Latest news:

Bonnie Campbell Hill Award Recipients

2015 WA State Literacy Leader Award
Click here to download the flyer.
Click here to download the application form.

2015 National Teacher Leader Award
Click here to download the flyer.
Click here
to download the application form.

Citation: Anderson, Jeff. (2008). Editing Invitations. Portland, ME: Stenhouse. (DVD).

Title: Editing Invitations
Year: 2008
Publisher: Stenhouse
City: Portland, ME
Medium: DVD
Author(s): Anderson, Jeff
Grades: Third Grade to Eighth Grade
Category: Editing Teaching the Writing Process Teaching Punctuation Teaching Grammar
Annotation: You’re invited! In this 15-minute, relatively inexpensive DVD, we are invited into Jeff Anderson’s sixth-grade classroom to watch a master teacher at work. The DVD begins with what feels like a one-on-one conversation as he shares his passion and purpose for editing and grammar instruction. It’s hard to imagine anyone who could be passionate about grammar and conventions, but as you watch Jeff in action, you’ll see how skillfully he teaches conventions in the context of students’ own writing. He and his students talk about what they notice as they analyze how the mechanics of a text serve the piece as a whole. He believes in “starting with the positive.” Rather than having students notice errors in text and asking them to fix mistakes (as in Daily Oral Language), Jeff asks student to notice what’s working well. Instead of lingering over poorly written lessons that can be found in many commercial grammar texts, they marvel over well-crafted authentic pieces of literature (both fiction and nonfiction). In this way, editing becomes part of a dialogue about the craft of writing, rather than an onerous task.

Too often, we “put students in the writer’s electric chair as we jump on them for every error they make.” Watching Jeff’s lesson, we see how he invites student inquiry and creates conversation with students about a correct text (posted on the board) as he asks, “What do you notice about this sentence?” They soon begin to notice effective conventions, like an author’s use of commas or the “drum roll” of a colon. He tells his students, “In our writing, we can reveal what we know about the characters with our words and punctuation…Let me try imitating the pattern of our model sentence by using a colon or commas…”. Students brainstorm, draft a sentence in their writer’s notebooks, and then share their sentences with the class. Although this DVD includes just one lesson, coaches may want to share this 15-minute DVD with intermediate teachers as an invitation for a book study using his book. I suspect you will find Jeff’s approach inspiring and his passion for teaching revision as craft contagious.