One of the first things I like to do each year is find out exactly where my students are in terms of their writing skills and abilities. This year has thrown me for a loop. I teach two gifted segments of 7th grade ELA and one regular ed segment of 7th grade ELA. I have found that my regular ed 7th graders are struggling to just indent and capitalize properly. We worked a bit on argumentative essay writing last week, which is a bit different than persuasive, but Common Core requires it.
Tomorrow we will begin peer reviews. My plan is to pass out the Argumentative Essay Peer Review forms that I created and have each student attempt to review 4 peer essays. I will review each section on the form before I just let them loose to review. I want this to be a learning tool to help students become better writers, so I feel that reviewing these concepts during the beginning of the lesson will help reinforce the type of responses and answers that I'm looking for.
Now, this is a SIMPLY peer review form. This is no where near where I want them to by by the end of the year...or even Christmas. However, I do want them to have a starting point where they feel successful. So, please do not think this is all that be required of them in regards to argumentative writing this year.
If you'd like to take a look at the Argumentative Essay Peer Review form that I created, feel free to go HERE to take a look. If you think you can use it in your classroom, then please print it and use it. :-)