Reflection: Student Ownership The Charge of the...Light Brigade Parodies? - Section 5: Workshop in Partners!


When I returned to middle school after teaching high school for many years, I had forgotten some of the behaviors that middle schoolers exhibit.  And by forgotten, I probably mean "blocked out of my memory."  Thirteen year olds can be a delight -- they have energy, they are clever and playful and (usually) curious.  They can also be maddening, because it can be very hard to "get them" to work if they have decided that they don't want to.

My students are not rebellious or belligerent, but if they don't want to work, they "fwerk" -- (fake work).  [They also "fread," but that is a topic for another day.]  Fwerking is the enemy to the writing workshop, because: 1. It impedes progress and makes everything take much longer than planned; and 2. It's hard to catch in a classroom of 25+ students, even if you are constantly circling.

So, how to keep fwerking from ruining the pace of a unit?  Perhaps the most effective way to do this is to collect the work each day, even if you don't read it. (Of course, it's better if you do...just not always feasible.)  Accountability can nip fwerking in the bud, I think...though I admit, I would really prefer if the students would work for themselves, and not for me.

  Fworking: "Fake working"
  Student Ownership: Fworking: "Fake working"
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The Charge of the...Light Brigade Parodies?

Unit 1: Narrative Poetry
Lesson 8 of 11

Objective: SWBAT write parodies of The Charge of the Light Brigade that conform to the conventions of the poem.

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