Monday, November 16, 2009

Same, Same, SAT

I have mixed feelings about Friday's class, mostly because it's a lesson on SAT essay writing that I really haven't changed much over the years. The 55 minutes are pretty simple. The students arrived with outlines prepared for each of the prompts. I gave them the option to write about one of the prompts for which they had prepared or write about a prompt they hadn't seen; they could decide how much challenge they wanted. The next 25 minutes is writing. As a guideline, I post this time management strategy on the board:

5 minutes - Analyze question, identify themes/ ethical dilemma, brainstorm applicable examples.

10 minutes - Prewrite: web/outline.

10 minutes - Write.

By the way, everybody who writes for 25 minutes gets full points.

After time expires, I arranged the students back into the same groups. They went to the collegeboard website and read two scored and annotated example essay and identified characteristics of more successful essays, at the same time, discussing what they had just written.

Homework was to revise their essay accordingly.

I'm clear with the students about my goals for them: be able to move through the writing process strategically; be able to see what's happening in the essays, successful and unsuccessful.

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