An archived stack of papers: 'Writing'

Scaffolded Writing Assessment

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Sep
  • 17
  • 2007

Here’s the first thing I’m evaluating in writing: evidence. I’m practically giving them the thesis and seeing if they can find evidence to match their interpretation. We’re working with the technicolor paragraph model, something I emphasize every year and that never goes out of style. It’s a model that works on... read more

A Drastic Grade Policy

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Mar
  • 26
  • 2007

My juniors spent about 2 months working on timed writing. The rubric I use is based on the SAT rubric and the English Placement Test rubric for the state college system. We are preparing for two fairly significant tests in their academic future and reasoning skills needed in their employment future. We wrote paragraphs, examined samples, rifled through the rubric, and sketched skeletons of arguments... read more

Good Bad Sentences

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Feb
  • 12
  • 2007

My juniors have several pieces of scratch paper: STAR Test Prep, Sentence Combining, SAT Writing, Grammar. We added Good Bad Sentences today, a new series I’m starting in class. With sentences on the overhead that come from the writing they just turned in, we work on rewriting them and pointing out the problems that exist with the original. Example: “Also not many people read the bible they... read more

Writing Frustrations

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Jan
  • 08
  • 2007

The Scarlet Letter essays are finished. They were awful. Out of 48 essays, only 15 passed, 8 in one class and 7 in the other. That also means that 6 students didn’t do this assignment. So if such a large percentage of my students don’t pass an assessment, that’s my fault, right? I’d like to say so and, in part, I do believe it. But part of me knows another truth:... read more

And Rubrics Are For…?

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Dec
  • 27
  • 2006

I keep thinking of throwing rubrics out the window. Most are ill conceived because the correct audience has never been considered. The fatal flaw is one inherent in the design: rubrics are for teachers, not students.

Typical

“Demonstrates a comprehensive, thoughtful grasp of the text.” When students report that they lose, throw away, or never even look at the rubrics I... read more

A Graphic Ending

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Nov
  • 07
  • 2006

I’m off to New York City this weekend to visit a very good friend. I’m travelling with a very good friend, too, so I’ll be quite happy even though I’ll miss my girlfriend and my cat at home. Keep good care of my blog for me while I’m away, would you? See you Monday. Here’s something to hopefully get you thinking. Maybe you can give me some ideas... read more

Is Nonfiction Writing The Answer?

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Oct
  • 18
  • 2006

The suggestion that fiction writing cannot prepare students with the same rigor that nonfiction writing can is ridiculous. It shows poor faith in teachers to do what they have been hired to do. If you’re teaching writing, you’re teaching writing regardless of the genre.

The Article

Instead of building an argument for the need to assign more research-driven writing, how that style of... read more

Start Writing Now

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Apr
  • 15
  • 2006

I leave for Japan tomorrow. I’ll be in Kyoto for a few days, Izumo for a few more, spend the night in Osaka, then head for home. It should be fun, but it means that I’ll be away from my girlfriend, my cat, and my blog.

As I get ready to spend my Spring Break, not relaxing and reading, but running through train stations and lugging around baggage, you need to start writing... read more

Good Writing In The Wild

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Jan
  • 24
  • 2006

My girlfriend, also an English teacher at my high school, read a passage the other night that did exactly what she’s been trying to get her kids to do; it made good use of vocabulary to express a point. She printed the passage up on an overhead and presented it to her class:

Among the many traits that made Charles Darwin one of the greatest minds in science was his pertinacious... read more

And So It Begins

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Jan
  • 23
  • 2006

This should end up being a good thing. I told all classes today about the new plan: class anthology, everyone submits 4 pieces total (2 written, 2 audio), reading as launch pad for writing, no more writing-assignment handouts, deadlines/assignments on the board, working on writing during class. I didn’t get even a single “Hooray,” but to expect that would be too much. Even if this does... read more