Best of the Best Secondary ELA Blog Hop & Giveaway! - Room 213

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Best of the Best Secondary ELA Blog Hop & Giveaway!


Welcome to my stop on the "best of the best" blog hop. I'm so pleased to be joining host Secondary Sara, and other amazing ELA teachers, as we share our favourite lessons and products. 

One of my favourite things to teach is the writing process. I love seeing kids discover that they can write something they feel proud of.  Most often, they just need to slow things down and think. My Revision Learning Stations are designed to do guide them to do just that.

Whenever I have my students write their first essay with me, we take our time, focusing on the steps writers should take as they plan and revise their essays. We devote several days to the pre-writing stage.  I wrote last week about the strategies I use to get my twelfth graders to plan and focus their arguments, so they can be ready to write a solid first draft. Once they have that draft, I spend a few days presenting mini-lessons on skills like using transitions, varying sentence lengths, selecting the best word, etc. The students complete a second draft, and then we have our final day of revision and feedback.

REVISING WITH LEARNING STATIONS

Learning stations slow students down and make for far more effective revisionOn that day, students will come to class with a hard copy of their latest drafts and will spend the period rotating around various revision stations. I put the students into groups and send them to their first station (order doesn't matter). At each station, they will find various task cards that instruct them to focus on a different area of their essays. I also provide post-it notes that they can use if they need more room to write. In these photos, you can see students working on embedding quotations, creating varied sentences, and using strong verbs.  I like to give them ten minutes at each station, and then have each group move clockwise to the next station. However, if a student needs more time, or if one finishes a station early, s/he can stay or move on. 

I love using stations for the final revision stage, because the students get very focused. Most take their tasks seriously, making notes to themselves about revisions they will make at home later. They love that the stations slow the process down, allowing them to focus on one element of their writing at a time. Stations also provide a wonderful opportunity for differentiated learning, as I can sit with individual kids and instruct them in the areas they need to work on.

USE THE SAME STATIONS FOR PEER REVISION

Learning stations are perfect for peer revision
Once every student spends time at each station (it usually takes about 40 minutes), I ask them to decide which station represents an area where they feel they need to do more work -- Were they unsure if their topic sentences were focused enough? Did their writing flow? Were they using the best words? Once they decide, I ask them to go back to that station, and to get a partner to read their essay, focusing on that particular element for feedback. The discussions that follow are always amazing: focused, detailed and very constructive. You can repeat this process with another element, or even use each station for peer feedback, if you like.

After revision and feedback day, my students will do a final copy to be passed in. However, I don't want the process to stop there, either. I think it's so important that they have a chance to do something with the feedback with me, rather than just look at the mark. I want them to learn to self-assess and to carry their learning forward. So, when they pass in an essay they also pass in a self-evaluation, one that explains what they did well and what they struggled with. Then, after they get their essays back from me, I have them record what was successful and what still needs work. You can grab the form I use here.

So that's my favourite product, which you can buy today and tomorrow for 20% off! Carry on with the hop to find out what my friends love to use in their classrooms.

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15 comments

  1. I am so excited to try these revision stations at my next teaching assignment. Using your Research Stations really helped my students focus on one skill at a time, and they enjoyed moving about the room. Thanks so much for all of your hard work!

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  2. If I was in the classroom this year, I would 100% without a doubt be purchasing your stations. I think they would break up the monotony of a high schoolers typical day and allow them to move around the room focussing on one part of the editing process at a time.

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  3. It's challenging to get students to revise their writing effectively or to give one another helpful feedback. By using stations, it seems like you've really simplified the process for them. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. This might be the next set of stations I purchase from you! I love your ideas about how to use them effectively in the classroom!

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  5. That's really neat that you break it down into different areas to focus. Do you every get students who dig in an insist there paper is "done" (or fine or doesn't need revision?)

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    1. Occasionally, Clair, but we do so much in class on process on a daily basis, that they know not to try that!

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  6. Students need to focus on just one skill set at a time, and your learning stations are a sure fire way to get students motivated, engaged, and moving! I like how you have your students self edit and peer edit as well!

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  7. I love the idea of using revision stations during the writing process! This is a great way to keep students from getting overwhelmed and keeping them engaged. One of my favorite ideas that you shared is having students decide which station that they need to revisit. Not only does this give them choice in the process, but it also helps them in becoming more reflective of their work and really taking ownership of their learning. Thank you for sharing such a fantastic resource and your expertise with us! :)

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  8. What really strikes me is that your students are working from full-page typed and printed drafts that are at the right stage for this deep, focused final revision. Allowing students to move from one station to another is an excellent way to shake up the traditional work-in-groups or trade-with-a-partner peer editing that may provide some benefit but often seems to lack focus. Working station by station allows students to concentrate on one revision area at a time - and that's ideal! Thank you for sharing this unique method for supporting students as they peer revise.

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    1. Hi, Maryann. They did this with their second drafts and were expected to do one last full revision before doing their final copy. We take the process very slowly and seriously the first time they write an essay so they spend a lot of time with it. My hope is that they will kick the habit of just editing a rough draft the night before an essay is due.

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  9. I LOVE stations! This year, we have been shackled to a textbook but I think I have convinced my teammates that we can still use the textbook and use stations too! Just in case, I'll show them this post. Thanks!

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  10. I have started using stations this year, and you are part of the reason why. My students appreciate the time to think, and we accomplish more when they are allowed to discuss ideas openly - instead of being quiet for 45 minutes. Thanks for the great ideas.

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  12. I found revising with learning station is effective and the perfect way to revise my paper

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  13. You definitely need read this article about essay writing. It will help you in your future works.

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