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Tasks & Students' Writing Investigation #4

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Natalie Palma

on 30 July 2014

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Transcript of Tasks & Students' Writing Investigation #4

Poetry Tasks 1 + 2
in response to the assignment
Poetry Tasks
Learning how to assess entails more than applying stock phrases like unity, details, development, or organization to a chart or scoring guideline.
Student Understanding of Assignments
Cognitive Expectations and Challenges
Cognitive Work
Task 1: Response to Listening Poetry Writing
Task 2: Poems for Two Voices
Organization is a
Did not use figurative language or poetic devices to a high degree

Demonstrated understanding and appropriate application of point of view
Developed topic and presentation based on expectations
The element of presentation had a
impact on writing
Considered audience and purpose
Natalie Palma + Amy Smith
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Our Writing Samples
A Closer Look at the Assignments
in the kinds of writing asked of students
Observable Patterns
Task 1 of 2 Grade 6 Poetry
Task 2 of 2 Grade 6 Poetry

: Stimulus of assignment is teacher-initiated; Task 1 lacks specifics in directions but gives detailed criteria list and there is varied student response; Task 2 provides specific instruction and model and students produce more focused pieces

: The more focused model produces the more focused writing response; explicit rubrics or criteria does not promise exemplary writing

: Focus, use of poetic devices, voice, mechanics, word choice, independent writing based on criteria/rubric as guide

: Assessed based on the following criteria: organization, poetic devices, voice/mood, mechanics, and figurative language; rubrics present criteria on point scale for grading; oral presentation is included

Tasks & Students' Writing
Investigation #4
Ability to produce a clear, focused topic
Application of writing skills based on auditory and visual models of poetry
Ability to convey mood/voice in a piece
Conventions of standard English
Independent composition based on criteria
Oral presentation of written work
Understanding and accurate use
of poetic devices
Knowledge and incorporation of
figurative language
Use of poetry to entertain, inform, explain
and it's instruction
Representation of Writing
Connections to Text
Overall Conclusions
Our exploration focuses on two selections of writing assignments, student work, and their corresponding criteria and rubrics:

Our samples focus on poetry writing tasks which exemplify both reflexive and extensive modes.

Task 1 concerns the writer's feelings and personal experience.
Task 2 focuses on information that is to be conveyed to a reader.
Task 1:
Response to Listening: Poetry Writing Assignment

- Students are asked to write a poem after listening to readings
- Criteria list is given as a focus for writing

Task 2
: Response to Specific Model:
Poem for Two Voices Assignment

- Students are asked to write a
poem for two voices after listening
to and reading Paul Fleishman's book, "Poems for 2 Voices."
- Students were graded on their
oral presentation and poetry writing.

Large amount of requirements, especially for poetic devices
This rubric highlights 5 main criteria for both poetry assignments
Student Work for Poetry Task 1
Student Work for Poetry Task 2
Huot, p. 78
Both tasks require students to incorporate the 5 criteria (
organization, poetic devices, voice/mood, mechanics, and figurative language
) into their pieces.
Students must respond to listening
Models are used incidentally
Student work demonstrates that criteria does not always carry over into application
Difficulty meeting requirements of poetic devices and figurative language due to personal nature
Specific expectations without clear directions
Explicit model helped guide students
Model of poetry was used centrally
Demonstrated application of knowledge of poetry according to rubric
Potential challenge with oral presentation requirements
Challenge of writing from two different points of view
Difficulty meeting requirements of poetic devices and figurative language
task 1
task 2
High expectations are placed on the oral presentation aspect of this writing assessment
as to what's important for students to know
and be able to do
The rubric makes numerous assumptions about student ability and understanding of poetry writing!
1. Models can not be the sole form of instruction. There needs to be a balance of instruction incorporating multiple modes of instruction that allows for student generated choice and autonomy over writing.
"Studying a complex literary model is not the same as learning a schema." (Hillocks, 227)

2. If teachers are going to assess students using rubrics and criteria, they must provide students with many opportunities to develop these skills for application in their own writing, as well as how to assess the works of others using the criteria.

"Being able to assess writing is an important part of being able to write well." (Huot, 62)

3. Students should have opportunities to write in various modes and contexts without the anticipation of a grade so that the value in writing itself is not lost.
"Students are often focused on what will get them a desired grade..[which]creates a role for the student in which assessing the value of writing is secondary or moot and the attainment of a specific grade is everything." (Huot, 66)
Task 1: Response to Listening Poetry Writing
Both tasks do not imply if students engage in writing process; students are informed about assessment via rubric, both rubrics address conventions and mechanics.
Students must write a poem based on provided criteria
Task allows students to engage in personal, reflexive writing
Audience is primarily self and teacher

Task 2: Poems for Two Voices
Based on a published model
Structured task with specific instructions, more extensive in nature
Oral presentation is a major part of final grade
"a developing writer learns from seeing what others have done and from imitating those forms and techniques." (Hillocks, 153)

"The active application of criteria and subsequent suggestions for improvement in their and others writing enabled students to internalize criteria which then served as guides for their own independent writing." (Hillocks, 158)

Audience and Purpose
"It is no accident that children enjoy reading their selection aloud, that professional writers have public reading of their work, or that writing compels us to speak to others, or to voice to ourselves." (Graves, 162)

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