#SOL17: Revisor


It’s a typical Tuesday morning at my house.  Tuesdays when I draft, revise, and publish my “slice” before work.

It’s time to write my slice on my blog post, but I don’t know what to write.  Where will my idea come from?

I pace from the living room to the kitchen and back again.  “No idea YET!”

I stare out the window.  It’s still dark.  “No idea YET!”

I reread last week’s post.  “Can I write a part two?  No idea YET!”

I stop.  I ask myself, “What did I do this weekend?”

I went to the Homecoming parade.  I went to the game.  I watched the bands (alumni and current) march. I went to watch high school band competition.

I remembered how much I loved marching band when I was in high school and college.

I was so excited.  When I looked at my pictures from the weekend, I had tons of pictures of both my family and the marching bands.  Finally I have an idea.  I know . . . My slice is going to be about how I found my idea . . . and I begin to type.

And, now for the rest of the story . . . 

Paul Harvey story (Part 2)

The story above is the “Prequel” to last week’s post. I used the prequel in a second grade classroom to demonstrate some revisions that the writers could consider to make their writing stronger.

I am quite confident in my “revising” skills.  It is easier for me to say that I am a revisor than to say that I am a writer.  In the midst of writing, I have doubts.  In the midst of revising, I feel like my super powers are engaged.  There’s structure power, elaboration power, and the so important editing/conventions power.

How does that impact my writing?  

How does that impact my instruction?

I believe that my love for revision enables me to be both a more-focused and a more-flexible writing coach.

Here was my first draft of my writing – deliberately designed so I could use it with my second grade friends! A very short three page story

Draft Document

How did I get from my original nine sentences to the final draft (25 sentences) above?

What were my revision points?  

In our narrative mini-lessons these were some of our teaching points:


What were student writing goals?

Student goals included strong beginning, writing more sentences across pages, or adding more details.

Beginning – Page one – I need to add where and when because I have the who and what.

Middle – I need more details so I decide to have two pages and decide to repeat the “No idea YET!” (page two)  and on page three I leave the first sentence and change the ending.

Ending – I check to make sure that I add details that bring the story full circle.

I use bright neon paper strips or green marker for my revised sections to make the revisions very visible for my readers and writers.

Google Doc- Revised story

This revision basically happened in order:  beginning, middle, and end.  Not all happen to work that way!

Are you a revisor?  

How do you teach revision?  

How do you match revision, instruction,  and goals?

Did you see Betsy’s post yesterday on Revision?  AMAZING! Sticky Notes, Arrows, and Margins, Oh My!

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                                          slice of life 2016

18 responses

  1. I’m sure so many of us can connect with the “finding” a topic portion of your post 🙂

    1. Aileen,
      “Finding” and losing topics . . . ah, the life of a writer! 🙂

  2. As usual, Fran, your Slice has such a flair. It is also loaded with practical tips and ideas as that teachers can use today!!

    1. Writing is complicated, but not impossible. Growing and learning is soooo necessary and I love to “illuminate” what I am finding! Thanks for reading and commenting! ❤

  3. Thank you for your thought-filled post. I do not particularly enjoy revising so your post gave me much food for thought – and ideas to move forward.

    1. Christine,
      I grew up in an era where revising always involved RECOPYING and way too much conversation about conventions. Neither of those are revision. That new knowledge and computers made revision so much easier and JOYFUL! ❤

  4. I love the way your dissect your revision process. A true teacher. My personal revision process is so much a part of my writing. In the end, isn’t revision just another word for writing?

    1. Julieann3,
      I think for most “writers”, revision is so ingrained in the writing process that it’s a part of the writing dance. For non-writers, I fear that it’s a step – painful and arbitrarily inserted on “revising day” in order to check it off the list.

  5. Write-Revise—these are terms I tried to instill in my students as being equally important in the writing process. In order to revise they had to have something written. In order to get something written they had to get their thoughts down on paper and not worry about the “perfectness” of what they were writing. Granted, it did take a while for some students to see and understand this point.

    1. I’m not sure where writers (and some teachers) got the idea of “perfectness” but it does literally stop some writers! So much of writing and revision needs to exist side by side! It’s not easy but it’s so necessary!

  6. Great post, Fran. I could identify with finding an idea and also can apply some of your suggestions. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Rita. Definitely a two-pronged practical approach to a story today: where to find the idea and then how to strengthen it and make it a real story!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Fran, great job sharing your thinking. As a revisor, you are in good company. As Michael Crichton said, “Books aren’t written–they’re rewritten.”

    I would say I’m a revisor too. I am never satisfied. I continually go back and tweak something, change a word, add a phrase. Sometimes I over do it. Usually, though, I lose interest because the next blog post or project has come and taken over my time and attention.

    Thanks as always for sharing. I look forward to your posts.

    1. Thanks, Denise! I had forgotten how much I love to revise as well as how much I LOVE to teach it. Using bright paper to make revision visible is so much FUN for young students! And the serious conversations between partners . . . “Did you have who? what? where? when? I had to chuckle when I saw how often I don’t have the when or where in blog posts.

      You are so welcome. I enjoy sharing our writing adventures!

  8. Oh, I am certainly a revisor myself. LOVE how you set up this post and shared your process. I always learn something from you, Fran!

    1. Michelle,
      I saw your 600 post milestone and thought, “Wow” because I have a bit to go. I’ve been thinking about process a lot lately and I fear that “process” has been neglected in favor of “get’er done” mentality and “product” has again moved back into the spotlight. So much work to do.

      Thanks so much for your compliments! I love sharing learning!

  9. I’m with you, Fran Friend! I find that my internal distractions pose much less resistance when I am revising than when I am drafting! XOXOXO

    1. Thanks, Jan.
      I have to “get something on paper” and then I love the speed that technology allows me to conveniently doubt every idea/thought with so many options: scrap, delete, add to, rearrange and even wonder why I’m writing anything! Doubt and fear fuel my drafting but I do feel power in revising!

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