Capstone/Dissertation Title

Explicitly Teaching Fourth Graders How To Peer Conference

Term

Fall 10-15-2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MALED

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Terry Gluek

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Karna Sjoberg

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Heather Cohen

Abstract

This capstone project addresses writing peer conferences in a fourth grade classroom. The research question was How can I explicitly teach fourth graders to give each other meaningful feedback during peer conferencing time? Fourth graders were given a pre-unit survey on peer conferencing. They were then explicitly taught how to give three types of feedback on the writing of a classmate using the acronym TAG. They gave compliments (tell something you like), asked questions, and gave suggestions. After each mini-lesson students were given the opportunity to practice giving one another feedback on their writing using personal narratives they had already written. Each student met with two partners to exchange feedback. During the peer conferences students used a checklist created by the class as a protocol for the discussion. Exit slips after each conference and post-unit surveys demonstrated that students had improved in their ability to give specific, helpful feedback.

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