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So... maybe peer review doesn't work.

Maybe we ought to go back to the old model of having teachers review children's writing and use lots of red ink.

I get very frustrated with the level of writing instruction at my children's elementary school, which models its Writers Workshops on the middle and high school writing instruction. Which must be modeled on fiction writing workshops for interested adults.

I'm frustrated because although our teachers teach the 6+1 traits, the only comments my children get from teachers or peers is "good job" and spelling corrections.

All that time in the classroom teaching ideas, organization, voice, fluency, word choice, and conventions... and no other reviewer besides me, their dear old mother, can muster the time or energy to say "insufficient ideas", "lousy organization", "no voice", "awkward sentence", "boring adjectives". Let alone "what about idea X" or "move idea Z to the beginning and end with Y". The only writing trait that reviewers will confidently challenge at our school is a child's spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Exactly those traits that have been played down for so long.

What gives?

I have beside me the Handbook for Parents of Six-Trait Writing (tm) Students. I paid eight bucks for it. I'm an expert.

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