Reflection: Students Challenge Each Other's Interpretation of A Symbol In "Hills Like White Elephants" - Section 5: Students Reflect


This is the first time I have students spend time evaluating one argument at a time. This is an important activity because students need to sharpen their editing skills. If this becomes a routine in my classroom, I believe that it will become one important element of writing instruction. One thing to look out for is the fact that students may not know what to say during this first session and will think that five minutes discussing one paper is way too much. Today, students start getting up and sharpening pencils or looking for tissue in the middle of one of the 5-minute rounds. When I ask why they are not participating in the evaluation of their group member’s working interpretation, they say they are done and are just waiting for the 5 minutes to be up. Next time I do this, I will make sure to address this in advance and send the clear message that they must spend the entire 5 minutes discussing the paper at hand.

Because it is the first time students engage in this activity, the resulting work reveals the fact that they not quite sure what else they can say. These four sample papers show a good range. The first one is very limited and it looks like this student’s group member had no idea how to comment on the work presented. The second student seems to have gotten more feedback and was able to note specifics. The third paper is a better example of what I hoped to see because it suggest real considerations this student is pondering before jumping into a formal draft of this analysis. The fourth paper is not limited, but the suggestions written sound a bit general. The feedback on student papers is not very promising, but this is the first time they do this and I expect them to get better.

  Students Evaluate Each Other's Arguments
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Students Challenge Each Other's Interpretation of A Symbol In "Hills Like White Elephants"

Unit 5: Modernist Literature
Lesson 11 of 17

Objective: SWBAT improve their working argument by responding to challenges from classmates and defending their interpretation of a symbol.

Big Idea: Taking on challenges can only make you stronger, and hopefully your written argument too.

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