After looking at the Gilgamesh Projects, it became evident that the sophomores would need some intensive help with their writing skills. The Utah Basic Skills Competency Tests (UBSCT) are coming the first week of February and I want the students to be prepared. These are the tests they must pass in order to graduate from high school. The reading test will require some detailed reading that goes beyond the text. The writing test is a little more complicated – students will need to write a persuasive essay from a prompt that will have something to do with school. In addition, they will be reading passages and analyzing the usage and spelling errors in those passages.
So, this is what we are doing about it in class: Portfolio assessments are due tomorrow, November 19th. A rewrite of a previous writing assignment is also due. Students should have chosen one timed write and selected three revision options to improve the piece. The assignment should be typed, double-spaced, in standard (boring) font. We will be working on analyzing and improving student writing in class.
After the Thanksgiving break, count on some groaning because we will be doing a research project. The writing project is part of the inquiry requirement of the Utah State Core. Students will choose a social problem (world hunger, global warming or any other of a myriad of problems) to research. I’ll let you know when we have had a chance to talk about it as a class.