Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SOLS 16 of 31

Last night I finally sat down and read through the slice of life pieces my 7th graders had turned in last week. I've been using these to build writing stamina (they need it!) and to try to get them to use sensory detail and description. I've been marking the errors I just can't ignore, but focusing on what they are doing well. There were several that had really good voice, good detail, or really good word choice. I set those aside so that I could read them to the class today.

I prefaced the reading of each piece by saying what had stood out to me, so that they knew what to be listening for. I didn't tell who the author of each piece was, but being 7th graders, they HAD to try to guess. If the author revealed themselves, fine, but other wise, I wouldn't tell. They really enjoyed the pieces. When I finished, the kids asked if I would do that every day; pick the ones I liked and read them. Of course I agreed! I'm hoping that this will motivate some of them to try harder. I know it might be demotivating for some, but hopefully the fact that I don't reveal the author- nor confirm if they guess right, will provide enough protection.


  1. Maybe when they hear why you selected it, some will try to replicate it to get their paper read. I know that worked for me.

  2. I've done that before too, but I also tell. I just make sure that eventually, everyone gets a reading. It's so empowering for the writer to have the good writing acknowledged. Students do seem to like the 'models' too. It sounds like you're on your way to good writing!