Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Narrative Writing Rubric

If you received a 3 on standard 5, you should continue working on:
  • Refining your word choice
  • Making sure you are using transitions well to bridge the beginning, middle, and end
  • Being very specific in your phrasing and the progression of the story, meaning how the story flows
  • Focusing on character development so that readers can get sucked into the story

If you received a 2 on standard 5, you may be missing
  • A full story, meaning your conclusion may be missing or the middle doesn’t make sense
  • A big scene/climax or problem/resolution
  • Dialogue or have none at all
  • Action
  • Consistent use of transition words
  • Thoughts seem disjointed or not fully thought through which shows up as many short sentences or sentences that do not fit together. Try reading your story aloud and listen to the flow of it.

If you received a 1 on standard 5, you may be missing

  • A full story
  • A story that makes sense
  • Details and action
  • The structure of the story mountain

Here is the rubric for students to see what summative scores mean.

Standard 5:
Write narratives to share real events, using vivid detail and ordered sequence.
Standard 8: Command the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and vocabulary.
The writer clearly focuses and maintains the narrative, real or imagined, throughout.
Effectively engages and orients the reader by establishing a context and point of view, introducing a narrator and/or characters, and effectively creates a sequence of events, real or imagined, that unfolds naturally and logically from beginning to end.

Transition words and phrases are used effectively and consistently and provides a strong opening and ends with a powerful conclusion.

The writer provides thorough and effective elaboration using vivid details, engaging dialogue, exciting pacing, and interesting description.

The writer effectively uses precise words and phrases, vivid descriptive details, engaging sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences and events.
Strong grasp of conventions and consistently uses it to enhance the work.
The writer adequately focuses and generally maintains the narrative, real or imagined, throughout.  

The reader is engaged by establishing a context and point of view introducing a narrator and/or characters.
The writer also creates a sequence of events, real or imagined, that unfolds naturally and logically from beginning to end and adequately incorporates a variety of transition words and phrases to show relationships among experiences and events.

The writer provides an adequate opening and conclusion that makes sense based on the story.  The writer uses sufficient details, appropriate dialogue, acceptable pacing, and adequate description. They use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details,  and appropriate sensory language to convey a clear picture of the experiences and events.

Strong grasp of standard writing conventions (spelling, capitalization, and punctuation). Correct sentence structure throughout.
The writer somewhat maintains the narrative, real or imagined, throughout with some minor drift in focus and somewhat engages the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters.

The writer creates an inconsistent and uneven sequence of events, real or imagined, that unfolds from beginning to end, and inconsistently incorporates basic transition words, and phrases with little variety. The writer provides a weak opening and a weak conclusion.

The writer provides uneven details, limited dialogue, inconsistent pacing and simplistic description. The writer uses simplistic words and phrases and inconsistent descriptive details.
Many errors in conventions (spelling, capitalization, and punctuation) which distracts from writing. Simple or inconsistent use of varied sentence structures.
The writer shows an attempt to maintain the narrative, real or imagined, but may provide little or no focus. They may show an attempt to establish a context and point of view, as well as introduce a narrator and/or characters but the response may be very brief, have major drift or be confusing or ambiguous.

The writer uses little or no discernible sequence of events, real or imagined, to convey the narrative, incorporates few or no transition words, phrases and clauses, provides little or no opening with extraneous ideas that may intrude and does not provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

The writer provides minimal elaboration, using little or no details, dialogue, pacing and description. The writer uses confusing or incorrect words and phrases, and little or no descriptive details.
Conventions (spelling, capitalization, and punctuation) and/or sentence structure hinders readers from comprehension of work.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Failed Book Club Presentations

​As your child may have told you; yesterday was a bit of a hard day in English.  Students presented their book club projects, which they have had two months or so to work on in class, and the majority of the content presented was sub-par.  Few groups received "3's" in the two summative standards; 1 and 7.

​When I spoke to the students about it both yesterday and today many told me that they had not put in much effort or just hadn't spent the time on it, which their scores then show.  I have therefore told the students that they have to show me mastery of the standards on their own.  The opportunity in class had been given to them and another one will not be created.  However, if the score they received (which will be entered later today) is not an accurate measurement of their skills then they can certainly show me what their skills are.  Ideas have been brainstormed by students and they include:
​-  Re-doing the project but videotaping the presentation as time will not be dedicated in class for them to re-present.
​-  Doing a written analysis with text evidence and a summary on a book of their choice and handing it in.
​-  They can email me with any other ideas they may have as well.

​I have told them that all work has to be handed in by Sunday, March 22nd so that i can assess it before the quarter ends on the 26th.
While 3 standards were assessed: 1, 7, and 10 - only two of them (1 and 7) were summative assessments as all presentations are still at the practice stage.​

​The standards they are trying to show proficiency in, can be​ found here 

​I am disappointed in most of the groups, particularly since we have spoken at length about the expectations and so much work time has been given in class and I have made that clear to students. 

Hopefully this will be a great learning opportunity for those that need it and we can move forward from here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

News and Deadlines from English

The students all have vocabulary quiz 9 this Friday.  They were given the words yesterday in class and can also access the words on mrsripp.com

All re-takes of vocabulary quiz 8 end on Friday as well.  Few students have retaken the quiz resulting in many IE's.  If a child has an IE, they will not be able to attend the end of quarter CARE trip.  To re-take a quiz, the student has to complete one of the following options http://www.mrsripp.com/2015/01/vocab-quiz-re-takes... and can then re-take it.

Students are finishing up their book club projects with one final work day for it on Friday.  All groups will present on the 10th.  This is a summative project for standards 1 and 7, while it is formative for standard 10.  To see our standards, go here 

Students are also working on their narrative writing project.  This is due by March 26th to show mastery of standards 5 and 8.  I have encouraged students to reach out to me for feedback and discussion, some have but many have not.  

Today we watched this poem from Suli Breaks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uc_mvwOUf0&featur...  - I asked the students to respond to it as if they were parents.  I encourage you to watch it and discuss with your child.

I have a sub Thursday and Friday as I travel to North Carolina to present at a conference, i am sorry to be away from the classroom but now that they will work hard.  I am proud to be able to tell other educators what the 7th graders at OMS are doing to change the world (and me as a teacher!).