Monday, November 13, 2006

Writing Class Rewards

I'm enjoying teaching a writing class so much this year! One of the fun things we've done is create a blog where my seven students post their works-in-progress. The comment feature allows them to leave encouraging feedback for each other. I've tried to help them go beyond "Great job" to explain specifically what they liked, and even make kind, constructive comments like, "This could be even better if you strengthened the conclusion" or "I'd like to see another example."

We've talked a lot about the need to edit, rewrite and proofread. To encourage them, I recently gave out awards like "Best Rewriters," "Best Self-Editor," "Most Helpful Commenters" and "Most Encouraging Commenters." I also gave an "Alacrity Award" to the student who was quickest to post her pieces and to comment on others.

You can scroll through our blog and discover who won the prizes for Most Exciting Post, Most Descriptive Post, Most Evocative of a Place or Mood, Most Improved (this was not awarded to a poor-but-improved post, but to a paragraph that had been good to begin with, and its author found ways to strengthen it further), the You Were There Award, the similar I'm With You Award, the Short But Sweet Award, and the Most Interesting Post on a Boring Subject (for an essay describing Jamestown).

All awards were accompanied by a drum roll, applause, Gummi Worms and Pop Rocks.

Last week, one of the students left me an encouraging comment: "You did an excellent job with that amazing example you gave to your students. I can tell that you just love to write. Keep up the great work."

They say that the best teacher is one who is passionate about her subject.

"Jockulator13," you made my day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea! I love it! I hope that when my kids get to that point, I can be that creative, to get them working together and strengthening each other. Makes me think about the verse about "as iron sharpens iron,..."