Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Creative Thinking Questions Part II

I was hoping I'd get video of this activity, but I left my SD card at home yesterday morning.

What I planned as a 25 minute activity, ended up taking closer to 45, which I discovered when I looked up and the clock read 9:43. First hour ends at 9:45. I had planned time for students to edit their webpages, but in every class, that part of the plan got shucked for the day.

The order of events for the day yesterday was as follows:
  • Journal (Write down the question and answer it using your SSR book)
  • Read Aloud from When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  • SSR
  • Creative Thinking Questions Activity
I think the activity went well. I looked at the results (5th hour didn't figure into this because we didn't finish the lesson), and found that out of 38 students, 52% showed improvement on their writing from the journal to the end product. That number may seem low, but there were an abnormally large number of students (almost 40%) who didn't follow instructions and write the initial paragraph. Or they wrote the initial paragraph and not the revised paragraph. Either way, they only had one paragraph on their paper. The majority of this number (11/15) came from my 4th hour class. This tells me that I need to do a better job monitoring my fourth hour class to make sure that they're doing as they're asked.

All told, if you look at the number of students who followed all of the instructions, 87% of those kids (20/23) showed a clear difference from their first paragraph to their second. I think using the t-chart made a huge difference. They were able to jot notes about their character or about their event, then use those notes and the notes they wrote about their object to find a match. It significantly improved the quality of the examples given from the text.

The true tests will be Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday, they will have to revise a piece they wrote a week ago and many of them will have to take a wild guess as to which question they were trying to answer before. We'll use the color-coding strategy one more time. Then on Friday, when we do Edmodo Classroom Connect, they'll just get the question and they'll be left to their own devices to answer it. Let's see how they do.

"There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one's self, the very meaning of one's soul."
--Edith Wharton.

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