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Creating Authors With Technology!

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Keywords: Writing, listening skills, revising, student led conversations
Subject(s): Spelling, Technology, Grammar, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 2 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
View Full Text of Standards
School: 116th Street Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA
Planned By: Brandi Bass
Original Author: Brandi Bass, Los Angeles
***Use after the drafting stage of any writing piece. I prefer to use before revising, but that is a teacher preference and not required.****

First, remind students on the rules of Author's Chair. The rule is students always start with 3 stars or positive comments about the student's writing. Then give 3 feedback comments starting with " I wish you would......" Students raise hands to give comment and the student author calls on students (not the teacher). They must talk directly to the student author ("I liked how you started with a main idea") Teacher should have a conversation about specific comments versus general. Students should not give feedback like, " I liked your writing." Instead comments should be specific ," I like how you started the writing with a sound effect". This takes practice, but once students understand they will be very specific. It also shows the are attentively listening to the author.

Step 2:Next, Teacher models with a piece they have written (in advance)and make sure there are plenty of mistakes in sentence structure, capitalization, spelling, etc. As they give positives and feedback I list what each child says on a Post- It. I stop at 3 for stars and 3 for wishes. That way each child only focuses their revising on 3 aspects. This step should be modeled with the HoverCam. Showing how you list comments and showcasing the writing as the Teacher reads it aloud. You will then want to save the writing as a JPEG or other format.

Step 3: Using your saved file add students' comments and feedback directly on the your practice piece writing. You can use speech bubbles and arrows to show exactly where the stars and wishes were addressed. When comments are completed, print and pass out to your students. Teachers can then take it a step further by adding the revisions and rereading the piece to showcase changes. This helps students see the connection between the comments and revising process.

Step 4: Call 3 to 4 students to sit in the Author's Chair (which is just the teacher's special chair) and project using the HoverCam on your whiteboard. Repeat process in Step 3, this time student's writing and read aloud are used. Save, write comments, and print. You might go over the print-out during your individual student writing conference. I have students keep the copy and attach with their published piece when turning work in. This way you can see how well they understand the revising process and change your instruction as neccessary.
This lesson can be used with any writing genre.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Use with Math to show problem solving methods and have students comment and give feedback.
Focus Author's Chair on editing skills only.
Materials: Projectors, Portable, Projector Screens, Flash/USB Drives, Integrating Technology, Speech and Language
Other Items: 1 HoverCam, $300 each, total of $300.00
1 Laptop, $700 each, total of $700.00
1 Microsoft Publisher or Word, $120 each, total of $120.00