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RESPONDING TO STUDENT WRITING. When students understand the importance of what they're trying to say as writers, they also care about how their words.

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Presentation on theme: "RESPONDING TO STUDENT WRITING. When students understand the importance of what they're trying to say as writers, they also care about how their words."— Presentation transcript:

1 RESPONDING TO STUDENT WRITING

2 When students understand the importance of what they're trying to say as writers, they also care about how their words go down on the page. They know that in the end what they've said and how it looks each contribute to a reader's appreciation of text. I think we do our kids a disservice to contend that a reader's appreciation is an either/or proposition; NANCIE ATWELL

3 THE ALCHEMY OF RESPONSE

4 Impossible for to have an infallible, rigid formula Responding to student writing is an imprecise science purpose for writing kind of writing students time

5 f(x)=A good response to writing

6 Ever Expanding Toolbox experience literature

7 Responding is a continual process in which reflective teaching mingles with Tenacity Vision Knowledge about writing

8 Responding well should transform students’ drafts into polished, final products. (rewrite by rewrite)

9 We are modern day alchemist.

10 The immediate measure of our success is helping students turn the basest metal in their writing into gold.

11 The TRUE measure of our success is STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT.

12 CONTENTS OF THE TOOLBOX MAY BE ENDLESS, BUT

13 Strategies for: 1.Identifying and honing strengths of the paper 2.Focusing the paper in a way that moves it forward 3.Constructing an appropriate infrastructure for the writing 4.Discussing the relationship between error and clarity

14 Arresting start Initial focus of writing Memorable beginning Satisfying ending Clear sense of audience Clear sense of purpose Effective use of figurative language Identify audience Identify purpose Identify organizational structure Suggest one that works Suggest portions to chop Suggest portions for elaboration Become familiar with the rhetorical demands Suggest a pattern or patterns of development that work for the topic Identify errors that obscure intended meaning Edit a paragraph or two with the student Edit nothing that’s illogical Don’t ignore editing

15 Think of your responses as: 1.Part of on-going conversations 2.Essential to the improvement of the students’ papers 3.One of the best and simplest ways to differentiate instruction 4.Pointless if they don’t move students

16 Strengths Clarity Specifics Guidance

17 You raise important issues but your organization is weak. I never knew what to expect next. The paper was lacking enough support. Where is the development of the ideas? You raise 3 important points on your second page, but they get lost in the remainder of the paper. On your next draft, focus on just those 3 and support them with evidence and/or logical argument gained from the course material or outside sources. I had trouble following your argument. It is not coherent. There are not any transitions between your ideas. I didn’t know what your point was until I read the last paragraph. I was a little lost until I read your last paragraph. It is a good summary of your argument and it needs to be moved to the beginning of your paper. Use it as a neat outline of what will happen next, and then make sure the rest of the paper supports your thesis.

18 There is no thesis statement here. You are merely summarizing the ideas of the two theorists, rather than providing us with anything new. Where are you in all this? Most political science papers require you to make an argument, rather than just summarize the course material. You demonstrate a good understanding of Hobbes and Locke, but you need to make a claim that responds to the assignment question. Be bold and direct about your thesis -- don't be afraid to take a stand! Strengths Clarity Specifics Guidance

19 Look at the sample again. You haven't written a summary. It's not only incoherent but you included your opinions as well. In your second paragraph you did a good job sticking to the main point plus key evidence, something I hope to see more of in your next summary. In the other paragraphs you mixed in your personal opinions (I underlined opinions). Specifics Clarity Strengths Guidance

20 Good points in the intro but no clear argument laid out Much in the intro appears to be ideas from the student, but I know they’re not Presents a plot summary Student’s stuck Begins with a grand sweeping statement or rhetorical question that forces a stand Adds the business of the intro: Title, author, and background info Chops till drops Write nonstop without rules and pulls out stems for paragraphs

21 Fluent writer bored Emerging writer lost 3 rd or so round of comments and no apparent movement in drafts Complicate assignment with short text or shift from the obvious pattern of development Complicate assignment with short text that magnifies a writing path Rely on conversation, not written comments and Go-in-Heavy

22 When students understand the importance of what they're trying to say as writers, they also care about how their words go down on the page. They know that in the end what they've said and how it looks each contribute to a reader's appreciation of text. I think we do our kids a disservice to contend that a reader's appreciation is an either/or proposition;

23 that readers either respond to content (in school we usually call it "creativity") or to format (in school, called "basic skills"). Readers respond to both. If we teach simplistic formulas for good writing we leave students wide open to readers' disdain or, worse, their disinterest. Who, other than a teacher, will read an illegible or Unpunctuated text? What reader will read, very far anyway, a mechanically perfect text that says nothing? NANCIE ATWELL, IN THE MIDDLE


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