Wednesday, 14 May 2014

SOLO Continued... Year 11's and V for Vendetta Essay Writing

SOLO means Student Observed Learning Outcomes.

What I've noticed in the last two lessons is that the students are slowly seeing the progression - and I'm teaching to it.

Yesterday I recapped the symbols and terms and we discussed and decided how we can link the taxonomy with what we have to do with writing essay paragraphs.

Prestructural: Choosing a question
Unistructural: Identifying the keywords from the question
MultiStructural: Listing three main points that will answer the question and its' keywords
Relational: Explain how the director impacted your thinking with regards to the keywords. Show by using specific examples that answer the questions and link to keywords.
Extended Abstract: Explain the directors intent, Explain your linking with society to what they question is asking of you, Explain how the specific analysed aspect of the question is related to the rest of your paragraph. Explain as a result - what you've learnt from the director.

We focussed on the SEXIST paragraph structure which was chosen to use by the students over the SEXY structure I normally use - because the SEXIST structure encapsulates the extended abstract level in a more attainable way - rather than my vague Your Response statements of SEXY - where I just expect them to be able to do the IST part.

Statement - a clear sentence that uses the keywords from the question and outlines your main point which you will be discussing
Example - specific examples from the film to help prove your point
Xplanation - explain your point in detail - making links with the keywords where you can and showing the importance of this example to prove your point
Intent - what the director intended - why did he use this specific example - what was he trying to teach us?
Societal - how can this be linked with the outside world? What is the real world connection here? What can you learn from real world examples and how has it changed/influenced/impacted you?
Theme - How can you link the theme/message of this event or aspect of the theme back to your main point? What is the relevance here? What have you learnt overall?

Thanks to Hillcrest High for the inspiration and sharing of your SEXIST structure for paragraph writing.. although this isn't poetry - it still works brilliantly well.

Yesterdays example of students who were using the taxonomy to develop their ideas -

Today the students drew the symbols and gave brief definitions on the board.

Then we talked about what they needed to do again today to practise their paragraph writing again. We focussed again on the theme question to show how they've been influenced. 

For those that knew what they were doing - they carried on - and the rest copied down my 3rd paragraph - mainly because I'm going to get them to do the 2nd on their own tomorrow - with my help of course. 

 Once that was done I checked on everyone - and saw that most had got the hang of solo and the structure for pgh writing. I sat with one group who asked if next time I can sit with them - this is the group of highly talkative boys who usually hold up the rest of the class as well as myself - and talked them through the structure again and had three out of the six engaged in our conversation.

This is the result -

 We had devised an easier scaffold - although this is my writing - this is entirely the verbal work of these three boys. So impressed. And each time I walk away from these kids they say - oh but miss that's easy.

SOLO works. Yuss!! :)

Why does it work though? This simple structure...

Here's my thinking:

  1. It scaffolds the learning
  2. Students can see the next level visibly
  3. Students are able to think about what they need to do next to achieve the next level
  4. Students have a clear guideline as how to get to that excellence level. 
Before SOLO... interesting... it's a bit climactic really... Before SOLO... kind of expect ethereal music in the background there...

But before SOLO... I had high expectations sure.. and I did try to explain how to get to the next level. But it was so much work from my part - where I'd mark to see where they were and trying to see if they'd hit that level or not. 

Whereas with using SOLO and the SEXIST paragraph structure in conjunction - there is a clear guideline and transition to get to extended abstract. 

I'm hoping that as time goes on I'll gain more confidence with using it in lots of different ways. I hope my students continue using it. I figure if I keep using it maybe three more times in consecutive lessons it will stick. 

We talked the other night on #edchatnz about one of the ways we had to combat losing the drive to #hackyrclass... and this is what I originally said... 

So true too!

Just need to get posters printed and laminated and then we should be all good to go :)

Also - check out this! :)

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