Posted on February 27, 2014 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
This year, students have worked with the 6+1 Traits of Writing model in 8th grade language arts. This approach helps students to manage the various traits that we know are important for a piece of quality writing: Ideas, Organization, Conventions (Grammar), Sentence Fluency, Word Choice, Voice, and Presentation.
In our present unit of study, students have considered the guiding question, “How do you make a dream come true?” by forming questions to guide research about their own dreams. This week has been the final week for this unit of study, and students have been engaging in the phases of the writing process which lead to students publishing quality I- search, research papers. The I is present in the title of this authentic assessment because as they write, students tell the story of their search, present their findings/results, and reflect upon the process as a whole, all the while focusing on their own dreams which have been ever-present throughout this process as they’ve done research to answer their own questions starting with, “How can I achieve my dream? . . .”
Students have taken the initiative to ask teachers and adults in their lives for help to set up personal and electronic interviews with credible individuals. In doing so, students have thought about their dreams, reading responses from professionals outside within and outside our community including: professional athletes, district employees, physicians, interior designers, food industry workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, lawyers, Athens County officials, members of the U.S. Military, lawyers, architects, ministers, business owners, professors from Ohio University, rap and musical artists, Ohio University college athletes, and many more!
This week, students have finished pre-writing by assembling note cards and source cards which work to support their findings and synthesize ideas from the credible informational texts they’ve read. Students have learned two new ways to paraphrase, two ways to quote, and are ensuring that they follow MLA format to avoid plagiarism, a form of academic dishonesty!
As well, students started the writing phase of the process, working through differentiated instruction to compose various parts of the organization of the I-search research paper focusing on the 6+1 Traits of Ideas and Organization.
Looking to the end of this week, students will work to revise, edit, and last publish their work digitally through our class blog by considering the 6+1 Traits of Sentence Fluency, Conventions, and Presentation.