After a long and sometimes frustrating week, the students are finally ready to start writing! I was so impressed with their persistence and curiosity last week as they refined their research questions, dug for better research, and read some incredibly complex texts. At times I could see they were getting frustrated (“Just tell me what to write, Mrs. Maguire!!” “We have to actually read the whole articles??””), but on Friday, it all seemed to click into place. Students started sketching out their ideas and organizing them and then spent the rest of the class period talking through their organizational plans with their peers. It was exciting to see how much ownership they’ve all taken of their topics. Please ask them to tell you about them! I’m sure they would all benefit from some more talking.
This week will be devoted to writing workshop. I’ll do brief mini lessons at the beginning of each class--organization, intros/conclusions, attributing sources--and then we’ll spend the rest of class working and conferencing about their writing. Essays will be due on Monday, Oct. 3. Please remind your students to spread their work over the whole week. At most, they should be doing final draft edits on Sunday of next weekend. No one should be staying up all night staring at a computer screen.
If you’ve been looking in MiStar at all, you’ll notice that everything in there is currently marked as “not graded.” Please do not be concerned about the lack of grades. Students are getting lots of feedback about their progress, and I will continue to put scores in, but I’m going to keep marking them as “not graded” for awhile longer so that they have a chance to build their skills before letter grades start popping up.
Enjoy the rest of this beautiful weekend!
Mrs. Hattie Maguire