Archive for December, 2007

Diagnosis of Student Writing and Formative Feedback

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.

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Powerful Learning Pictures from Flickr

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?

Why write in an English course?

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?

Digital Camera and Writing in the English Classroom

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.

Scaffolding for Students Success

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.?

Not Really Web 2.0 Classroom Use

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?

Online Diagnostic Testing

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?


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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