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In the middle of the school year, you will need to do a formative writing assessment on your students. This should showcase some evidence of growth since the beginning of the year, especially by comparing against similar writing styles like the summer break recount. Areas that require further development will also become apparent, and will provide a guide for programming as the year progresses.
By having the students write about their vacation, it should eliminate some writer’s anxiety and engage reluctant writers because they are writing about their own experiences. Their background experience, their schema, the burden of generating ideas is reduced, and the main focus can become the sequencing of ideas and the skills associated with communication of those ideas.
Since the writing will be done in paragraphs, it is a recommended that students use a graphic organizer of their choosing to plan their ideas before actually writing the text. Several organizers have been included, some of which should connect well with logical, visual, and linguistically oriented students. Effective use of these planners will improve organization and flow in the final product.
This activity will review and reinforce:
- Generation of ideas
- Sequence of ideas
- Chronologically or Order of importance or excitement
- Sentences structure
- Paragraph structure and indenting
- Effective introductions and conclusions
- A recount form
- Use of transition and sequencing vocabulary
- Control of conventions (spelling, verb tense, page setup, etc.)