This week my students celebrated their first essays and then we spent time reflecting (thank you Stacey!) the work that was published. Next, my students completed a writing quadrant adapted from Ralph Fletcher's book The Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide. It was fantastic. Students were able to then come up with a class goal and then derived their personal goal from the class goal. This was teacher facilitated, but their ideas.
Plan: By March 2009 we hope to master pushing our thinking forward, write using great detail in our mini-stories, using transitions, write interesting introductions, and good conclusions in our essays.
Study: Read rich literature, write many different essays, revise, get feedback from writing partner and teacher
Do: Reread/revise essays, study other peer's essays, work daily with writing partner, confer effectively with our teacher
Act: (we will reexamine where we are on March 1, 2009) Did I accomplish my goal? If yes, rewrite a goal for the rest of the year. If no, what occurred that kept you from accomplishing your goal? Rewrite Study and Do and attempt again. :-)
This form really keeps the students focused on the goal at hand. Writing the PDSA was easy because of the quadrant. If you would like a copy of the PDSA or Writing Quadrant, please leave a comment with your email address and I will send it to you.
After the class writes the class goal, each student picks one of the areas from the class goal to own and to focus on. I have seen tremendous improvement with their udnerstanding of where they need to improve since trying the PDSA two years ago.