Reflection: Student Ownership First get the facts! (Author study, Day 1 of 5) - Section 3: Independent work

 

In the past, when my students completed graphic organizers, I noticed that when it was time to write, they would simply lay them aside and write without using them. Completing the organizers was a pointless exercise that was not helping them. I decided that I needed to adjust my practice to ensure that my students understood how using graphic organizers could help them write better paragraphs, and retain information.

One change I have made is to have them make the graphic organizers instead of giving them templates. Though it is a subtle difference, this ownership makes my class more invested in the process and they see it is not filling a worksheet, but starting a product. Emphasizing that they are putting their "own good ideas" or choosing "the key details that they find more interesting" on the graphic organizer has also increased this sense of ownership. 

When I use graphic organizers, I write down a word or jot a cryptic note. I was worried because most of the class was writing complete sentences. In practice they were doing a rough draft in the organizer, and redoing it on paper. I still kept working on the organizers because I realized that they were staying on topic much more than when they didn't use them. They were indeed keeping them organized! As they become more comfortable using them, get more practice and feedback, I have noticed that my students are transitioning from complete sentences to phrases and developing a gradual understanding of the purpose of these organizers. In the resource section, you can see how this average student used some words, phrases and sentences.

  Student Ownership: Graphic organizers
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First get the facts! (Author study, Day 1 of 5)

Unit 4: Writing informational/explanatory text
Lesson 2 of 10

Objective: SWBAT complete a graphic organizer with information about an author.

Big Idea: Cultivate your students' natural curiosity about favorite authors. Instead of killing the cat, it can lead to good writing.

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author study day 1 showing me work
 
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