November 10, 2014

We have questions!

The boys and girls received their Reading Response Letters (RRL) back today. I've written them a letter back and provided them with some feedback. 

The expectation is that they'll apply the feedback in my letter to their next assignment. We're going to go ahead and write another RRL in response to the novel Swindle by Gordon Korman.  

We're reading this novel at Evening Meeting and it's a real gem!  There was a (dreadful) movie made of the novel last summer and many of the students are under the impression they already know what will happen.  The novel and movie are quite different, so I'm looking forward to seeing what students think when we finish reading.  

Since we're working on this new letter while we're reading the novel, it's a little different than a letter written after the novel is finished and that's a-okay.  

Today the boys and girls were asked to write three or four questions they have at this stage of the game (Chapter 4).  I'll read a little more tomorrow, say, up to Chapter 7, and then students will begin writing their letter. This will also be a great opportunity for students to reconsider any questions from today and add any additional ones they have after reading/listening to the story a little more. 

I'm changing something this time 'round though. Instead of simply giving their opinion of the book as part of their letter, I'm broadening this section and asking students to share their thoughts. This means they can write:
  • their very detailed opinion
  • their thoughts of why the writer wrote the book
  • how they relate to the text 
  • how they would feel if they were the main character, Griffin 
  • what they predict might happen next and why
The goal here is for students to provide detail, detail, detail! 

By having the kids widen the scope here, I think I'm presenting my students with a more authentic writing experience. I was really pleased with the first RRL and I think this sets my group of sophisticated writers up with a great opportunity to express themselves. You can see the higher expectations reflected in the student checklist pictured below. 


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