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Helping Students Transfer Editing Skills to Writing

Today, let’s dive into a topic that’s been buzzing around classrooms everywhere: getting students to transfer their editing skills to their writing. It’s a common frustration among teachers, and I’ve got your back with some upbeat strategies to tackle this issue head-on. Before we jump in, if you’d rather consume this content via video- click the link below. If you do, please subscribe to the channel! 

The Problem: Why We Struggle to Get Students to Transfer Editing Skills to Writing

Ever spent countless hours teaching students how to edit sentences, only to find that those skills vanish when it’s time to write? You’re not alone. Many teachers share the same frustration. It’s like watching all that hard work go down the drain when students can’t seem to transfer their editing prowess to their actual writing assignments! 

Why Does This Happen?

I’ve been there, scratching my head, wondering why students nail editing exercises but freeze up when faced with a blank page. Here’s the scoop: our approach to teaching editing might be part of the problem. We often focus on isolated sentences or single-line drills, which, let’s face it, doesn’t exactly mimic real writing scenarios. When students aren’t able to get guided practice with editing for phrasing versus single lines of text, then we might be able to see why do many students struggle with this. 

The Solution:

So, how do we bridge this gap and ensure that all those editing skills actually make it into student writing? Here are three tried-and-true strategies to get you started:

1. Multi-Line Editing Drills: Instead of sticking to single-line exercises, mix it up with multi-line editing drills. By presenting students with longer passages, they’ll get a taste of what real writing looks like. This hands-on approach helps them understand how editing applies to larger chunks of text, setting them up for success in their writing endeavors.

Ensuring that students grasp the connection between editing and writing is crucial to their success. By engaging in multi-line editing drills, they’re not just fixing isolated sentences; they’re honing their skills for use in their actual writing assignments.

2. Model the Connection: It’s not enough to throw editing drills at students and hope for the best. We need to show them how these skills directly impact their writing. Take the time to explain why editing drills matter and how they translate to better writing. By making this connection explicit, students are more likely to see the value in honing their editing skills.

When we model the connection between editing drills and writing assignments, students are better equipped to transfer their skills seamlessly. By demonstrating how editing directly influences the quality of their writing, we empower students to apply these skills independently.

3. Phrasing for Editing: One often-overlooked aspect of editing is phrasing. Help students tune into the natural flow of language by reading passages aloud with the proper phrasing. This auditory approach trains their ears to recognize where punctuation should go and how sentences are structured. With practice, they’ll become more adept at applying these skills to their own writing.

Incorporating phrasing into editing drills not only enhances students’ understanding of grammar and punctuation but also encourages them to transfer these skills to their writing. By emphasizing the importance of phrasing, we equip students with the tools they need to express themselves effectively in their written work.

Final Thoughts:

Transferring editing skills to writing isn’t always smooth sailing, but with the right approach, it’s totally achievable. So, stay positive, stay patient, and keep experimenting with different strategies until you find what works best for your students.

By implementing these strategies and fostering a strong connection between editing and writing, we can empower students to transfer their skills confidently. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are strong editing skills. But with consistent practice and support, students can conquer the challenge of transferring their editing skills to their writing.

Ready to tackle this challenge head-on?  Let’s dive into the world of editing together. Until next time, happy teaching!




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