Many more students completed their constructed responses and essays yesterday than I had originally anticipated which was quite exciting! Thus, today’s plan went as follows:
- For those who hadn’t finished their “Your American Dream” constructed response essays yet, they had to complete this task and its accompanying R.A.C.E. graphic organizer.
- Directions for these can be found here.
- For those who did finish their “American Dream” constructed response essays, they could do either:
- A) write a 1 paragraph reflection of the process of writing the aforementioned constructed response essay,
- B) complete any of the assignments on the Extension Work page,
- C) and/or write an essay for the “Honoring Our Heroes” Program and Essay Contest (details below).
- Read for 60 minutes
- Complete any outstanding work from class.
- Extension Work and “Honoring Our Heroes” essay will each serve as extra credit and must be submitted by the beginning of class on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015.
Today was one of the most self-differentiated of days. In essence, everyone was supposed to workshop and revise their essays through a process called a “Charette.” This miniature version we did in class was limited to pairs of students reading each other’s work, answering any questions that the author had about his or her work, and then finally offering any observations or suggestions for improvement. I felt that providing a more intimate version of this protocol would help the students become more comfortable with sharing their work as we will work our way up to small group and full-class writing workshops.
Once the students finished with this process, they were directed to revise and edit their papers according to their own observations and that of their classmates. With all necessary changes made, the students were directed to start entering their papers into their KidBlog.org online portfolios. I provided all classes with the example below:
- Finish the Final Draft of the Argumentative Essay (essays typed at home must either be brought on a Flash Drive or typed directly into KidBlog).
- Read for 30 minutes.
- Study Lesson 5 Vocabulary words
- Access KidBlog and choose a template.
It took the students a bit longer than I had originally anticipated to complete their in-class essays. Thus, I had them submit these plus their completed Unit One Study Guides as their Unit One Exam.