Hey everyone! Here is recap of 1/28/2016 class period.
Prior to class, we were asked to write an “I Believe” essay, which was due today. When class began, Dr. Benko had the class answer two questions on the back of our essays to help her get a better feel for our individual work and help her give us better feedback. She wanted to know how you felt about the piece you were turning in and what kind of feedback would be most beneficial to you as an individual.
Afterwards Dr. Benko divided the class into groups to discuss two writing assignments and to discuss if the assignments could answer four important question.
- Is the intellectual work of the task challenging and meaningful to students?
- Is the purpose of the task clear?
- Is the audience of the task clear?
- Do students have opportunities for ownership of their work?
This sparked a lot a discussion during class. During this discussion some of the class members agreed that giving all assignments purpose from a students point of view is hard. It requires teachers to know what our students value and find to be important. Jacob even Tweeted…
The First assignment we looked at is called “Mi Casa”. This assignment had students bring in and picture or a poster and write a personal narrative about how the subject matter of the image is special to him/her. Below is what the teams had to say…
During the discussion on “Mi Casa” the class had a debate on wether this assignment could be used for all grades with some changes and if this assignment was like “show & tell”. The class came to an agreement that the assignment could be used for all grades with some changes per grade. For younger grades it would be kind of like a “show & tell”. During this discussion we also talked about how intellectual this project was.Would it challenge students? The class seem to think that this project wouldn’t challenge most students, but its a great way for students to get to know one another and a great way for students to do some narrative writing.
Below are the teaching standard the team thought the assignment could fit with. We wrote not the standard to become more familiar with them. As educators its important to remember how our assignments might meet a standard and its important to meet those standards. Each standard has its place and we have to remember to get to each one.
The second assignment we looked at is called “Student News Story”, written by Miss Emilie our lovely teaching assistant. This assignment had students research a current news story, then write and script, then record it like news broad cast. Below is what the teams had to say…
One of my favorite things mentioned during this time was the fact that this assignment gave students a chance to teach their peers. As an educator I feel that it is important to build a community in the classroom were students can learn from one another and feel comfortable to share their thoughts and ideas. In order to do that you must give them the chance to share their work.
Than we came back into a big group and discussed our little group discussions.
As a community we decide on some key points to keep in mind when creating writing assignments.
- As educators not all of our assignments will answer all 4 questions.
- Its good to focus on one or two standards when creating an assignment and than after it’s created its okay to add more if they work.
- The goal is to create well balanced writers not well balanced assignments every time.
- Get feedback from other teachers to improve your assignments.
- It’s important to remember not to give our students “busy work”, but to give them work that matters!
I think its important to take away from our conversation that not every every assignment is going to answer all 4 questions, but it should always have purpose!
Looking ahead I want to encourage everyone to think about what kind of writing assignments you want to share with your future class. Here is a link to some more helpful tips on creating assignments. This link gives you some great check lists and goals to help create well rounded assignments.
I also want to suggest following ReadWriteThink.org on Twitter @RWTnow. They post awesome and creative writing ideas and topics for teachers and students.
Another great resource for educations is “Education World”. This site has great articles that help with creating lesson plans, homework, classroom organization, and much more more. As an educator I feel its important to remember that we have a whole team of people that have been in our positions and want to watch us be successful in our field. This link helps share past teachers experiences and helps give new teachers a heads up.
Don’t forget about your twitter reflections and good luck. “Let the odd be ever in out favor”.