How did students respond?
Bradley Bleck’s Student Responses
Based on the numbers, students responded well. It may be that they had no real sense of how to annotate before the intervention, but once they had some practice, annotations evolved from simple phrases to something approaching full sentences. Students moved from generally brief sentence fragments to something approximating full sentences in their annotations, indicating greater engagement with and understanding of the text.
Katie O’Connor’s Student Responses
- After seeing the impact the “checklist” had on their writing, students responded very positively to the experience as they saw how their writing improvements made them sound much more collegiate. One student even told me, “O’Connor, this is gold. I’m taking this with me next year.” They know (and willingly) accept this is now a required step in the writing process for second semester.
- Students enjoyed the humor and visuals in the videos to help with their comprehension of “entering the conversation”, and were very willing to use the template as it was “kid-user friendly”. In their semester reflections, many of them referred to the template as being their biggest “ah ha moment of the year” because they finally felt like they were given permission to be a “grown up in the conversation”. One of my hardest working students who definitely struggles with writing, told me this was her “English Bible” for writing now.
- Students were very intimidated by the “college level” paper when we reviewed them as they felt like they were not ready for college at all. One student told me, “Ms. O’Connor, you make me feel like I’m going to be a failure when I get to college. I’m not ready to write like that.” I told her it was October, and we had plenty of time to get her ready, and most importantly, I was going to be there to help and guide her rather than her figure this out on her own next year. She has made huge strides and is approaching “college ready” already with four months of school left. Many students felt similar to her, but they’re seeing themselves get closer and after their next paper we’ll compare these papers to the those three to see if they’ve moved themselves up to the next level without any interventions. That would be a huge win. More to come on this! 🙂
- Students were quite reluctant to participate in assessing their “habits of mind” in the beginning, but after numerous reflection opportunities, they’re starting to see that their success is directly impacted on their attitude toward the work. I’m not sure how effective it has been for most students, but some are realizing the significance of persisting and being open to new learning as they seem to respond to those two habits most frequently.
- Students informed me they never really knew what to annotate before learning they were supposed to have the purpose guide their annotations. Their responses to reading have definitely become more intentional and focused on their end goal.
- “Ms. O’Connor, what is a rhetorical device?”. That question was such an eye opener to me. My students are constantly reminding me they have six classes to keep track of so if they haven’t practiced with the information (rhetorical devices) seven times or so in a school year, they just don’t retain the information. A great reminder for repetition.
- Students at my school will always ask, “where’s our rubric”with the initial assessment as they’ve been so well trained to look at how they’ll be assessed before they begin. We used the “argumentative writing” for pretty much every writing assignment this year as it’s encompasses all writing requirements for essays.
- MLA Sample Paper at OWL was such an eye opener for my students to understand their teachers weren’t just making up the importance. Multiple students responded, “why didn’t anyone teach us how to use this site before rather than just directed us to use it?”. It was a valid question that I shared with my department as students also teach us what we don’t know! 🙂
Lesley Hilts’ Student Responses
- Some students responded really well to the intervention and quickly became adept at effectively annotating a text. Others struggled with understanding the importance of annotation and why it helped increase their understanding of the text.
- Those that struggled with annotating the text, however, responded well to mining for quotes and explaining why they picked the quote (Cornell Notes).
- Students continue to struggle with finding the author’s claim. While they did reasonably well with claims positioned in the first part of the text, identifying implied claims and claims positioned towards the end of the text were often problematic