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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blind Rewrites

As we continue our writing journey with the personal narrative, I added another new element that I got from Jeff Anderson's 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know: blind rewrites. 

After the power writing, speed drafts, and a peer questioning activity, I gave my students four minutes to thoroughly read over what they had written. Their objective was to focus on the important details, particularly what their classmates felt they should add to their work. Once the four minutes were up, I collected their original papers. 

When I presented the next step, I was blatantly accused of torture, to which I replied, "Torture for you; entertainment for me." The uproar continued, but I smiled my way through it. 

Their concern? I told my lovelies that they had to rewrite their entire paper in seven minutes. Without looking. 

Sure, I heard a lot of "but I can't remember." But they did. Within that seven minutes, almost every student in class had at least a half page written, and a few were quick to point out that they only remembered the important parts. Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!

Tomorrow, we will be contrasting the first draft with the second draft. I want them to determine if they included the information that was truly important to the meaning. If they left anything out that they deem necessary to the rewrite, they can add it back in. 

After that, sentence revisions. Oh, how I love complex sentences!

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