Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Warm and Cool

One great thing about our school is that, in support of writing across the curriculum, we use one of our professional development early-release days for the entire teaching staff to holistically score expository writing samples from every student. Everyone is familiarized with the state rubric and team teachers meet to read and evaluate their students' writing.

Perhaps, as an English teacher, I'm biased in my perspective on this; no doubt some of my colleagues in other content areas might express another opinion. I have the sense that many non-English teachers feel that writing has a very limited place in their classes, despite lots of research confirming writing across the curriculum as best practice for instruction in both writing and content. (Bottom line: Like people who can read well, people who can write well are generally more successful in all academic areas than their peers who cannot.) Even so, every year we experience some push back and even resentment when it comes time to read and score those essays.

This year the English department was presented with a request from our colleagues. Since they are asked to not only rate each writing piece from 1-4 in composition, written expression, and correctness, but also to provide the student authors with a comment both praising them and offering a suggestion for improvement, our fellow educators wanted a comment bank from which to draw their remarks for the kids.


Oh, wait! I have one:

Nice initiative in trying to make this as easy and thoughtless as possible! Next time, try actually engaging with the task at hand to give our kids some authentic feedback.

1 comment:

  1. Funny, but sad. Do numbers come beside all those supposed comment options, so they can just write in the number and give the kids a key? You can tell they are non-writers!

    But I do have to admit that I have my own personal "comment bank" which I've developed over time, and works for me. I just don't think my comments would work for anyone else.