1. Stay Positive (Make Compliments)
2. Make Suggestions (Be Specific!)
One of the easiest ways to go about critiquing your peer's work is to first start out with all of the positives! Find a few elements in their writing that you really enjoyed reading or hit home with. Let them know which particular content stands out to you in a positive way. By starting out your critique with a good attitude, your peers will be more accepting of what you have to say, and this will help them realize that you are not coming from a negative place with your suggestions.
Next, make suggestions and corrections that could help improve their writing. A few of the things you can focus on are spelling and grammar, word choice and details, organization and structure, and whether or not the content applies to the topic at hand. The important thing to remember is to be specific about what needs to be corrected. However, when doing this, it's also important to keep in mind which things you should suggest publicly or privately. Paige was kind enough to share her email interaction with Dr. Strange about this particular issue when she was confused about how to approach the situation with one of her own classmates. Whether or not to correct someone publicly or privately is a decision we will all have to face as teachers someday, and it's important for us to have experience in deciding which way is the most appropriate for the given situation. The last thing you want to do when trying to help a fellow student or a student of your own is to make them feel embarrassed! This could lead to them feeling closed off, and not wanting to approach you for help in the future. One of the last things to remember from the videos discussed this week is not to be a "Mean Margaret", a "Picky Patty" or even worse a "Whatever William". You can see what I mean by watching Tim Bedley's video below!