A Place to Share for Writers and Teachers
Our students are used to writing a 2 page composition with lots of details and voice. How can we teach them to write a concise and effective composition using only ONE page. Please Help!!
For the personal narrative, flash fiction is one possible approach. Have kids read a variety of flash fiction stories and ask them to discuss any techniques an author uses to flesh out a story in one page. Then make a running list of these techniques before asking kids to write their own flash fiction.
I used Gretchen's Reviving the Essay and Barry's books on writing to teach my kids how to tell good story in a free verse poem. I'll post some samples later.
We're going back to the TAAS way of writing, esp. with the persuasive form. This is too funny. Thank God I get to close that classroom door.
Great question Deb. They are looking for more failure, i believe. The Taks test encouraged thoughtful creative writing and freedom from rigid forms. This test seems to be looking for a minimal understanding of types of writing. Elaboration is replaced with conciseness. I still believe the best voices will get the higher score but nothing is certain and this move to less space does not have students in it's best interest.
The test makers are responding to pressure that there is too much success on the TAKS test. They never rejoice at high scores because tests are not considered credible without s bell curve. They are looking for more failure. I think the Taks test improved writing in Texas and teachers are rewarded with a newer, less interesting measure of what makes good writing.
Thank God I get to close that classroom door.
Exactly my sentiment, Manuel! And flash fiction is a great idea.
We could also ask students to read a score-point-four paper from TAKS and edit it down for size. It would at least give us a visual of what a great piece might look like in a smaller shape, and it would be fun to listen in to conversations as kids decide what to cut. In fact, I'd kind of like to try it out with with some of y'all.