Reflection: Checks for Understanding Expositiory Writing: My Special Place - Section 3: Independent Work


About half of my students were able to select a topic, plan, and write a flash draft. On the other hand, about a fourth of my students needed affirmation and assurance to feel confident that their idea was good enough to write about.  Once they felt satisfied that the place they identified was a safe topic  they settled into the work of thinking about the three reasons why is was special.  They finished their plan, but did not have time to complete their flash draft in the time allowed.   

I had another small group of students who this task was out of their zone of proximal development because they were unwilling to identify a place in their house that was their special place or they were unable to actually write- and they needed assistive technology to capture their spoken words or a scribe.  

I encountered one resistant writer who told me their was not any place in their house that was special to him.  After school we had the chance to talk and he felt willing to stay after to work on his writing. It took about 60 minutes for us together to work our way through the planning stage.  At first he was quite resistant.  The only way I was able to get him to identify a place in his house to write about was to phrase it in this way, "Where is your least not special place in the house? I hear what you are saying.  will you think about this? Think about a place in the house you could call your "least NOT SPECIAL"   a place that you maybe like just a little bit..."  He was able to focus on the assignment once he had the freedom to title his writing My Favorite Place. He insisted that he does not have a special place in the house.  He was then willing to work with me as I probed and asked questions to slowly break down his resistance and unwillingness to engage in the task. I have included the student's  boxes and bullets.  The student crossed out the title My Special Place, and retitled it My Favorite Place.  He went home and wrote his essay from his boxes and bullets.



  Checks for Understanding: On Demand Expository Writing
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Expositiory Writing: My Special Place

Unit 6: Writing to Learn: Boxes and Bullets- The 5 Paragraph Essay
Lesson 1 of 10

Objective: SWBAT identify a place in their home that holds special meaning to them, plan a 5 paragraph essay using boxes and bullets, and write a flash draft.

Big Idea: Review the process of expository writing by having students write about a special place in their home.

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