Reflection: Organizational Systems Writing a Concluding Paragraph - Section 2: Modeling the Conclusion


Sometimes students think that essay writing is a mystery.  They write things and one teacher thinks it's fantastic and another thinks it's just mediocre. I sometimes hear things like, "I'm a straight B student, except for in this class" or "My teacher liked my writing last year." I might think that I'm being clear about my expectations and requirements, but comments like those make me think that I'm not so clear. At the very least, I could be clearer.

In light of that, I've reconsidered my approach in regard to reference sheets and rubrics.  I love the idea of a compact rubric that covers all the requirements of a standard and can fit on one page.  However, that's not very student friendly. 

If I have a reference sheet for conclusions, that's just one page, why not put a rubric on the other side of it?  The rubric could be just for that particular part--just conclusions.  Students could look at that part, use the rubric as a checklist, know exactly what's passing and what's not, and everybody's sanity remains intact.

Here's the one I created for conclusions. Here's the one I created.  Change it as you like for you and your students needs.  For this conclusion reference sheet and rubric, I've included the standard specific to conclusions as well as tone.  Within tone, I've included conventions and handwriting because, quite frankly, some of my students need that.

Then, when a student asks me why they got the grade they did, I can ask them to take out their conclusion reference sheet, point to the score they got, and explain quickly.

And we all level up in writing and everybody wins. Achievement unlocked.

  Organizational Systems: Reference Sheets and Rubrics
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Writing a Concluding Paragraph

Unit 6: Argumentative Writing and Research with National History Day
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to write a concluding paragraph by restating main ideas and leaving the reader with a deep thought.

Big Idea: Concluding Paragraph--the road trip is over.

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