Our 7th graders were having a difficult time with the editing process so we decided to enlist our 8th graders to help! One of our 8th graders needed a Year 3 project so she decided to take it on. We decided to model our writing center after writing centers you would see at college.
We started by asking our 8th teachers to recommend students they believe would be able to help the 7th graders. As they had just assigned an essay, they were able to choose some great kids! We tried to get four to five 8th graders per 7th grade class. This required e-mailing teachers and asking permission for the 8th graders to miss class. I was pleasantly surprised by how many were willing. The 8th grade teachers in particular were helpful because they saw it as investing since they would have the 7th graders next year.
I had our student leader create a list of norms with our 7th grade ELA teachers so that she could train the other 8th graders. We placed tables and chairs outside so that students could meet with 8th graders one on one and have their paper edited by a peer.
Overall, I believe the collaboration was a success. Eighth graders were able to demonstrate their learning and leadership skills, while 7th graders got some much needed one on one attention!