Reflection: Routines and Procedures Writing About Theme in "The Hearth and the Salamander" - Editing and Peer Support - Section 2: Guided Practice


In our efforts as a department, and especially as the leader of that department, we determined it was essential that we work to better meet the needs of our students, supporting them as they made strides to improve their writing abilities. To accomplish this, we worked as an informal lesson study group, researching tools and strategies that have shown consistent and positive results. During this time, I became aware of the Northern Nevada Writing Project Document that offered many interesting and helpful points, findings, and suggestions. While I did not adopt this process in its entirety, I took from it some major concepts that I was able to inject into my already established protocols with relative ease. The thing that most stood out to me while first reading the document was that students are capable of providing meaningful and constructive feedback when given more focused direction first. I had not asked my students in previous years to come to these sessions with goals and needs in mind already. Instead, students simply traded papers, read over them, made somewhat of an attempt at providing effective feedback, and then looking for errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Essentially, they remained, for the most part, in a very superficial part of the process. It is due to this that students did not see the value in participating in such a process, and thus continued to do less and less to improve it and make it worthwhile for themselves.

My reading offered me renewed hope that the students could be re-engaged and renewed, leading to growth and improvement. Something as simple as setting specific goals prior to conferencing with one another has made an amazing impact in the depth, level, and constructiveness of the feedback the students provide for each other. 

  Routines and Procedures: Why This Process?
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Writing About Theme in "The Hearth and the Salamander" - Editing and Peer Support

Unit 5: Fahrenheit 451 - Novel Study
Lesson 8 of 16

Objective: Students will work in teams to evaluate, edit, and improve one another's essays about the theme.

Big Idea: Writing Teams To The Rescue!

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English / Language Arts, Writing, peer conferencing, Reading, editing, fahrenheit 451, bradbury, anticipation
  45 minutes
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