give you their draft without a name on it, or do they make two copies (one for them, one for the activity), or something else entirely genius?

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    1. My bad! It wasn't clear in the original post... I fixed it! Hope that helps!!

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  3. It says to pass papers around in #1 of the instructions... what papers? What have they already completed before starting this assignment?

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  4. Hi! Sorry this wasn't clear! I fixed it :) Thanks for reading!!

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  5. I just tried this with my 8th graders the other week. They needed extra practice with editing and revising so I tried the rotating of essays so each student was seeing a different essay and it upped the engagement! I told them before we started that they were essays from each of my classes, so then throughout the activity I had many students saying in disbelief "A 7th/8th grader wrote this?? But they're missing *insert specific part here*!". Their surprise about the lack of quality essays I have received really made them think about their own work and what they need to double check for every time we do a writing assignment. I'd say the activity was a success!

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    1. Awesome! Great to hear from you, Chelsea! Thanks for sharing :)

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  6. Hi, I'll be teaching 5th grade ELA for the first time next fall and have found your blogs very helpful. I have some questions about your read-around groups. After the "best" writing has been selected and you read it aloud, is the author ever identified? Do you do more than one set of read-arounds per piece or just one? How many days do you allow for revising? Thanks so much for sharing your strategies.

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    1. *Yes, the "best" pieces are always shared with the class and we do identify the author :) It's a great moment for those kids.
      *We just do one read-around for each piece.
      *So, students can be revising the entire time they draft. That is one of the main reasons why I like to write in front of the kids... I want them to see that I begin revising the moment that I start writing! After the read-around groups, kids usually get 1-2 days to write their final draft, so that could be considered official "revising" and "editing" time.

      Hope that helps!!

      ~Jenna

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  7. Just curious...what does your Read Around paper say that is framed on the desk?

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