When students are ready to edit their papers, spelling seems to be a problem area. Circling misspelled words and writing the correct spelling above doesn’t promote the independence we would like to nurture in our students. What do we do?
Maybe we should remind them that because they are avid readers, their brains have seen thousands of correctly spelled words. When they read through their writing and come to a misspelled word, their brains should tell them that it doesn’t look right. That is their signal to check it out.
Once the word is circled, then they can use what we have taught them about how our language works, they can use the word wall, or they can use digital or other resources to help them.
I actually taught this lesson to a fourth grade class. I believe it teaches students to think about what they have written. It’s a little like teaching our readers to stop when what they are reading doesn’t make sense. And isn’t this how adult writers notice misspelled words? We read along and we come to a word that “doesn’t look right”. That’s when we pay attention and check it out.