Skip to main content

Period 1-Informational Essay

PERIOD 1

This week students worked tirelessly on their informational essays.  After several lessons and examples, they finally completed their rough drafts.  These drafts were submitted to turnitin.com.  One of the things I love about this site is that it allows students to read and evaluate one another's essays using questions that I personally write.  In addition, the person evaluating the essay can  comment directly on the writer's rough draft.
I gave the students a long talk before we began and made sure that they all understood to comment in a respectful, kind manner.  I also encouraged them to give the quality of feedback that they would like to receive on their own writing.  Most students did an outstanding job.  I was so pleased with how serious they took this task.  In addition, students were required to complete a self-evaluation which forced them to take another look at their draft.

I am hoping that students received some valuable feedback.  Of course, I told them that it is up to them whether or not they take they advice of their peers.  In addition, I feel that reading other student's essays provides students with the opportunity to read some outstanding work, as well as essays that need work!  

Finally, students do not know whose essay they are evaluating (unless the writer put his or her name on it).  However, I can read the feedback that each person provided.  Just thought you might like to know a little bit more about why I use turnitin.com and love it so much!



Below is a screen shot of some of the questions students were required to answer, as well as one student's answers.  

Here is another screen shot.  It shows how students can write a suggestion directly on the essay.  






Another example







This is an example of the comments I made on a student's final draft.  




Popular posts from this blog

Ditch those Reading Logs: Try Flipgrid Instead

If you've read my posts or follow me on Twitter, you know how I feel about pointless projects and homework!  This year I made it official and ditched homework.  It's the best decision I've ever made as a teacher.  My students are loving it, I am loving it, and I think most of their parents are loving it! I have completely transformed the way I run my classroom and feel like my students are more engaged and excited than ever. 

Student Example (Click to watch)

Like homework, I never felt quite right about assigning reading logs.  Whenever my own kids had to read a book on their own for school, they were initially excited. First, they were told they had to read twenty minutes each night. Then the dreaded reading logs began.  They had to write  down what pages they read, as well as a summary.  Urgh! I can only imagine lying on the beach with my own book and having to complete a reading log.  No thanks!  And I am not going to lie. I just might have signed one of my son's read…

Have a Dance Party Before Class Starts

This year I decided to play music as students are entering my classroom and before the final bell rings.  I had no idea what a difference it would make!  Why didn't I do this before?  It creates a positive, upbeat mood and seems to energize my students and ME! 



At first I thought they'd complain when I blasted disco tunes by artists like Chic, The Bee Gees, and Vickie Sue Robinson ("Turn the Beat Around").   I thought they'd groan when I played Bon Jovi, Journey, and Whitesnake. I thought they'd roll their eyes when I played clean versions of songs by Tupac and Snoop Dogg.  I really thought they'd lose it when I played Gypsy Kings.  NOPE!  They loved it!  I had NO idea that my kids would react they way they did.  Here are the results:






If I don't have time to put the music on, several kids will ask, "Where's our dance party?" I really like Pandora because I can create my own stations.  If you're looking for a way to create a positive vi…

Creating a Cell Phone Sanctuary

Over the past few years, I have noticed a change in my students.  Not only are they tethered to their phones, but they are more anxious than ever.  In the past two school years, I have had at least three students experience school anxiety so severe that they could not come to school.   Those are just MY students.  This year I have had one student leave our school after her mother spent three weeks trying to drag her to class each morning as her daughter screamed, cried, and sometimes refused to get out of the car.  According to an article titled "Teen Anxiety and Depression: the Kids are not Alright" published in 2016, "In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12 to 17 had had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% of girls and 20% of boys–totaling 6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder, according t…