Friday, March 29, 2013

Fish Bowling

Is writing a friend or foe in your classroom? Here we're suppose to "write across the curriculum", but I mean in actual writing classes. Do you use a writer's workshop format? Student teaching and subbing I have loved fish bowling. It gets hard to read 20-30+ rough papers 3-5+ times. If you have never done fish bowling, when your students have completed their rough draft, you place them in groups of 4-6. The first time you do it with your class, you should should guide each group through it. Once they understand it you can place the groups together (different or same groups) and only work with 1-2 and let your stronger students run the group themselves.

Once the group is formed, everyone will take turns reading aloud their writings. You can choose to have your students read their own writing or to have them swap papers and read a classmate's paper. When they swap and have to read it aloud the classmate reading it tends to catch spelling and grammatical errors. It's completely up to you though. After each paper has been read, students go around the circle and comment on something they liked about the paper. Then they go back around the circle and comment on something they think could be improved. We call these our "stars" and our "wishes".

I really love this format because each student gets a lot of feedback from their peers and it really doesn't take a long time to do it.

So tell us, is writing a friend or foe? Have you ever fish bowled? Or what do you do?


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