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How to Implement Musical Peer Review

My favorite way to celebrate writing with middle school and high school students is musical peer review. It’s easy to set up, students get the chance to dance around the classroom, and most importantly, students have the opportunity to read up to eight of their classmates’ writing.

Here’s how it works and some tips for bringing musical peer review to your classroom.

Musical Peer Review student guidelines:

🎶 Walk around the classroom until the music stops.

🎶 When the music stops, sit at the nearest desk. This is a noncontact sport! If a desk is taken, go to the nearest empty seat.

🎶 CLOSE READ your classmate's writing looking for the good.

🎶 On at least one sticky note, write your POSITIVE comments. No constructive criticism on final copies.

🎶 Write at least THREE FULL SENTENCES of feedback.

🎶 Be specific (examples provided)

Teacher notes:

✏️ Musical peer review could be used with a mix of one suggestion and a celebration (constructive and positive feedback), but only if kids are still in revision stages. For final copies, instruct students to leave positive feedback and display specific examples or sentence starters.

✏️ @getyourteachon has great Spotify playlists of clean classroom music that will get your kids dancing.

✏️ All kids need is a pen/pencil and some sticky notes. Remind them to carry these items with them as they circulate the classroom and wait for the music to stop.

✏️ Instruct students to display their writing at their desks. For feedback, instruct students to leave the sticky notes next to student work (but not obstructing).

✏️ Do anywhere from 3-8 rounds! You don’t necessarily need to use timers for students leaving feedback—instead give kids a 30 second warning as they finish up their feedback and then restart the music to lead into the next round.

Download musical peer review slides for free here.

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