Published December 31, 2007
Accountability , Achievement , Assess , assessment for learning , Formative , Formative assessment , Learn , learning , Student , write , Writing
Tags: Class, Diagnosis, Education, Formative, formative feedback, improvement, School, Writing
As I prepare for my college writing courses, I am realizing more and more than I was not trained in giving formative feedback in students’ writing. Yes, I can mark up students’ papers but I do not think that I have given students useful information on how to improve. I’ve identified their problem (run on sentence; lack of vivid description) but have not helped them to translate that into an specific improvement action. Certainly, phrases like “awkward sentence”, “write better sentences”, “be more descriptive” and “use the same tense” do not provide the learner with practical information to be able to improve; those statements are observation statements, not formative feedback.
I am trying to create checklists and success lists so that students know what is required and how they can do it. I am struggling to find resources to help me.
Imagine if all English teachers worked together to identify students lapses in learning and suggested a specific way to improve for each lapse. If each English teacher contributed one lapse and one practical suggestion for improving the students’ writing, we could create a powerful learning environment.
Published December 30, 2007
ELA , English , Flickr , Picture , write , Writing
Tags: Class, Education, Flickr, Image, Picture, School, write, Writing
I’ve been preparing some images to use in my Writing classes. Flickr has the biggest selection of high quality and of good vivid images. There are many pictures that convey emotion as well as action and location. The advantage of being able to search helps to find the “right” image to use in the class for the particular purpose. I’ve made a word processing document of the picture URLs and the writing topics I’ll use the students for such as cause-and-effect and process writing. I look forward to using exciting pictures in the classroom that will encourage the students to write.
How have you used Flickr images in your classroom?
Published December 29, 2007
ELA , English , learning , Student , write , Writing
Tags: 21st Century, Class, Education, real-world, write, Writing
I believe in purposeful writing. I have trouble when a course is just an exercise. Often many writing courses have students do paragraph patterns such as narrative and description even when the students will probably never write in these literary styles. When students are in a business specific college, they need writing that corresponds to the type writing they will do in their occupations. Reading great literature and copying its writing style probably is not a valuable life skill for these students.
What type writing do your students do? Is it real life writing or is literary exercises? Do they ever send their writing to a person outside of the school to response to? Are they writing for the 21st century or for a traditional century old theory of writing?
Published December 28, 2007
Achievement , Camera , digital camera , Picture , technology , Writing
Tags: Camera, Education, English, prompt, School, Writing
A few ways to use a digital camera in the writing class
Take pictures of things around the school to serve as writing prompts
Have students take pictures of a sequence and then write a narrative.
Pass out a different picture to all the students and have them write a description of their picture. Then they put the pictures in a huge pile that someone shuffles and turns picture up. Students do same with their descriptions so students try to match up the description with the picture.
Have student groups create dramatic scenes, take a picture, and have the class write about cause and effect for the picture.
Show students a picture of two fruit or two sneakers and have them do comparison writing.
Published December 27, 2007
Academic , Achievement , Assessment , assessment for learning , scaffold , Success , technology , Writing
Tags: Class, Computer, Education, narrative, scaffold, School, Structure, Success, technology, write, Writing
I’m preparing two writing courses for next semester. After checking the textbooks, the workbooks, and teacher DVDs/websites for both courses, I still do not feel that the students have enough structure to help them be successful in writing. Using high level writing terms or asking “Does your topic sentence convey a controlling idea?” does not provide much assistance to struggling writers. I tried to read the textbook and write the paragraph patterns such as narrative writing based on what I found in the book, I could not write what the book rubric indicates as a good paragraph. I searched the Net and likewise found many generalities but did not find specific structure to guide students through a complex process. I found this past semester that my students need much guidance in writing. I hope that as I create materials by greatly expanding on the textbook that I can provide them with the step-by-step they need to go from writing anything to write a vivid narrative.
How much guidance does your textbook, PowerPoints, worksheets, etc.. provide for the students so that they can be successful.?
Published December 21, 2007
blog , Education , Google docs , School , technology , Video conference , Videoconference , Web 2.0
Tags: blog, Education, Google docs, School, technology, Videoconference, Web 2.0
When is a Web 2.0 tool, not a Web 2.0 tool? The answer is when we use a Web 2.0 tool as a Web 1.0 tool. I hear of many schools that have blogs. Students post their ideas to the blog but they do not respond to each other. The blogs are closed to the class. They only blog during class time. I don’t see that as a Web 2.0 tool use.
Students use Google docs to share their documents for peer-review. Ok, they are sharing a document but how different is this than sharing a physical paper within the class? The sharing just allows the other person access to make comments. They could do it with email.
I see videoconferencing that is 85% lecture or demonstration. The students do a token activity. Is that an example of social sharing? Or is videoconferencing really a one-way tool to dispense information?
How do you use Web 2.0 tools in your classroom?
Published December 20, 2007
Accountability , Assess , Assessment , assessment for learning , Diagnostic , Formative , Formative assessment , Standard , Student , technology , Test
Tags: Class, Computer, Diagnostic, Education, Formative, Formative assessment, online, School, technology, Test
As teachers we have so much to do in a class. When we can enlist the help of technology, we gladly welcome such help. A teacher could create online diagnostic tests and provide some remediation or the teacher could use a program such as MyWritingLab by Pearson. Such a program gives numerous diagnostic tests, provides the answers to each question and even has a video (mostly text) to help explain the answers. Students can retake the tests until they have shown proficiency. When an online program can help with lower skills, then we can concentrate on helping our students with higher level thinking skills.
What diagnostic or online computer programs does your school use? What is your reaction? What does it do well? How could it help you more?