Saturday, February 7, 2009

Goals In Writing

This week my students celebrated their first essays and then we spent time reflecting (thank you Stacey!) the work that was published. Next, my students completed a writing quadrant adapted from Ralph Fletcher's book The Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide. It was fantastic. Students were able to then come up with a class goal and then derived their personal goal from the class goal. This was teacher facilitated, but their ideas.

Class Goal:

Plan: By March 2009 we hope to master pushing our thinking forward, write using great detail in our mini-stories, using transitions, write interesting introductions, and good conclusions in our essays.

Study: Read rich literature, write many different essays, revise, get feedback from writing partner and teacher

Do: Reread/revise essays, study other peer's essays, work daily with writing partner, confer effectively with our teacher

Act: (we will reexamine where we are on March 1, 2009) Did I accomplish my goal? If yes, rewrite a goal for the rest of the year. If no, what occurred that kept you from accomplishing your goal? Rewrite Study and Do and attempt again. :-)

This form really keeps the students focused on the goal at hand. Writing the PDSA was easy because of the quadrant. If you would like a copy of the PDSA or Writing Quadrant, please leave a comment with your email address and I will send it to you.

After the class writes the class goal, each student picks one of the areas from the class goal to own and to focus on. I have seen tremendous improvement with their udnerstanding of where they need to improve since trying the PDSA two years ago.

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