Saturday, March 13, 2010

Colleen - Authentic Tasks at Jay Middle School

Colleen and her fellow teachers have been providing increased writing opportunities in their classrooms regularly over the last two months.  Their students are blossoming as young authors.  One of the issues they are rethinking is the report card.  Right now spelling plays a major role in determining language arts grades.  However, they are finding students who shine as writers are not always the best spellers.  Here is an example.

The Circus

            The sound of the ring master's voice bellowing over the crowd will always get my heart pounding.  The lights slowly fade as darkness creeps over you like a unfamiliar friend. Colored lights start to pop up like bubbles in a pot of boiling water. The crowd starts to scream as the first act comes on a black and white tiger and a sandy African lion steps on a podium.  The ferocious tiger makes a low growl.  The crowd is hushed only to come to in cheering as the tiger magnificently jumps through a flaming hoop the lion is holding. The lion and tiger jump through the hoop until the show ended for now. Later a man came on as slowly as a tank of fish appears out of nowhere the man says “ This is it this is this is my last show “ the man walks up a cracking ladder. Leaned against a tank of vicious fish. And jumped as he jumped everything went black and I woke up sweating. Just a dream I said just a dream.  OR WAS IT?

By Sam M.
Jay Middle School

Always invested in students and what is best for them, Colleen and her team are rethinking their report card format and continue to explore the 6+1 traits.
Recently, she visited the writing fix site and had a great deal of fun with her class writing books based on the lesson: 

 Using, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, each student created a version of a story based on a catch phrase.  They had great fun and shared with one another.

Building on the students' enthusiasm Colleen once again created an authentic task - simply - when students shared their writing.  Having a real, appreciative audience, is one of the hidden strengths of 6+1 traits teaching.  Bravo, Colleen
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1 comment:

Nancy said...

I have enjoyed hearing about all the writing your students have done using catch phrases. It is very obvious from the final products that the lessons have been successful and the kids have really enjoyed doing the writing. Lessons such as these make our job fun, don't they? Great job. Thanks for sharing!