I don’t know about any other new teachers out there, but sometimes it is hard to remember how much we need to explain concepts for students. I definitely make assumptions about what students know. Coming out of university, you become critical, knowledgeable, and surrounded with like-minded individuals. You don’t really need to explain the process of “making a title that engages readers” or “adding pictures into your blog posts.” You pretty much just say those statements and university students will figure it out (for the most part).
Scaffolding is necessary for any assignment, even one that it is heavily process-oriented. I just figured out something magical about integrating this major digital project with ELA. I have started teaching grammar concepts with a few different resources (namely iSkills and noredink.com). For the past week, my grade eleven students have been learning about sentence fragments– they can recognize them, tell me if a verb or subject is missing, and make fragments whole again. This digital project let me take their knowledge of sentence fragments and apply it to blog posts.
Here is something ELA teachers rarely tell ya: sentence fragments can add some serious pizzazz to your writing. Know what I mean? Short. Choppy. Fabulous. So, after some formative assessments, my students will now include some sentence fragments in their blog post. These fragments need to be intentional and thoughtful. What parts of their blog do they want to emphasize? Enter sentence fragment. Know what else I can do? When students comment on each other’s blogs, they can identify where their peers wrote a sentence fragment and if/why they thought it was an effective place to put it.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL PEOPLE – I am pretty excited.
I plan on continuing this scaffolding model with my major digital project. We will start talking about run-on sentences, integrating quotations, paragraphs, thesis, conclusions and students will need to incorporate these into their blog posts to practice. I’m currently working on a rubric so my students have more guidance when writing future blog posts.
Guys– it’s beautiful. I’m tearin’ up over here.
- Koskie Out