Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines What do Photographs and Captions Tell Us About the Story? Day 1 of 2 - Section 5: Writing

 

I spend much time looking at their writing. I do this because their writing gives me a clue as to heir conceptual understanding of their learning. This writing is a response to literature, a quick write. They can ask for support such as how to spell words, how to read a words they don't understand, or where in the book can they find what they are looking for. But how what ideas to include and how to put these ideas together is up to them. I give them a specific time to do it, and, while we won't likely come back to this writing for revisions or editing, this writing is vital in helping me understand how they are applying transitional words and how their sentences are evolving from simple sentences to more elaborated/complex ones.

So, in my opinion, I get much from these response to literature. I use them as informal assessments to guide my mini-lessons for writer's workshop or for other types of mini lessons such as those on grammar.

Today, their responses varied from simple entries to more complicated ones. One of the simple ones includes an incomplete sentence followed by two more well written, yet simple sentences and mentions how the author likes having fun and supports this idea with evidence. These sentences do show me that this student understood the assignment.

Another students talks about how the author liked being the boss, which is true. Not only did like being the boss but the author found ways to be creative, something I wished to see in this student's writing. 

Another student wrote longer and added transitional words such as: first, then, next, another thing, and finally. Also, the content of her writing shows she understands the author enjoyed spending time with her family. Instead of just providing a list of things that matter, though, I like to push her to explain why these things were important to the author.

Lastly, another student writes about how her memories are important but doesn't expand on why. Instead he keeps repeating himself without giving details. He also needs to improve his printing. 

In looking at why my students scratched the surface in their analysis, I am thinking a couple of things. First, I will need to continue teaching the skill of inference to my students. Next, in looking at Socratic Seminar, I needed to have my students go beyond just listing what was important to the author and have them tell why those things were important to her. This would have helped their writing for some. For others, it will be a matter of time and practice for them to offer a deeper analysis.

What is important in gathering this evidence about my students? It draw my attention to patterns that arise. In this case, most of the class had difficulty, that informs me about the way in which I conducted the teaching. I need to look at how I can modify my teaching to help them learn the skill.

  Writing Across the Disciplines: Writing
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What do Photographs and Captions Tell Us About the Story? Day 1 of 2

Unit 4: Stirring Up Memories, An Autobiography
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: SWBAT ask and answer questions to analyze text features in an informational text.

Big Idea: Authors use photos and captions in a the story to draw attention to important details. Today, my students look for the big idea(s) the author wants us to remember.

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