Reflection: Homework ZOOMing in on Patterns of Organization with "Thank You, M'am" - Section 3: Writing Original Paragraphs Using the Patterns of Organization


I gave my students the homework assignment to write four separate paragraphs using the four different types of organizational patterns they learned about.  Great, right? They're getting independent practice, right?  Fantastic, and it follows Madeline Hunter, right?  But I have this huge stack of paragraphs and letters to grade and grades are due next week, and that's for just two of my classes! What do I doooooooo?

I give myself permission to not grade everything.  For an assignment like this, our wonderful and glorious ETL program ensures that 95% of the students will complete the homework.  I cannot sing the praises of the ETL program enough.  If it ever goes away, or if I move to a school that doesn't have it, I will probably weep. 

Anyway.  Like I was saying  before I got derailed by my love for ETL, I give myself permission to not grade and assess everything.  I will be checking that every student completes the assignment, but they'll be working in groups to assess their own writing.  They'll read their paragraphs aloud to each other and the other members of the group will have to identify which organizational structure was used. They'll get immediate and authentic feedback from their peers, which, quite frankly, is sometimes more effective than the circles and checks that I draw on their papers.  They'll be able to see the confusion or understanding in their peers' faces. They'll be exposed to the writing structure of their peers. 

As for grading, I might not give them points for this assignment.  Or I'll give them 10 points based on participation and completion.  And that's okay.

  Grading Homework. . . Or Not
  Homework: Grading Homework. . . Or Not
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ZOOMing in on Patterns of Organization with "Thank You, M'am"

Unit 3: Analyzing Literature and Writing Business Letters with Langston Hughes’ Thank You, M’am”
Lesson 7 of 10

Objective: Students will be able to organize ideas, concepts, and information using strategies such as comparison/contrast, cause/effect, sequence, and spatial using appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify relationships among ideas by writing Cornell notes, reading sample paragraphs, and writing original paragraphs.

Big Idea: Students see the different ways to organize a paragraph through manipulative, notes, and examples, and writing their original paragraphs.

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