In previous class time, the students worked in the computer lab, researching various websites that addressed the issue of steroid use among teens and/or among professional athletes in order to gather factual information. They were able to share links of resources with one another during that time as well. Prior to beginning the research process, I showed the students my screen as I completed some simple searches for specific terms and then we looked at the blogs that showed up. I have found that looking at a couple blogs and thinking aloud as I review them is very helpful for the students and allows them an opportunity to walk through the process with me prior to having to create their own blog. I then made sure to move throughout the room, answer questions, point things out, and ask the students pointed questions that were intended to guide them in their process as they researched. Once students completed their research, they worked on a first draft of their own blog post of 3-5 paragraphs.
For this lesson, students are expected to use the PARCC Rubric to self-edit their own rough drafts. Each of my students has a copy of this rubric in their ISN and use it reasonably often, so they have a pretty strong working knowledge of its contents. Since this assignment will be graded using this rubric, the students are set up for greater success in this task. Students then made all the necessary edits to their work based on their findings using the rubric. After that, I ask each student to have at least one other student evaluate the piece using the rubric. Each peer evaluation includes 3 things: acknowledgment of a specific area of strength, at least 2 suggestions for improvement that would help the writer that is clearly tied to the rubric, and any grammar and convention editing needed. Students will then make the final changes to their blog post using this feedback.
All final copies will be posted on our class' Edmodo page for grading and feedback.