Reflection: Complex Tasks Structuring and Brainstorming Our Own Writing - Section 3: Independent Practice


I know what I am asking students to do is difficult.  It promotes thinking and problem solving.  I wanted to share something that happened in my room during this activity so you don't think that everything runs smoothly in my room all the time.  I was working with some of my strugglers and when I went to circulate around the room I noticed that a student of mine had done nothing.  I realized I had to structure the task for this boy to motivate him to accomplish it in steps, so I asked him questions, used a timer, and a motivator (the fish - part of our classroom reward system) to help him find his own answers. For the little girl in the video, you'll notice me using questions to help get her going and encourage her to be more independent.

You may have students who struggle with complex tasks in your classroom as well.  When you start to require more rigorous tasks of your students they may shut down and not know where to begin.  What I have to keep in mind is that I have to continue to demand a great deal of my students even though they find the assignment hard.  Yes it will be difficult, but if I don't demand the most of my students they will never be able to discover their full potential. You can see me giving my two students some tough love her in my video here in the resource section.

  Complex Tasks: Serving Up a Big Old Helping Of Tough Love
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Structuring and Brainstorming Our Own Writing

Unit 4: Analyzing Author's Craft and Expository Writing on Crabs
Lesson 2 of 6

Objective: SWBAT take the most important information from the story and categorize it on a Tree Map to structure their own writing.

Big Idea: In this activity students will learn how to synthesize information from a text and put only the most important information on their Tree Maps.

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