Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Writing a Blog Post to Stand Against Steroid Use - Section 1: Independent Practice


While students are working independently, I am making my way throughout the computer lab looking over their shoulders. As I find things that are excellent or exemplary, I make it a point to acknowledge it in a manner that allows other students to hear. I do this in order to point out the concept or idea, not to single out the student. When I come upon something that puzzles or concerns me, I am far more discreet about my comments. 

The things that I am looking for specifically during this time, to ensure students are on track to successfully complete their task, relate entirely to claim writing and supporting evidence. I am also looking for ways I can support students in keeping their emotions out of the equation. I try to ask them questions about what they claim in order to get them to connect the dots for themselves to determine whether they are on the right track or need to make adjustments. Some questions I like to have the students consider:

  • Is my claim well-supported by the evidence I found?
  • Does my claim sound emotional?
  • Is my claim written in a way that is clear, concise, and accurate?
  • Is my evidence introduced in a way that follows a logical progression?
  • is the evidence I chose to include the BEST of what I have available?
  • Do I acknowledge alternate points of view/opinions in a logical way?

I found, while delivering this lesson, that I was repeating these questions over and over. After two periods, I decided to write these questions on the board as a visual reference for the students and myself. I then was able to make statements to the effect of, "I would take a look at #3 on the board" or "Why don't you take a minute to consider the other points of view out there as mentioned in #6?" Many students used the questions as a sort of checklist as they were working, even without me commenting.  

I found the process of looking at a few blogs and talking as a class about the positives and negatives of each was really beneficial. It allowed students the opportunity to get feedback from myself and one another prior to beginning their own process, which helped them prepare. I also found that it gave them the opportunities to connect what they were seeing/reading to prior knowledge with immediate feedback as confirmation. This provided them with a confidence many of them would not have had otherwise.

  How I Monitor Progress During Independent Practice
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: How I Monitor Progress During Independent Practice
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Writing a Blog Post to Stand Against Steroid Use

Unit 1: Argument Writing
Lesson 13 of 13

Objective: Students will use information from the last three lessons to write a blog that establishes and supports their position on steroid use among teens or professional athletes.

Big Idea: Why Shouldn't People Use Steroids? Start blogging!

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