My 4th graders are working on publishing their own websites to my Mobile Me account. I have allowed them quite a bit of freedom in terms of design and content, but I have encouraged them to create pages for each of the content areas: reading, writing, math, and social studies. Many of them have added "All About Me" type pages, and our newest additions have been a series of entries around our historical fiction book clubs using iWeb's blog page.

I'm really wondering how involved I should be in the editing of these pages. They are 10 years old; naturally, there are going to be grammar, spelling, and mechanics errors on their pages. The content they are posting is public, so my thought is, it should be perfect, right? I certainly don't want to publish anything less. Or...should I let it be authentically their work? If I need to be their editor, how might I go about giving feedback? It isn't realistic to think that I could confer with each student to catch every single comma or capitalization error...

Thanks for your thoughts!

Tags: student websites, teacher involvement

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I'm not a teacher, however I volunteer in my boys computer lab class. IMO, I would advocate allowing them to be "them". In some cases the incorrect grammar/punctuation may be intentional. Although there is the argument for "texting is ruining the English language", I think it's also important to allow them to realize how visible and obvious there errors may be.

Perhaps a peer review would be an interesting experiment? As we all can attest to, it's easy to miss an error in your own writing over and over only to have someone else read it and point it out. It may be an interesting experiment to have the students pair up and have them proof each others online work.

Good luck!
I also teach the fourth grade and rely heavily on peer editing when it comes to our blog posting - only because, as you know, it is so time consuming to walk around the room and review and edit everything that students do. I do tell partners that they get points off their final grade for any mistakes they don't catch (that has helped them be a bit more attentive). I recently edited a large project (44 students made animal powerpoints) and that was very draining but they were being posted to our blog and I felt an obligation to make sure they were seen by me before they got posted. Some mistakes slipped through but honestly I had to let that go or I would still be editing (mmm...which I still am by the way...sigh!).

I do agree that some mistakes are part of the charm of this age group. I mentioned that in my science notebooking blog ( when I purposely didn't correct the spelling of a child on their title page. As a parent my favorite gift from my son was a flowerpot that says "Huges and Kisses Always". He is now a graduating senior and I get all misty eyed when I look at that pot and the reflect on how the years have flown by!

I 100% agree with you, Eve. The errors are part of what make the work theirs! I will direct them to correct the mistakes that deal with concepts we have studied, but overall I will remain more hands off. We took our field trip to the Apple Store this morning to share what we've done and get feedback fromthe "pros," and they were impressed with what 10 year-olds are capable of. I don't want my controlling-type personality to get in the way of tech. learning and creative work!

Thanks for all the advice everyone! :-)



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