Thursday, November 2, 2017 - Better Peer Feedback

This is a guest post from Nateil Carby

In preparation for our Fall Break (Monday, October 9th), I asked my students to craft an argumentative essay about Columbus Day. The writing prompt was, “Should we celebrate Columbus Day or not? Be sure to cite textual evidence from BOTH passages to support your claim.” Students read two articles from our Performance Assessment Workbook about Columbus Day and then they used those sources to write their first draft.

For any extended writing piece, I have students organize their thinking using a graphic organizer. I’m an advocate for using the 4-Square Writing Model. There are different variations but I used one that looks like this. You can learn more about the 4-Square Model HERE.

Anyway, because I printed out the 4-square model for everyone, I couldn’t print out my peer-evaluation rubric. Typically, once students craft their first-draft, I have them peer-evaluate each other’s essays by hand!! But that requires MORE paper!! We have a limited number of copies, so I was thinking about how students can peer-grade each other’s essays online and that’s when I came across

This site is AWESOME!! Students can single sign-on with their Google Accounts, you can import a roster from Google Classroom, and then the app randomly distributes THREE essays to each student! There is a rubric that is created by the site, or you can upload/create your own. The feedback that students give is anonymous, so that eliminates the number of revenge-seeking students on the receiving end!! The site is easy to navigate, but it will take teachers a minute to learn how to properly set up the Hand-In & Feedback Window. However, once you figure it out, you’ll never go back to paper and pencil peer evaluations! This site is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to an English teacher’s toolbox. The writing process won’t ever be the same!!

About the author:
Mr. Nateil Carby is a 7th Grade Mathematics & Language Arts teacher living on the southside of Atlanta, Georgia. He is married with a 7-month old son named, Prestin. He’s also the new STEM Director of his school and he’s finishing up his second Masters degree. He enjoys reading, writing and boxing in his spare time. Follow him on Twitter at @NateilCarby

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