Tuesday, January 27th

Today is all about perseverance!!

I read and reread your work over the weekend.  And I came to three conclusions about the areas we need the most work right now:

  1. Volume: There seems to be a lack of urgency around this.  You need full drafts.  You needed full drafts last week.  Your papers are due the day after tomorrow.  You need drafts.  We will spend the first 40 minutes of class today drafting.  You are not to research, you are not to revise.  You are to draft.  You must have a full draft (even a somewhat lacking draft) by the end of those 40 minutes.
  2. Transitions: Transitions are key to a nuanced and sophisticated position paper.  Transitions have always been an essential part of our writing–but often they were for flow and ease of reading.  They made the writing sound better in the reader’s mind.  Now, with deeper analysis and more complex and nuanced issues being discussed, transitions are critical to your readers very understanding of the topic. 
  3. Citing Evidence: Many of you seem to be leaving this to the end.  There were some drafts that said “(insert  evidence here)” or “(find evidence to put here)”.  This confuses me.  You can’t have analysis if you don’t have evidence.  And you can’t have a position paper without analysis.  And you can’t have evidence without citations. Your pieces of evidence are the building blocks of your essay.  They are your scaffolding–your interpretations, analysis and ideas about those pieces of evidence are what finish it off and make it whole.  But you can’t build a building without structure and scaffolding.  They hold everything together.

Transitions, Lead-Ins, Quotes

So today you are going to draft for 40 minutes.  And then immediately, you will move into working on transitions and citing evidence.  I will do a very short mini-lesson on transitions and evidence during our transition from drafting to revising.

One thing to keep in mind as you work today and move forward into POP is that if you aren’t able to meet the expectations of the day (such as last Thursday when the expectation was that you would have a draft done), you either need my help, need more time, or need both my help and more time.  It is your responsibility to seek this out.  Stop waiting for me to tell you that you are behind.  If you haven’t met the day’s goal, take responsibility and figure out how you can meet that expectation.  Advocate for yourself as a learner!

If you complete a draft and get some revision done today during class, I will look over your work tonight.  If you don’t complete a draft, you need to figure out a way to do so.  (Hint: you can work at lunch, and there are opportunities to work after school)

Exit slip: How perseverant were you today?  Think about the indicators we discussed for perseverance–which did you meet?  Which do you still need to work on?

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