Monday, October 10, 2005

I can't even count any more

So, the teachers went back to school on the 23rd of August, and the kidlets came back on the 29th. I'm trying not to count weekends or holidays, so I think today is day 29. But I said that Friday was day 29.

Whatever, it's the beginning of the seventh week of school.

The students were supposed to bring in their rough drafts today. They're writing narrative essays, and these are to be autobiographical. We've been pre-writing and outlining for a week.
First period, CA and KB don't have their essays. We peer edit these rough drafts, and those kids who don't have their papers really get behind.

"But my mom can do it."

"Yes, but she already went to eighth grade now, didn't she?"

I spent three hours at school yesterday, Sunday, to get the peer editing worksheets done. You know, "highlight all the sensory words used" and "underline all the transitions." "Put a box around the statement that tells why the event was significant to the writer."

I feel strongly about peer editing. It's not peer grading, I make that very clear, it's peer editing. Students helping each other become better writers. We always find other's mistakes better than we find our own. Students get to pick their partners, and it's low risk. There's no competition in it, yet everyone wins. Everyone that is, except the kids that don't bring their rough drafts.

Five more in third period and another five in fifth period don't have their essays.
"I left it in my printer."
"I forgot."
"My mother made me go to bed."
"I was in Bakersfield all weekend and couldn't get to it."

That last one was my favorite. It was assigned on Wednesday, and I gave them the weekend as a gift. I really wanted them to bring it in Friday. But still, out of 91 students in English 8H, twelve didn't do their work. That's not a good ratio.

I don't know what to do to make these kids figure this out. It's not a little 5-point homework assignment; this essay is worth 100 points when they are all finished with it.

So, today, the rest of the students were editing each other's papers. Tonight, they are to go home and make corrections for a second draft. Tomorrow, they will have a much shorter basic proofreading/polishing form with which to help each other. It's the grammar/punctuation/spelling/did you indent your paragraphs properly? form. Then, Wednesday, the final draft.

The kids that didn't get their rough drafts done on time are in a pickle. They'll have to have their mom or dad or someone proofread it at home (for which they earn no credit), and then go right into the second draft. Oi.

Any bets on how many papers are missing tomorrow?

No comments: