Reflection: Accountability Examining Facades & Misinformation with Realist Poetry - Section 4: Application


Do you want the good news or bad news first?  

The good news is that my students were all typing furiously and working hard on their group work!  The bad news is that made Google Docs ANGRY!  About half-way through the student work portion of this section, the collaborative document students were working on started to lag a bit, leading to a wait time before what they were typing appeared on screen.  Shortly after that, changes were no longer being auto-saved properly, which I could see would send this whole project down the broken-technology-spiral-of-doom (which I'm sure many of you are familiar with!), leading to general chaos.  To stop this from happening, I took two actions.  The first was to have students immediately open separate Google Docs to type their answers into (trying to clear the "traffic jam" on the collaborative document without shutting it down completely and losing the benefit of all students sharing their work).  Students were to complete their sections on a separate Google Doc, then copy/paste it into the collaborative one so that everyone could benefit from their analysis.  After this started also being glitchy, I made my second alteration by turning the final poem more into homework for those still having trouble, but we moved on to discussing it anyway, as many students had already read it and knew what they wanted to say.  This certainly wasn't ideal or the way I'd planned it, BUT, it was definitely better than abandoning the project all-together.  Student answers were, as predicted, much higher quality, and despite the technology glitches, they enjoyed the activity.  In the future, I would probably put the three poems and three different documents, limiting the amount of data stored and traffic to each one by rotating the order students evaluated them.  

Though it wasn't a perfect day or a perfectly-executed foray into collaborative note-taking, I was still proud of the intention of the assignment and ultimate outcome.  As I mentioned in an earlier lesson, collaborative note-taking has increased the quality of work students produce by allowing them to work harder on analyzing a smaller section of text.  I think the public nature of their work also pushes them to put in more effort to impress their peers.  I will say, however, that before trying this practice out in the classroom, it's absolutely imperative to have some ground rules for consequences to poor "collaborative" behavior, which could potentially sidetrack this endeavor.  My students came up with rules early that we wrote down together, and that has definitely helped them be more serious about their roles as group members on these types of projects.  

  Technological Flexibility & Keeping Students Accountable for Group Work
  Accountability: Technological Flexibility & Keeping Students Accountable for Group Work
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Examining Facades & Misinformation with Realist Poetry

Unit 5: Life is Hard. That's Realism & Naturalism!
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: SWBAT evaluate the author's purpose and language choices to examine similar themes of deception in three Realist poems through small and whole-group collaborative analysis.

Big Idea: What do you get when you put together truth, deception, Realist poetry, and high school students? One heck of an evidence-based discussion.

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autumn forest by oakmyth
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