Writing tip: Wise feedback makes a difference

Correct and grade wisely. An arbitrary grade based on feelings (”This feels like a B-”) won’t help your student become a better writer.

Tip 4: Offer helpful and consistent feedback.

  1. Woman smilingUse objective checklists to help you pinpoint specific areas to improve.
  2. Value your child’s efforts. If you stick her paper in a pile and never respond to it, she won’t bother doing her best because she assumes you don’t care.
  3. Your kids want to please you, so praise the things they do well! An approving tone and encouraging words can go a long way toward soothing the sting of a critical comment.

Though we’re not all strong or confident writers, we can’t let that keep us from investing in our children’s writing. Remember: Writing doesn’t teach itself. Our kids need us. Really! And today, more than ever, there are tools at our fingertips to help each of us teach successfully.

(All of the WriteShop products offer tips and checklists to help you edit and grade your students’ work more objectively.)

Also see Writing Tip 1: Set Boundaries, Writing Tip 2: Process vs. Product, Writing Tip 3: Write Often

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7 comments ↓

#1 Patty on 12.15.08 at 7:50 pm

This is one of those tips when you read it, you start to say, duh, but then realize you don’t do it enough and you’re glad you’re reminded of it! thanks for the reminder! : )

#2 D Orcutt on 12.15.08 at 8:55 pm

This section can be very helpful. Unlike math or science, grading writing can be very difficult. I look forward to reading more tips. Thanks.

#3 Thellesa Woodley on 12.15.08 at 9:52 pm

Thanks for the input. This is just what I needed to hear (read) at this time!

#4 Rhonda on 12.16.08 at 7:24 am

Oh I love the checklist idea, it takes the pressure off of me and puts the process back to the student Thanks

#5 Jamie on 12.16.08 at 11:34 am

I am convicted by the sentiment, “Writing doesn’t teach itself.” I guess I thought that everyone has a natural desire to communicate, and that my childrens’ expressiveness would naturally translate into writing and speaking. We all learn differently and express ourselves individually. I need to provide objective feedback, value their efforts, and praise what they do well. Thank you for the tips!

#6 Lilah on 12.16.08 at 12:44 pm

This is one of the areas in which WriteShop has really helped me. It’s so easy to find errors, but it can be very discouraging for a child to find his paper returned with many X marks. Words of praise and encouragement make all the difference, and the checklists and tips in WriteShop have made this much easier for me.

#7 Kim on 12.16.08 at 1:35 pm

It’s good to ponder these things. Thanks to each of you for your thoughts.

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