Response Groups SCCTE


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Response Groups SCCTE

  1. 1. How can response groups help to create a community of writers? Michelle Tallada [email_address]
  2. 2. Quick Write <ul><li>How do you feel about peer editing? </li></ul><ul><li>What major challenges might you face in implementing response groups in your classroom? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Initial Student Response (September 18, 2007) <ul><li>“… I like it as long as it is a friend that is editing it, not just someone else in the class…Also my friends won’t be afraid to be honest and tell me how horrible my writing is .” –Nicholas </li></ul><ul><li>“… I’d rather hear that it needs tweaking from my mom than a critic…There’s nothing worse than a Simon Cowell telling you it was horrendous when a friend said it was great ...a balance must be achieved…Don’t ask your sticky-sweet friend who’d never want to hurt anyone’s feelings to critique you.” –Juliana </li></ul><ul><li>“ Usually, it’s all grammar and never responses …nothing Microsoft Word couldn’t pick up …” –Catherine </li></ul>
  4. 4. Initial Student Response (September 18, 2007) <ul><li>“ I don’t like peer response! I believe our works are between the teacher and the student and that only the teacher has authority to correct us . If all students need editing, why [should] they edit me? I enjoy teacher feedback more b/c I know what to write better in class, and students don’t know what needs to be prepared for and how we should write.” –Raquel </li></ul><ul><li>“ I don’t think I have the potential to be a great writer…Peer editing feels like someone judging your style of writing . Most of the time, I feel wrong when I edit someone else’s paper because their style is different from my own. It doesn’t help me when I peer edit or vice versa because some people don’t grasp the concept of editing itself. Most of the editing…tells me things I already know…” –Sunnie </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is always good, though sometimes embarrassing, to tell someone their fly is unzipped…Those who are unafraid of hurting your feelings are the ones who teach the most .” --Mitch </li></ul>
  5. 5. Initial Student Response (September 18, 2007) <ul><li>“ I don’t have anything against peer editing or revision, but I feel it’s luck of the draw . One person could fill your paper with red marks and someone else could simply write a smiley face. It’s hard in an environment like this to peer revise though because competition hangs in the air like a syrup . Sometimes, someone conniving could be harsher to psychologically break down their ‘competition’s’ spirits.” –Juliana </li></ul><ul><li>“ I generally don’t get much out of peer responses. Mainly because the other person usually gives me advice on how to better my essay, but they’re going in a different direction than I’m trying to go , and it’s usually a little frustrating trying to get them to look at it from your view…” –Catherine </li></ul>
  6. 6. Initial Student Feedback <ul><li>“ I view peer response quite pessimistically as awkward exchange between individuals who lack the necessary background to make any truly warranted corrections . Usually the individual changes my papers themes and criticizes my view but not my paper. It puts the writer in an uncomfortable place if they do not select their partner. You might not want to share your paper with those you are unfamiliar with. Without fail, it always makes me feel guilty . I hate correcting others, and find it to be arrogant. I feel like I am invading [something] private and criticizing something I have no formal background on or higher education . It could be beneficial, but I’ve only experienced peer response as an uncomfortable, unreliable, and non-beneficial program…I would gladly choose another substitute for revision before enduring peer editing.” </li></ul><ul><li> – Alyssa </li></ul>
  7. 7. How do students revise? <ul><li>“ I add a few big words to make me sound smarter.” –Elliot </li></ul><ul><li>“ I go back and look at sentence flow, or try to make my sentences sound more educated and not too elementary.” –Ivana </li></ul><ul><li>“ I use a thesaurus and make sure it’s organized.” –Steven </li></ul><ul><li>“… by using new words…” –Angelica </li></ul><ul><li>“… ask my family or my friends …” –Meg </li></ul><ul><li>“… improve my diction…” –Eric </li></ul><ul><li>“… using different sentence structures…” –Austin </li></ul>
  8. 8. BIG MISTAKES <ul><li>Allowing them to think it was peer editing </li></ul><ul><li>Not modeling response groups first </li></ul><ul><li>Expecting too much, too soon </li></ul>
  9. 9. Getting Started… <ul><li>Set up “rules of writing” </li></ul><ul><li>Quick Writes, Spilling, Ink Shedding, etc.* </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary Shares* </li></ul><ul><li>*Teachers need to take part, too! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Getting Started… <ul><ul><li>MODELS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good writing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Imitation sentences (Sentence of the Day) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inquiry assignments </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Writers Writing About Writing </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stephen King’s On Writing </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good responses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Model response group with former students, other teachers, writers, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One-on-one conferences </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Response Group How-To <ul><li>Groups don’t automatically work well when set loose without clear procedures and rules </li></ul><ul><li>Insist students avoid making evaluative comments (“That was good!”) of any kind until late in the discussion. </li></ul><ul><li>Initial response should be descriptive . </li></ul>
  12. 12. Things that worked <ul><li>STICKY NOTES!!!! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They loved getting tangible responses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It kept the students from JUST focusing on grammatical errors; they really had to listen to the piece </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They became treasures and keepsakes – a way for us to spread joy and encouragement </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Response Group How-To <ul><li>Descriptive responses include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Say back </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pointing – Which words, phrases, or features of the writing did you find the most striking or memorable (or what did you like best)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tells the writer what the audience is most likely to remember from the draft </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarizing – What do you hear the piece saying? What’s the main meaning or message? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tells the writer whether the audience can understand what the draft is trying to say </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Response Group How-To <ul><li>Descriptive responses include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s almost said or implied – What do you think the writer is going to say but doesn’t? What ideas seem to hover around the edges? What do you end up wanting to hear more about? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tells the writer if the draft is “tugging” in a different direction from one the writer intends. In revising, correct the “tug” or go with it, refocusing the paper. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Center of gravity – What do you sense as the generative center or source of energy? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused Feedback – Ask readers to describe some of the features of your writing. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Things that work… <ul><li>Writing with my students… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helped me see just how difficult (or easy) the task was </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helped me see how time consuming my assignments were </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kept my expectations realistic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The students respected the assignments more because they saw me doing them. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Things that worked <ul><li>Being part of the response groups myself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students came to respect me more for my willingness to share the good things AND the bad things I wrote. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helped students understand that even good writers aren’t always brilliant. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helped build trust and strengthen the classroom environment </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Things that worked <ul><li>Celebration Days!!! </li></ul><ul><li>… food…yummm… </li></ul>
  18. 18. Selections from Sticky Notes… <ul><li>“ You remind me of myself…I know a lot more about you and I really respect the changes you’ve been through that mold who you are today  ” –Alex </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sometimes I know how you feel…Yeah Ms. Tallada. Thanks for sharing something so personal – very courageous!” –Shelby </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’m glad to know the real stuff about you. It’s refreshing to have a teacher who seems human instead of being ‘just a teacher.’” –Catherine </li></ul><ul><li>“ Thanks for being honest Mrs. T, it makes me feel comfortable sharing really personal parts of my life. Please share more often Mrs. T. I know you’re working on a project about how we learn and one of the best ways is by students understanding and appreciating their teacher. This really helps.” –Alyssa </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have to deal with this also…” –Nicholas </li></ul><ul><li>“ I feel good and weird at the same time giving you comments on your paper.” --Sunnie </li></ul>
  19. 19. Things that worked <ul><li>Variety – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing response groups on a regular basis kept it interesting and lively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students experienced different voices and came to respect those differences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowing them to choose sometimes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Varying the size </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Things that worked <ul><li>Guests – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Classroom guests ALWAYS make the day more interesting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students got to share their writing with someone not part of the class – scary, but also a reason to work hard and be proud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The guests respected the opinions of the students which in turn helped them value their own opinions more </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Things that worked <ul><li>Using technology to continue response groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlighting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Track Changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Written Comments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voice comments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Edit view tracks revision </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Things that worked <ul><li>Encouragement – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell them they have a voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell them their voices are as important as the teacher’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep telling them! </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Burnette Writing Process <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Individualizes assessment by allowing students and teachers to choose different focus skills for each student. </li></ul><ul><li>Response groups can aid students in selecting the skills that will challenge them appropriately. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Burnette Writing Process <ul><li>Look at only a few skills at a time; therefore, the response groups have a specific focus. They aren’t trying to look for EVERYTHING. </li></ul><ul><li>Contains a private message board which students can access from home to continue response groups via the Internet </li></ul>
  25. 25. Student Feedback (March 2-3, 2008) <ul><li>“ Friday was the first time i had done the whole response group thing, so i was slightly nervous just like katelyn.  I didnt know which group to go in or if my paper was even worthy of reading.  I knew it needed some work, so i was ready for feedback.  I just was really scared of what everyone was going to say.  So i started reading, thinking all the while that i was only going to get negative feedback, but when i finished i realized i was mistaken.   Alyssa started, first telling me that i had improved as a writer.  Whew! My stress level went down a huge bit right then.  When she started out with positive things, but then slowly led into helpful and constructive ideas, i was more open to them.  I realized that i got a little off topic when i used historical references, and my paper was shy of any voice.  Juliana gave me a great tip to break down my long-winded sentences and make them more assertive.  I thought everyone did such an amazing job listening and it made me feel great to know they wanted to help.  i enjoyed the response groups--theyre an awesome way to get feedback on improving our writing before its even turned in.  Cool :)” </li></ul><ul><li>--Alex </li></ul>
  26. 26. Student Feedback (March 2-3, 2008) <ul><li>“ My response group on Friday had some good suggestions, but I really feel like I need to have a response group go over a second draft before I even write a final . I think we do too little drafts, and then have one huge final paper. It is very hard for me to get some feedback, and then have to make this huge leap to a final paper. I wish we could do at least three response groups . I think it is beneficial, but sometimes we just don't have the right cocktail of listeners.  I'd rather focus all my time I would fantastic paper, than dish out three mediocre ones. I feel like the more people who read your paper, the more insight you'll get from varied perspectives.” </li></ul><ul><li>--Alyssa </li></ul>
  27. 27. Student Feedback (March 2-3, 2008) <ul><li>“ I'm starting to really enjoy our response groups and think that i get great feedback from everyone involved… we should do more drafts before final paper is due.  personally my first drafts are extremely rough and short and i dont get to the bulk of what i want to say until the second draft after our response groups and that ends up being the one i have to turn in for the grade and i'm never satisfied with how it turned out.  on the compare and contrast essay i added 4 pages to it between the response group and the final due date and had no peer editing done to any of that new material.” </li></ul><ul><li>--Nicholas </li></ul>
  28. 28. Student Feedback (March 2-3, 2008) <ul><li>“ I really like these response groups and agree that we should have more of them on the same piece instead of each being on a different one.  The one we had this friday was pretty cool.  I got to hear Mr. Wilthrout's writing, which was a huge contrast to Mr. Fry's.  Though Wilthrout told us that this was not his usual writing (he writes fiction, so this was tough on him), his linguistic skills were still extremely strong.  The comments on my piece were helpful, though I sort of knew what they were going to be when I was writing (I didn't really like the topic... just like Wilthrout, I'm more of a fiction man).  Nonetheless, it was still very helpful and I hope we continue doing these, as I'm sure our guests do as well*.  Plus, I love being on equal footing to teachers. *Yeah, Mr. Wilthrout actually asked Mrs. T when the next one was after class, so I'm sure they're enjoying this as much as we are.” </li></ul><ul><li>--Lucas </li></ul>
  29. 29. Student Feedback (March 2-3, 2008) <ul><li>“ i really liked our discussion group. Despite the fact that I didnt like my topic i think I got some really great responses (and hope i gave some as well). I totally agree with the majority, we totally should have more drafts before the final. Just like Nick, my rough drafts are exactly that, ROUGH, and I think that I need a chance to have a small discussion group and then reedit before i turn something in… I can't wait for the next one...” </li></ul><ul><li>--Jacob </li></ul>
  30. 30. Student Feedback (March 2-3, 2008) <ul><li>“ I find it very beneficial to have my drafts picked apart and steered in the right direction. Many times, I write the first thoughts on the subject down yet have no idea where to take it or how to develop it. I need the external eyes and ears to see/hear my paper with a fresh perspective and tell me where to go with it.” --Juliana </li></ul>
  31. 31. Guest Feedback (March 7, 2008) <ul><li>“ I've got to say that I didn't feel like I was with students but peers during both of my visits .  Powerful writing, moving.  Honestly, I've been horribly uninspired lately -- more months and months and months -- and if not for Mrs. Tallada's invitation I would not be moved to write anything.   After being with this class and hearing what they write and how they write it and how it seems it's more than just a grade for them, I feel inspired.   The well of my fiction inspiration is dry but at least I'm writing something now.   I'm glad they felt comfortable enough to show me my weaknesses in writing -- in non-fiction I frequently stoop to bullying repetition that borders on demagoguery (sp?) and I use too many facts outside of my own realm of experience, not valuing my own opinion nearly as much as my audience might, not seeing myself as an expert on anything but rather a bloviating windbag who tends to Faulknerize and overwhelm like a boxer undermatched by a lighter opponent -- because HONESTLY, these students are bright enough to teach ME.   Anything I could teach them would be incidental or accidental or by osmosis on their part.” </li></ul><ul><li>--Mark Frye, Media Specialist </li></ul>
  32. 32. Major discoveries <ul><li>Peer editing has left a bad </li></ul><ul><li>taste in students’ mouths; </li></ul><ul><li>it’s hard to break the stigma. As a result, students may initially balk at response groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Parents may indeed disagree </li></ul><ul><li>with response groups at first. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Major discoveries <ul><li>Students will actually start to enjoy writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually, the students can start to teach one another </li></ul><ul><li>Celebration days and group shares are VERY important </li></ul>
  34. 34. Major discoveries <ul><li>Bring in guests, possibly former students and people from other fields. </li></ul><ul><li>Even though the students developed as writers, they developed even more as individuals. The class may just become like a family. </li></ul>