Sunday, January 20, 2013

Writing a Recount-Assessing Student Writing (Freebie)

My students and I have been working on writing recounts for awhile now. We first looked at examples of the text form, I modelled it in class, we practiced completing our planning organizers and have finally gotten to the final step of writing independent recounts! Whew. 

As I was marking my student's work in preparation for our first reports (yikes!) I thought that some of you might be interested in how I assess student writing. I am always looking for new ways to assess student work in order to provide feedback that will help my students improve their work. 

The first step in writing our recounts was to complete the graphic organizer that helps us to plan our ideas.

Click on the image above to download your FREEBIE recount plan. I always resize the page onto ledger (14" x 17") when I copy it for my students so they have enough room to write.

This is an example of a complete recount plan. Once the students have complete the plan to their satisfaction then we have a conference to discuss their plan and to ensure they understand the next steps.

During this unit we started working on looking for places to add extra details into our writing as we moved from a plan to written sentences/paragraphs. To help guide my students in this area I highlighted a few places on their plan where I wanted them to add more details. You can see the highlighted areas in the picture above. 

I know it's difficult to read...but keep going! 

I have a closeup further down in the post. 

Here is an example of my student's complete good copy. Once they had written their ideas out in sentences/paragraphs I gave them a highlighter and asked them to go back and highlight the areas where they added the extra details I asked for. 

This way they are able to see where they improved their work, I can see that they understand this skill and I can easily match up their plan and writing when assessing their work. 

The close-up! 
I asked this student to elaborate on their idea of opening presents and playing with them (obviously a recount about the recent winter break!). 

Here is the highlighted good copy. You can see where the student has added details about her own present, her brother and sister's presents and the time frame in which they played with them.
So impressed!

Now, how do I assess?

Last year I started assessing the majority of my student's work using the four achievement categories outlined in the Ontario Curriculum- Knowledge and Understanding (K), Communication (C), Application (A) and Thinking (T). 

I have found that this really enables me to know a lot of information about my student's abilities and provide a wide range of feedback. 

As I mark I keep quick anecdotal records of the areas of strengths and next steps for improvement. This way I have a record of my own feedback and am able to provide individual comments on my upcoming reports. 

As you can see above, I've left some feedback on my student's writing about what I would like them to work on next time. I also record this in my anecdotal records book. Not a great picture but you get the idea.

When I hand this work back to my students I am going to ask them to read carefully through my feedback and to make some goals for Term 2. In order to do this I am going to use the Glow and Grow strategy I learned about last year.

I first posted about it here.

Then the amazing Jen over at Runde's Room took the idea and just ran with it! I love what she came up with

Now that I am teaching Grade 3 (primary students in Ontario) I am going to adapt the strategy a little bit more. 

Here's what I plan to use with my students to have them reflect on their own work of writing a recount. 
And here is a blank one so that you can customize it for your own class/assignment! Click on either image to pick up this FREEBIE.

Well, I'm off to read and relax a little bit. Today was a long day spent marking, preparing for reports and dealing with a two-year old who I think is teething and refuses to nap! I am exhausted and I hear my book calling my name. 

Happy Monday tomorrow. 

P.S.- Like/Love my new Pinterst hover button? Me too! Go here to learn how to get your own. 

4 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Dark A. Delaqroux said...

I downloaded the recount plan handout and it worked very well in my class. I did, however, changed the lesson plan a little bit. I got my students to jot down their ideas for a story in a 'scribbles diagram' (basically an empty sheet of paper where they can just draw, doodle, make mind-maps, or simply just list down words in whatever native language they are comfortable with) first before getting those scribbled down ideas more organized into the recount plan sheet (along with the pictures). Just to share the idea.

In all, thanks for the great lesson idea :)

Beth said...

That's great! I'm glad your found the freebie helpful.

Unknown said...

Amazing! My Grade 3's have been having trouble with the next step beyond the planning stage for a recount so this is very helpful!

trr3 said...

Hi Beth,
As a grade 5 teacher, I'd really like to use the levels of achievement and your glow/grow handout with my own students - they'd get a lot out of the feedback portion of the assessment. However, did you ever have the rubric for the recount made available on your site? Many thanks, in advance!

Post a Comment

Thank you taking the time to leave a comment.
I truly appreciate it.

Pin It button on image hover