An archived stack of papers: 'Writing'

Positive Feedback Only

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Apr
  • 30
  • 2013

What if you only gave students positive feedback on their writing? Could you leave a comment that begins with “I like” on every student’s paper? How would that change the way you evaluate writing? Would that impact scores or instruction? Might that make you dread evaluating writing just a leeeeeeeeettle bit less?

Think about how far negative/constructive comments have gotten... read more

Introduction Inspection

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Oct
  • 27
  • 2010

Last year, my good friend and I put together a presentation and we alliterated the titles of all of our handouts (Strong Sentences, Excerpt Exercise, etc.). I’ve added a new one to that group of handouts and am excited about the possibilities is represents. Introduction Inspection presents students with three introductions that they basically need to grade and then say why. The differences between... read more

They Don’t Know

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Apr
  • 23
  • 2009

Sample videos. Model paragraphs. Professional sentences. Anchor papers. Published works. Student drafts.

Students read them. They vote on which is best. They talk about why they like them. They find identifying characteristics that explain what one does better than the other. Dead silent classes and phrases straight off a rubric that are meaningless, this almost never changes the way students... read more

Writing: Freedom Vs. Definition

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Feb
  • 24
  • 2009

We’ve steadily worked our way through the majority of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. We have about one-hundred pages left. One practice, group paragraph and one big-point, solo paragraph later, we’re about ready to dive into the conclusion. I’ll hit them with a writing assignment Thursday and move on to a ... read more

Give A Little Bit

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Sep
  • 26
  • 2008

I walk around the room and give one of two lines to struggling writers. We have five minutes to write each day (actually, ten minutes today) and some want to stall the whole time. Staring at the blank page that is even more intimidating than the actual assignment, “I’m thinking” being the excuse du jour for not writing, The Shrug meeting my questioning glance, these are the students... read more

First-Draft In Video

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Aug
  • 08
  • 2008

I’m sure this gentleman is a nice fellow, that he’s got lots of things to tell the world, that he’s incredibly smart, and that he could teach me a thing or nine about how to better use my computer. However, this is the video equivalent of a first-draft essay being turned in as a final draft. As it ends up, that’s great because this does a nice job in making the point about the... read more

Horrible Music Day

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Aug
  • 07
  • 2008

Bad music lingers like bad food: you feel the effects hours after initial contact; gradual nausea sets in; you finally throw up and feel much better about things immediately after; but, when the memory returns to your head a short while later, it’s just as bad as in the beginning. While eating lunch, we heard the following songs:

“How Will I Know” – Whitney... read more

Can’t Separate

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Apr
  • 07
  • 2008

In theory, my idea for writing assessment this year was good. In practicality, it did not work.

I started off with the idea of assessing writing for only one thing at a time. Every so often, I’d assign a piece of writing that evaluated several of those skills at once. As I tried to keep that going, the realization hit me that when... read more

Picture Write

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Dec
  • 18
  • 2007

Something hit me tonight, browsing around and thinking about how to fix a mess I’ve made of student writing this semester (more on that tomorrow — possible solutions first, though you don’t know the exact problem yet). I’ve spent... read more

Put Your Comments In A Table

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Oct
  • 16
  • 2007

Do you find yourself writing the same comments on student papers? For any given assignment, are you finding patterns of errors that you comment on? Probably a mix of 5-10 different comments, but everything you write is a variation of the same set of comments, right?

Here’s how to get that base set of comments that will make the rest of your grading easier (at least for that one assignment).... read more