Don’t correct students’ writing
As a teacher, you cannot possibly do everything you think you ought to do.
One area you can skip without any qualms is correcting students’ responses to your formal writing prompts.
You know the kinds of things I mean:
- Correcting spelling.
- Fixing verb tenses.
- Putting the missing comma after an introductory element.
Making those corrections may make you feel you’re accomplishing something, but they won’t make a tad of difference in students’ writing.
As long as someone else —like you—will identify their errors for them, most students will not take responsibility for correcting even their most serious, habitual errors.
So take the easy way out.
Set up Individual Mastery Plans. Establish caps on the number of errors you’ll accept without limiting the top grade students can achieve. Then IMP flag errors until you reach the cap.
It won’t take long for students to see the relationship between the number of flags and their grades.
Spend time you might have wasted changing it’s to its in teaching students how to edit their work for their own most serious, habitual errors.
There’s more to editing than correcting typos and grammar errors, but if you get students to do the simple corrections without prompting, you qualify for a Lifetime Achievement Award.
© 2017 Linda Aragoni