Thursday, March 10, 2016

Evaluating As-You-Go Essays

Thoughts about evaluating as-you-go essays:

  • ·      Some learners took advantage of my availability during class and came to me with their writings regularly.  Those learners thrived and ended up writing essays, scripts, and columns of which any high school learner would be proud.

  • ·      Some learners took too much advantage of my availability during class and came to me with their writings after every sentence.  That may be a stretch, but it sure felt like it.  These learners wanted me to hold their hands, but I had to limit their time with me so that they could write in their own voice.  Giving into the constant check-ins would have made me a co-author, not a facilitator of learning and writing.

  • ·      A few learners always had an excuse about why they did not have much writing done.  These learners were looking for every excuse not to have me read their writing.  They were afraid that I would evaluate and grade their writings poorly.  I guess they would rather stall, stall, stall, until the final paper is due.  Therefore, they could rip off the Band-Aid with one poor grade instead of hearing it multiple times.  They never understood that I was trying to help them improve their writing, not give them a grade each time we met.

  • ·      A few other learners stalled because they never really cared to write or do the work.  Every class has these learners.  By asking and checking in (even though they didn’t have much writing) I was able to learn a little more about the reasons for the lack of motivation.

At the end of the assignment, every learner turned in their assignments. No learner was surprised with their grade and the final product was a breeze to evaluate.

I plan on using this method again and have already started with the next project.  Learners are writing a group research essay on a specific argument involving the Civil Rights Movement.

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