Reflection: Complex Tasks Scaffolding Writing To Establish More Complex Ideas In Their Claims - Section 3: Independent Work


The task was very difficult and after all these scaffolds students are still struggling with the complexity of the task. One goal this semester is to push students to improve their writing, specifically by taking better control of language and expressing more complex thoughts. Activities like this one work at establishing a base for the type of work I want students to produce and as difficult as it feels to establish this base, the harder part is next, which is to give students multiple opportunities to produce this type of work and give them tons of feedback. The other assignment, to read the second page of the excerpt from “Self-Reliance,” was also challenging. This is reflected in their papers. For example, this student’s sentences stating the central ideas in this second page of the except has a combination of accurate statements and some vague ones. The bullet point by ¶ 5 is accurately trying to capture Emerson’s idea that “the world whips” nonconformists. Also, the first part of the following bullet point did a good job of capturing Emerson’s idea that our “reverence for our past act” is a problem. The rest of her statements are more vaguely related to Emerson’s points. This second student’s sentences stating the central ideas are more problematic in that they do not state central ideas but rather state this student’s opinion. This third student’s sentences stating the central ideas are a stronger example of what I hoped they would get. This is one my English Learners and she was able to accurately capture all the central points. Students worked on this assignment on their own without engaging in conversation with each other or with me. Student who produced work like the first paper I discussed show a decent level of understanding and I am not too worried about them. The second student is one I need to work more closely with to help him differentiate between personal opinion and an accurate statement of an author’s claims.

  Complex Tasks: The Struggle With
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Scaffolding Writing To Establish More Complex Ideas In Their Claims

Unit 13: Transcendentalism
Lesson 7 of 13

Objective: SWBAT improve their topic sentences with the help of a structured process.

Big Idea: Hoping that scaffolding them to death brings life to student writing.

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