My Grade 7s are learning how to turn their research notes on a natural disaster into a formal Geography Report, and with 29 students this year, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to check in frequently with each of them to ensure they were on the right track.
Then I saw a formative someone shared (but I can’t remember if it was here or a screenie on Twitter ) for building an essay sentence by sentence and I realised that was the answer. I created a 10 question formative that my class can copy+paste into from their actual reports as they are working, asking for their title, an example of a caption, the topic and concluding sentences of each of their impact sections, what is included in their conclusion, and the words they are using to describe the size of the social, economic and environmental impacts. It’s set to enable edits after submission, and I will give them time each lesson to update it.
After just one lesson I’ve been able to pick up on a student who didn’t listen to the mini-workshop on appropriate formal academic words to use instead of ‘big’ or ‘small’ (outrageous and horrific may be accurate, but are too emotive), and another student who is struggling to construct a coherent and functional topic sentence. If I was trying to physically check in with every student those 2 students may have slipped through and exacerbated those errors before I got to them.