This week I stopped by Mrs. Rickenberg’s class and I caught the students working on the peer editing process, which is included as a standard in the Iowa Core English Language Arts. The purpose of peer-editing is to help students learn to be more active readers, to wean students away from constantly seeking approval from some authority, and to help teach students to rely on their editing and comprehension abilities and those of their peers. Peer editing is an important part of formative assessment that allows students to support each other.
Good peer editing goes much further than a simple spell check at the end of a piece of writing. It’s a process. Students work with a partner to read and refine their work. Learners find it hard to hear that their writing needs improving. Making it a collaborative process allows them to hear an honest opinion from a friend. They can then help their partner with the same process, editing is an important shift towards understanding that writing doesn’t end with a first draft.
Peer editing helps learners take ownership of their work. When writing, two heads are better than one. A collaborative practice helps children see their work from a different perspective. They can make changes to improve clarity and meaning.
The Importance of Play
Play is an important part of a child’s early development and healthy brain development. Play teaches young children about communication, develops their motor skills and helps children with problem-solving and learning cause and effect. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Learning how to play with others through compromise, conflict resolution and sharing.
As children develop they go through different stages: Unoccupied Play (Birth-3 Months); Solitary Play (Birth-2 Years); Spectator/Onlooker Behavior (2 Years); Parallel Play (2+ Years); Associate Play (3-4 Years); Cooperative Play (4+ years)
Researchers suggest that play is a central ingredient in learning, allowing children to imitate adult behaviors, practice motor skills, process emotional events, and learn much about their world. As you walk into our early childhood classrooms you might view what is happening as just play, but when you talk to our teachers they structure the play through space, resources, and activities. One thing play is not, is frivolous.