Saturday, December 10, 2016

Since last I met with the DWP's CRWP team

Since last we met, I've continued to incorporate Literacy Design Collaborative module structures in my class. The tasks I've put in front of students have led to different results with the scoring tools we use in this work.

Here are the two we've worked on:
1. After reading Cell One by Adichie, write an essay in which you argue whether Nnamabia is truly innocent in this story. Evaluate how the author uses character development and narrative perspective to complicate his innocence. Use evidence from the text to support your discussion.  
2. What is feminism in 2016? After reading informational texts on feminism and women’s roles in society, write an essay (or podcast) in which you define contemporary feminism and explain how your definition updates or corrects historical connotations of the word. Support your discussion with evidence from the texts you’ve read.

Here's just some of what I've learned:

Reading papers written in response to the first, I noticed that my students made nuanced claims because of their familiarity with the story and the way their comprehension helped them access the task.

With the second task, I noticed that students understood the concept of feminism but struggled to address the part of the question dealing with connotation. As a result, my students wrote simpler claims that showed little nuance.

What I've demo-ed: 

I've demonstrated for my students how signal phrasing can help them present evidence so that a reader can understand that evidence better contextually.

I'm pressing them to describe their sources very specifically to aid in their discussion of the reliability of sources.

What I got excited about AND what I'm grappling with:*

Abby’s share out was a learning experience for me. She talked about a humanities class that she co-teaches. In social studies, her partner is asking students to study a weapon from WW1 and answer how technology impacts the human experience. In her ELA class, she is asking them to read poems that soldiers wrote in the trenches.

Her comments reminded me that the organizer we used last time - skills|noticings|next steps -  might be used best by students in peer conferencing. Her reflection left me thinking how our using sources tool might bridge collaborative opportunities between ELA and SS teachers at Rangeview High.

On the other hand I'm struggling with incorporating daily argument writing right now. I can see the connection between notebook work and argument construction, but I don't think my students can.

*On a more personal but tangential note, I'm still excited about the role of technology in education. Specifically, I'm excited about my ability to chase my children (and my colleagues) with my new Blade Inductrix FPV drone but I struggle to fly it without looking at the aircraft. I wish I could fly it fully FPV. 

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