Sunday, October 18, 2015

Keep Sharing. Couldn't See the Edge. Reflecting on Writing.

These 3rd graders think reflection is just a piece of the writing process.  These are just 3 of 16 students that were asked to write a paragraph about one food chain within a food web.  Check out the original post here.  Needless to say when the first paragraphs showed up on the blog, I was not blown away by the quality of writing from these students.

It was at that point that we spent some time in our class discussing the words self-discipline and to the edge. We discussed our jobs and what a good paragraph looks like when it is completed. When I say we, I mean the students.  They brainstormed each area on their own, divided into groups to talk about each area and then jigsawed to share their ideas with the class.

After all this, they wrote again.  The 2nd time around, the writing greatly improved.  BUT the best pieces of work are the reflections.
This is not even a readable sentence.

Now, we have a paragraph.

Then she figured out that what she had at the beginning was not a paragraph - growth!

Absent or didn't get the first draft on the blog.

A paragraph.

Used her 'how will I improve the next time' recording sheet in order to reflect on how this paragraph was different from her last paragraph.  She found a way to reflect even without the first draft.  She grew.

No punctuation.

There are sentences in this paragraph with punctuation.

He recognizes that he didn't have a paragraph when he began.  He realizes that he could have done more the first time around.  He grew.

That is what pushing to the edge is all about - growth.  You can't grow unless you can reflect.  None of this was in my lesson plans for the week.  When I saw the first writings and saw that the students thought they had done well, I knew we had to stop and reflect.  While this whole reflection lesson threw our pacing guide out the window, the end result will benefit the students far longer than keeping up with the pacing guide.  In the end, it's not the subjects that matter, it's all about teaching the child.  See you at the edge.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this! Such power and the kids completely took ownership of it!