YWP Tips Letter 3.4.12 -- Commenting Lesson Plan
Notes from the Underground
This is part of an ongoing series of Tips Letters -- at minimum once a week -- for users of the YWP Schools Project digital classrooms. Hopefully you will find the information helpful and easy to process. We are always looking for new lesson ideas and useful tips to pass along to the many users across the state -- please contact your school coach with your thoughts.
Q u i c k T i p s
Students having problems logging on to your school’s YWP site? First check that they are on the right site. Sounds basic, but there are several YWP sites out there (roughly 40 different school sites, a teacher’s site, archived sites and the ‘Big YWP’). If all else fails, you can reset their password to "ywp2011" (Click on the student’s name, click the edit tab, enter new password, enter it again, save).
Q u i c k L i n k
Here's a great site that could be a place to begin many kinds of lessons...
This is a great resource with many lesson plans and ideas regarding how we use digital space.
H o w D o I ??
Submit to The Newspaper Series
Young Writers Project partners with nine Vermont and New Hampshire newspapers to publish best student work once weekly throughout the school year, with weeks off corresponding to the schools' vacations. All the work printed in the newspaper, plus selections by our judges that could not fit onto the newspaper pages, is also published on this Web site.
To submit work for potential publication in 2011-2012 in one, some or all of the nine daily newspapers partnering with YWP (Burlington Free Press, Times Argus, Rutland Herald, The Valley News, Brattleboro Reformer, St. Albans Messenger, Addison Independent, Essex Reporter, Colchester Sun, Rural Route Today), you may send us general work done in school or at home, or you can send in responses to our weekly writing prompts.
The work can be fiction, non-fiction, essays, poetry -- any genre whatsoever. There is no limit on length, but we may have to excerpt longer pieces in the papers. (We'll publish full stories on the Web.) You must be from Vermont or greater Lebanon, N.H., to be eligible for publication in the newspapers.
Here are the basic steps to submit:
Create an account on this site and login.
Note: If you are under 13, you need to get a permission form and get a parent to sign it and send it back to us.)
Step 2. Click “Create a Newspaper Entry” in the navigation box under your name on the left side of the screen.
Step 3. Fill out all the boxes, including selecting the appropriate prompt keyword.
Step 4. Paste your entry into the "Body" box.
Step 5. Click "Preview" to check your work,
Step 6. Click "Save."
Teachers: Please submit separate entries for each student. We realize this may mean a little extra work. If this is a big problem, you can paste all entries into the body IF you have identified AND they are all on the same prompt. You can also submit by e-mail: Click here for contact information.
Note: If you do not have access to a computer, you may send neatly written or typed entries to:
Young Writers Project Entry
Please include your address and telephone number so we can confirm or contact you should your entry be chosen for publication.
Work must be accurate and the student’s own, unless noted -- in other words, copied or plagiarized work. All work must be civil and respectful; do not refer to someone specific (by name or in a way they could be identified) in a manner that would be detrimental, slanderous or libelous towards them. For more guidelines, click here.
E x e r c i s e I d e a s
(cut and paste onto your site)
This courtesy of Darcie Abbene, YWP Teacher Coach.
Goal: To teach more effective commenting, deeper analysis.
Materials: Handout with assignment and short example corresponding of student work. It is more meaningful if the assignment is one the students are currently working on.
Time: 50 minutes +/-
1. Pass out a handout with a mock assignment and a mock piece of student writing on it. This is best done with an actual assignment you use (are using) in class. You can either make up a student example or use one from you class (anonymously, or taken from another section). Try to choose a student example that is middle of the road- solid but with room for revising.
2. Ask the students to underline what the purpose of the assignment is.
3. Have really mundane comments crumpled up in a hat and circulate the room having each student choose one out of the hat.
a. This is good.
b. You need to check your spelling.
c. Oh, that’s not what I was thinking.
d. Long story.
e. Better than mine.
f. I don’t quite understand.
g. I think you should have done more detail.
h. You could make it longer.
i. I agree.
j. It was very awkward.
k. I can’t wait until you finish the story!
l. I really liked your title.
m. Your story was good but you should make it a little more interesting.
n. Maybe you could add some more stuff to your intro of the story.
o. This is AMAZING!
4. Tell the students, pretending the writing sample is theirs; to revise it according to these 'helpful' comments… it won’t take them long to realize that they don’t have much to go on. As soon as they realize they can’t really revise based on the comment, talk about the comments. What were they? Why weren’t they helpful? Ask them what would be more helpful in a comment/ what kinds of comments do you want to get on your work? (Comment is specific to the assignment, Comments addresses organization, content, sentence structure, gets you thinking deeper). Make a list on the board.
5. Now have them go back and write a comment that might be more helpful. Have them write this on a small piece of paper, crumple it up and put it back in the hat. Circulate the hat again.
6. This time, choose a comment and actually revise/add to the example.
7. Have the students post their revised work on YWP and to include the comment at the top of their blog entry or maybe as their title.