This week begins our Education Unit, and students will spend the next few weeks considering the following question: What is the purpose of a true education? Today we read a short story called “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros and student considered the emotional stories that impact a student’s ability to learn.Tonight, for homework, they’re tackling a pretty challenging essay called “I Know Why the Caged Bird Can’t Read” by Francine Prose. Both texts are in the class textbook, and I encourage you to take a look at them. We will continue our practice with critical reading and discussing using those texts throughout the week. Tonight students should be taking notes as they read both on the author’s CMPAST (Context, Message, Purpose, Audience, Speaker, Tone) and also unfamiliar vocabulary. By the end of the week, we will start practicing multiple choice strategies using these texts.
This unit’s writing focus will be on the rhetorical analysis essay. The precis students wrote last week will serve as a “feeder” assignment for the essay as it helped students begin to pull apart an opinion piece. For their rhetorical analysis essays they will return to those pieces and analyze the specific strategies employed by the writers to achieve their purpose. We will begin working on those essays Tuesday in class.
Finally, students received their narrative writing scores today. Instead of giving the students hard copies of their scores, I added written, summative feedback to their turnitin.com documents. The feedback is in paragraph form and gives students specific areas on which to focus to improve their writing if they choose. For each major writing piece this fall, students will have the opportunity to revise and resubmit. To that end, I want them to have feedback that focuses on what they should do to improve the piece. I was very careful not to make “editing” type corrections because I do not want students to merely change a period here or a comma there. As they move forward toward college level writing, those are the types of changes they need to be catching with their own careful editing. We will discuss how to find and edit for those errors at length this year, but when they revise major essays, I want them to also think about making structural and analytical changes. Please encourage your students to read my feedback carefully and ask for clarification if they are not sure about what to do next with their writing! There will be multiple opportunities each week in class for students to ask for help, and I am always available Tuesday-Friday before school.
Have a great week!
Mrs. Hattie Maguire