Each quarter I have my students create a writing of choice. This is where they browse through their writer’s notebooks or come up with a new topic to write about. I give them a week to create their works of writing. I provide them with self editing rubrics, peer editing rubrics, and a teacher rubric. These rubrics are to help them edit their writing. The teacher rubric looks just like the self and peer rubrics; however, they don’t write on it. I use it to grade their work. I feel that they need to know what I am expecting and that’s why the self and peer rubrics have the same criteria. This has helped greatly.
After completing their writing of choice, they turn them in and I grade them. I then decide on the best ones and display them in the hallway. I have a flashlight with a beam coming down and their writing is placed on the beam. The title says “Writers in the Spotlight.” I then award those students with an award and a pen for their creative work. By the end of the year, I will have everyone’s work on the wall and they will also be awarded. I try to look for improvements in their writing. I also send a postcard to their parents to let them know how well they are doing in class. I have gotten several complements from their parents and my students too!