Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Assessing Our Writing Part 1

Explain Everything is the perfect tool to capture students' thinking. I wanted students to assess their dream writing by taking photographs of their work, pointing to specific areas of craft and explaining their importance. However, I needed to make sure students were prepared before using this app. The main priority was for  students to organize their thinking.
Students worked in small groups sharing their writing with one another. They created notes about specific craft techniques they noticed. I was really pushing them to move beyond the typical comment, "I like this line because it is descriptive". I told them to dig deep and think about what made a particular line in their story special for the reader. Of course, I want them to name the craft they see in writing. More importantly, I want them to be able to explain its significance for the reader. 

Here is a line selected by a student from their writing: "When dreams get caught in your hair you have to brush them out." This line shows that there's always little bumps and that's normal. Just brush off the dust and keep on going.

I like the line - "When you skate down the ice you feel like a bird drifting through the sky". It is a simile. It lets the reader know that you have to skate hard in hockey.

The next step was for students to use the iPads. They took pictures of their writing and created slides. They had to decide if they were going to take one or two photographs of their work. They learned how to crop, resize and lock an image. They added arrows pointing to specific features and are currently working on adding text boxes. This is where their notes will come in handy. 

The final step will be for students to work on a script for their voice recording. I want them to be clear and organized. You can grab a copy of the script here.

I hope to post some examples soon! Stay tuned!


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