Reflection: Student Ownership It's a process. Day 2 of 5 - Section 2: Graphic organizer


As someone who doesn't use graphic organizers for writing, and who was not taught to write with graphic organizers, I have struggled with teaching first graders how to use them, and have put thought into which ones to use. 

Many students complete the graphic organizer, set it aside, and write from their ideas, without referring back to the organizer. I fully identify with this and I used to let it go since, in a way, they were completing the task. However, with Common Core's shift to expository text and textual evidence, I see the importance of holding them accountable for using the organizer, and of showing them how it helps them. When they set aside the organizer, they lose focus and add details that are not connected to the main idea. In addition, they often add sentences that state their opinion, their likes or dislikes, and their experiences. I have found that modeling sticking to the organizer, and holding them accountable for it, is diminishing the amount of off topic sentences. 

I wanted them to feel ownership of the organizers, and not see them as worksheets, so I showed them how to make their own. Since I know that they will be expected to use pre-made ones in future years, I also use these occasionally. 

  Student Ownership: Are they really useful?
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It's a process. Day 2 of 5

Unit 2: Reading and Writing Informational Texts
Lesson 8 of 11

Objective: SWABT complete a graphic organizer for main idea and details after a class brainstorming session.

Big Idea: Don't start them on a blank piece of paper: it will stay blank! Brainstorming will help everyone.

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