The Power of Peer Feedback

There's nothing like an audience to motivate students to do their best writing! You can read more about peer revision DURING the writing process here.  After finishing our narrative writing unit, we held a Writing Celebration. What exactly is a writing celebration?
All students who published their writing in time (we had been setting deadlines) received a certificate. It was so cute; without any prompting, as I called out each student's name, the class burst into applause. I love the support these writers have for each other! 

Next, all stories were laid out on student desks, along with a stack of colorful post-its & a bowl of Smarties (candy). For some reason, colorful post-its seem to motivate kids in taking greater care in what they write! Students chose a seat and read the narrative on that desk. Next, they wrote a positive comment on a post-it (we had positive feedback sentence starters posted on the Smartboard). For each specific, positive comment they wrote, they got to take a Smarties. I'm not a big fan of giving out candy as rewards, but somehow since they are called Smarties, the kids said they felt "smart" giving grown-up-type feedback! :)
After each student read 3 narratives and gave positive feedback, two "featured authors" who embodied all the mini-lessons taught over the unit, read their stories to the class.
Our writing celebration was a huge success and the class begs to keep writing every day. You can't ask for more!

If you also want to teach students how to give peer feedback during the writing process,  Peer Revision Groups gives specific tips and has rubrics for each writing genre. 
How do you engage your students in writing? What do you do to reinforce traits of good writers?

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