For review of our most recent grammatical technique, I ask students to write a sentence with a present participle today. After attendance, I call on a student for a response.
"Tylor was running down the field." Not quite.
"Smiling. Tylor was running down the field, smiling." Better. Let's add more detail.
"Screaming bloody murder, the girl ran through the woods." Great!
"He glanced behind him, knowing he was being followed." Great!
Apparently the class is in a Halloween mood.
I ask students to take out their third essays and review the types of feedback they received. After they look over the work, I review common comments: dots, of course, indicate grammatical errors (as they have in the past), and "OO claim" means connect to claim (a throwback on a hand-talk sign we use in discussion at Dansville, OO represents two connecting circles). While students were able to connect details to evidence via simple connecting words, they either forgot or didn't know how to connect the paragraph back to the claim at the end. I see puzzled faces, so I offer an example: if the claim is schools should not offer rewards for proficient test scores on the ACT and the body paragraph focuses on a lack of rewards in the real work place, one might connect the two by saying, "Rewarding test scores will only set students up for disappointment when they enter the real world and don't receive incentives."
Explanation of common errors done, I ask students to revise as marked on their rough drafts and add on an appositive, preposition at the start of a sentence, and present participle. Circling back to old grammatical tricks will ensure more thorough learning.
We move to the computer lab so students can polish, and I walk around to be sure students are on task and to answer questions about their revision goals. Some students request help connecting paragraph back to the claim--we discuss why the evidence was included in the essay in the first place to find the answers. By the end of the hour, students are much more confident with making evidence to claim connections.