Monday, December 10, 2012

Writing Analysis of Students' Work

My students wrote a reflection--after completing the reading of the final chapters of Of Mice and Men and participating in a group discussion--based on the following prompts.

1.    Who is a hero in Of Mice and Men? Why?
2.    Who is a villain in Of Mice and Men? Why?
3.    Describe one character’s hopes, dreams, or plans in the story? Was their dream realized? Why or why not? Explain in detail.
4.    Who is a friend to another character in the story? How did their friendship develop? How can you tell they are friends? Why do you think they are friends?
5.    Which character experiences the most isolation or loneliness? Why? Remember, isolation doesn’t have to be physical—it can be mental or emotional, too.

After everyone is finished writing their responses to the prompts, read your reflection to a partner, listen to your partner’s reflection, and write down at least one of your partner’s ideas.

The learning target was for students to be able to, upon completion of reading the novel, and after having a group discussion, respond to questions that require higher-level thinking regarding major topics from Of Mice and Men to demonstrate their comprehension of the story elements, big ideas, and characters from the novel, and analyze and apply their reading to questions that bridge their previous learning to their upcoming character essay writing assignment.

The assessment was graded by using the below rubric.
1.         Included the question in the response.
2.         Used specific and correct details from the novella.
3.         Expressed opinions, provided evidence and included reasoning.
4.         Used complete sentences.
5.         Responded fully to all of the questions.
6.         Used correct grammar, spelling, and sentence construction.
7.      Met with a partner and included at least one idea from the partner.

The assessment did assess the desired teaching and learning targets appropriately because students demonstrated their ability to use higher-level thinking to answer questions regarding major topics from Of Mice and Men.

The overall class results helped me determine that my class has a good understanding of the skills and concepts taught because they worked independently on this assessment and every student had thoughtful, complete, detailed responses that met either sufficient or excellent scores based on the rubric criteria.

For one student, K.M, this type of assessment was best for him because it was formative, included their opinion so there is no “right” or “wrong” answer which eliminates this student’s test taking anxiety, and as long as the student defended her ideas and expressed her thoughts clearly based on the rubric given in advance, the student’s chances were as good as any other student to prove their comprehension in a way that resonated with them. There was choice based on interest and connection. Students could choose any character they wanted to write about.

As a result of this assessment, I learned that K.M. read the story, followed the discussion, and was able to apply their learning to the higher-level thinking questions, and could reflect deeply as the meaning of the story. This student also worked with a partner and demonstrated her literacy skills. Even though she is a special needs student, she was able to achieve the same level of success and understanding as the other students. Therefore, the supports given during previous instruction were sufficient, and material, content, pacing, instruction, and activities worked to build students up to this assessment.

I offered written comments, a rubric, and collaborative learning as feedback. Following are student writing examples from this assignment.

This student received a 1.5 based on the rubric.

This student received a 3 based on the rubric.

This student received a 2.5 based on the rubric.

This student received a 1.5 based on the rubric.

This student received a 2.5 based on the rubric.

This student received a 2.5 based on the rubric.

1 comment:

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