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Getting it going then a stumble

October 3, 2011

Over the last two weeks, the writing class I am doing the flip model in has been doing pretty well. We had our first test and all 32 students passed. I was surprised at that much success as I have a couple of students I am worried about. Although students contributed some items to the test as mentioned in the previous post, the items presented the same types of challenges as the ones they replaced.

I suppose if I were forced to follow a bell curve distribution for my test results, that test wouldn’t qualify. However, a teacher in grad school once raised the point that if the teacher is doing a good job, the class curve should be skewed.

We have been working on sentences the last two weeks. Last week, for the Thursday writing event, I had them describe a bad dream using only simple sentences. The bad dreams were good, but putting them in simple sentences proved too much of a challenge for most students. We spent more time working on compound and complex sentences this week. I added videos on my resource page for sentences. Although I have relied on videos found on YouTube, I did make some of my own including one one sentence parts

and one on run-ons.

I plan to add more, in particular, a video on fragments.

I have found Google Documents to be a great time saver when students use it correctly. More and more students are getting the hang of it. I made a video showing how I want them to format their papers.

This will be a challenge based on past semesters, but at least there is a reference available.

However, I did stumble this Thursday. I brought in a couple of pictures and asked the my student writers to describe the pictures. They struggled. I had not thought the lesson through well enough and did not provide sufficient guidelines. Also, the images were challenging because of the vocabulary needed that I had not anticipated. Still, we worked away on their descriptions trying to find words and the correct way to describe what they saw in the images.

Tomorrow, we are starting the first formal paragraph in the computer lab. That is going to be a good formative assessment for me and them.

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