It sounds like you are really making an effort to look at student work to plan for instruction. I think commenting in their writing notebooks and providing them with feedback is really important. In addition to reinforcing the use of strategies in their independent writing, your comments will motivate them to write more, as they look forward to reading your responses. Complimenting them on a specific strategy they’ve tried out in their writing and balancing that with advice for their next steps, may keep the momentum going. If you have a list of strategies you plan on teaching in a specific unit, you can refer back to it and use it as a reference for other strategies to suggest your writers try out the next time they write. As far as editing their work - teachers have different opinions on this. In my experience, I feel that peer editing is a great way to get students involved with making the proper changes in their own writing. They identify mistakes that others make and become more aware of these errors in their own work. If you see the need to edit their work, maybe you can suggest that they try out some editing strategies you've already taught them in the comments you write to them. For example, you could write, “Reread the first paragraph and check your spelling.” This will be more powerful than crossing out their mistakes and making the corrections for them. You may want to do some work using an editing checklist as well.
Great questions! I hope my answers help!
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