Reflection: Gradual Release Writing a Crime Report of Homer Barron’s Murder, Day 3 of 3 - Section 4: Students Give Each Other Feedback, Round 2


Today is the last day students work on this assignment in class. They will get the next two nights to work on it at home and then turn in a final draft. This means that I will not be able to give them any more feedback on this writing assignment. We have worked on a variety of writing skills throughout the year, I have given them a lot of feedback on different writing assignments, and they have engaged in structured editing sessions so I thought it was important to see what they were able to do on their own to finish this assignment. When I got their final drafts two days from today, I could see an effort to apply nominalization, like in this student’s report. Like other students who attempted to apply this, she struggled to structure sentences, such as the one stating, “The isolation that gave her company was so strong that had led her to commit a murder…” Still, I was happy to see students like her make the effort on their own. Also, the more successful papers were able to discuss details that others missed, such as the role of her father. This student discussed it. I know that she put a good amount of work at home.

A lot of their conclusions were short, about one paragraph long, which indicates that they did not spend that much time at home working on this. This is always a risk when assigning an important task outside of class. Not all of them did that though. This student’s report, for example, has a lengthier conclusion. It also shows a real effort to apply nominalization for a more academic paper. An example of this is the line that says, “Miss Emily committed the crime because of the idea of her being lonely and her not having someone by her side for the rest of her life.” One happy observation is that their papers are no longer littered with careless mistakes. I can now clearly see that we need to continue working on developing credible claims supported by textual evidence, gaining deeper understanding of the author’s words, and communicating ideas clearly and with sophisticated language. The connecting thread I see is a general control of language when students are both on the reader’s chair as well as on the writer’s chair.

  Gradual Release: Students Finish the Most Important Part of the Report At Home
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Writing a Crime Report of Homer Barron’s Murder, Day 3 of 3

Unit 8: A Rose For Emily
Lesson 6 of 6

Objective: SWBAT defend their interpretation of the story by engaging in discussion with classmates and receiving feedback on their working argument following instructions of specific things to look for.

Big Idea: A peer editing session with students not used to providing constructive feedback is more successful when they have concrete things to look for.

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