In our previous writing lesson, we studied how prepositions can be used to add detail to the start of a sentence. Today, I revisit the skill through our warm-up.
I noticed students had some examples where prepositional clauses were not connected to complete sentences when we first studied the skill, so I provide students with a complete sentence to add to today. I ask students to add a prepositional phrase to the sentence, "Mrs. Braman frowned at Jimmie Joe Bob." Placing myself into the sentence opens the door to friendly humor, as does my choice of student name.
Listen to my take on student responses below:
We're on our second persuasive essay today; students have already completed outlines, focusing on strong claim, evidence, and details. I gave feedback on the outlines, and now I would like them to revise their claim, evidence and details as they write the essay. I also ask them to add an appositive and a sentence starting with a preposition (practice makes perfect).
This is our second attempt for perfect claim and evidence, so I remind them to check previous feedback for areas of strength and needed improvement. There's a reason we complete all these practice pieces, including their writing and my feedback.
After instructions, we head to the computer lab for easy typing and printing. Students log on and get typing. A few students ask questions about their feedback as they work.
"This detail repeats, so I need to get rid of it?"
"Can you help me brainstorm another detail?"
"What do you mean, is this the best order of details?"
In what order would they occur in the real world?
"What does this say?"
Uhmmm. Let me reread this. (Okay, I grade late into the night--I can't be the only teacher who sometimes gets sloppy.)
After ten minutes of questions, everyone is settled into work, the clicking of keyboards the only sound. They type to the end of the hour then print their work for assessment for improvement. A few students are not quite finished, but I can see what I need to see based on what IS done--I ask for their essays anyway. As the bell rings, they meander out with another essay under their belts while I pack up my gargantuan stack (yahoo).
What will I look for in their work now that I have it? Revisions made from my feedback. I gave plenty of suggestions for creating more specific, focused details as I reviewed their outlines; I want to see that students took my advice. For some, this means research; for others, this means eliminating vague vocabulary ("things" and "they" are the top culprits).