Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writing in class and for homework

In class today we had a timed writing assessment.  The students were given the topic and told to fill out a graphic organizer for their essays for homework last night.  Those who took the time to do the homework were able to spend the full 45 minutes writing.  Those who did not have their homework finished had to do that before writing, yet still within the 45 minute time allotment.  Obviously, it was a much harder task to do both at the same time!  In each class, only a few students finished in the given time.  They were not allowed to finish the essay for homework.  It will be graded “as is”.  Though students may be upset about this, they should realize a few things:


1.  Writing in a specific time period is a skill that we are working on.  I realize it is a work in progress.  We will be continuing to work on this skill, as it is a necessary one to have.

2.  The essays are graded pretty liberally—I am looking broadly at format of the essay, keeping focus, having details like quotations from the text, and basic spelling, grammar, and mechanics.

3.  When given a chance to prepare in advance for an essay, it is a good idea to do so.

4.  Since the topic is one of interest, we may take the writing piece through the writing process at a later date, though the grade on the original will still stand.  


Tonight’s homework:  Write a ONE PAGE journal entry on a topic that begins with “S”.  For example, you could write about:  shoes, shopping, spring, school, a time when I was sorry, et cetera.