Welcome to HIT—How I Teach….In this episode, I introduce you to my Checklist Challenge (CC)  for revising reports, essays, and stories—including how to teach students to code their edits and changes for quick and thorough grading. Revising can be a difficult task for students, mostly because they are not taught how to do it thoroughly. Vague instructions, such as “add stronger verbs some places” or “don’t forget a Thesis Statement,” do not help students with the revising process.

With my Checklist Challenge for revising writing, students are taught exactly what to do and how to mark changes so their teacher can grade their “colorful copy”—as we like to call it in my classes. They are given samples of each usage addition they are to make (not just a list, such as add adjectives or add coordinating conjunctions).

Specifically, in my How To Lessons (found in all first semester Meaningful Composition books up through grade nine and all month-long downloadable books in the Tools and Tricks line), students are taught how to do each revising task one at a time with a color-coded sample to follow as they make changes to a given essay (or their own). Each CC task is introduced on a separate page and thoroughly taught.

In this episode of HIT, you will find a full How to CC lessons (in your Teacher’s Notebook) for third graders through ninth graders. I will teach you exactly to teach your students to thoroughly improve their papers with a clear-cut checklist—and how to teach them to “code” them so that you can find the changes that they make in their papers.

This is the exact protocol I use with all 50-60 of my writing and language arts students every year—and it works wonderfully and turns out amazing writers and revisers! This is part I of a two part HIT lesson, so be sure to join me next week for more!

Of course, just like every lesson in my one-month downloadable books and my one-semester Meaningful Composition books, this one also has the invaluable samples to take the guess work out of the lessons!

And for your convenience, How I Teach…. is available as a podcast (follow along in your TN sheets for that week) and a YouTube video (with Power Point containing the same as the TN)! 

Note: This lesson came from Tools and Tricks II, a month-long, downloadable book from the Write-for-a-Month series.


Find everything you need here!

Weekly broadcast episodes with Teacher’s Notebook downloads (and links to listen or watch!) at the Language Arts Lady blog

Master (continually updated) Teacher’s Notebook downloadable booklet

Free writing books and videos of me teaching your students for you for a couple of weeks! 

All of my digital books

How I Teach YouTube Channel

How I Teach Podcast