Saturday, September 3, 2016

Peer Editing in German 2

I've always found peer editing with my students to be a challenge.  

On one hand, I think it is a useful activity for them to read a classmate's work and see if they can understand it and help correct mistakes.  It's also practical because I just can't edit 28 paragraphs in fifteen minutes of class time.

On the other hand, I find that they often don't do a very good job of it.  They will read through the paragraph quickly, say "It's fine," and hand it back to the owner, even when there are obvious basic errors - nouns not capitalized, words misspelled, etc.

As with most things, I've found that my students have more success when I give them specific instructions, like in the picture above.

I introduced the Perfekt (conversational past tense) to German 2 at the beginning of the year, and we've been working hard on it for the past 2 weeks.  This week, students began working on their first writing assessment: a paragraph about a special event such as a birthday that has happened in the past:

We did some pre-writing and brainstorming in class to think of words and phrases we've learned in this unit that could be used here:

Then, students wrote a rough draft that was due on Thursday.  My hope was that giving them a specific checklist would improve the quality of peer editing.  

Overall, I think it was a success.  In my first class, which is generally pretty strong in language skills and students do an excellent job of following directions, almost everyone got through the editing checklist and I saw lots of papers with highlighted helping verbs and past participles and some helpful changes.  

In my second class, which has a little bit weaker language skills on average and has students who are easily distracted and not as good at following instructions, I had fewer successfully edited paragraphs (It didn't help that several students hadn't done a rough draft, so they had to use the time to write one and didn't get the opportunity to benefit from peer editing.) but still a reasonable amount of success.  

Here are the files if you'd like a copy:

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