Students are writing an explanatory letter to me. Because I am old school, letter writing is important. Having students write a hand written letter makes my heart smile, but beyond just because I like old-school letter writing, it's beneficial because students will have to write letters for multiple reasons. Students will need to write professional letters in their line of work. Although Common Core doesn't specifically mention letter writing, it does ask students to write for a variety of reasons (W.9-10.10).
I distribute the End of the year informative letter assignment. I explain to students that they are writing me an explanatory letter explaining three things. First, explain what you learned in English that you didn’t know before. Second, explain what you wish we would have spent more or less time on. Tell me how I should change the class for next year. Third, explain your growth as a learner. What type of student are you now (W.9-10.2)?
In this asking students for constructive criticism video I explain why this is important in the classroom.
I tell them:
Make sure you develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant facts (W.9-10.2b) Don’t just give generalities. Be specific.
Assure you write a concluding statement that supports the information or explanation presented W.9-10.2f.
While students are working, I will walk around to help where needed.
When students finish their letter, I will ask them to sign up for an exit interview appointment during tomorrow's class period. I simply create a document with sign up time slots in three minute increments and students sign up for the time they would like. The exit interview is a time for the student to explain their experience in my classroom.