Comments for middle school essays
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Usually grading week is one of the most stressful times of the year. Focus group discussions we are currently undertaking with students, parents and teachers suggest that teacher comments are considered an important feature of student reports. The knot in your stomach that seems to be getting tighter and tighter, as you wipe the sweat from your forehead, waiting on the moment of truth.
It is okay, though, to transition the other way and say, for example, "While there are several serious mechanical errors in this paper, the ideas expressed are quite good.
Indeed, in many cases they appear to be taken directly from curriculum content descriptors.
However, without a thorough knowledge of the curriculum, it would be difficult for a parent to discern from comments like these what progress their child has or has not made, or where it places them in relation to level expectations.
For example, do not assume or suggest that if a paper is not well written, the writer did not devote a lot of time to the assignment. Who were they written for and what did you hope to achieve?
Essay comments examples
What questions do you have? This survey aims to ensure that teacher-voice is strongly represented in this research. Why is this information important? Better structure and more than one draft would surely help to make your writing as good as your underlying ideas. A simple query that implies an "Are you sure about this? The central idea could have been kept a little more directly in focus. For example, if a sentence jumps abruptly to a new topic, do not rewrite the sentence to provide a clear transition or tell the student how to rewrite it. Students have become more reflective and sympathetic of how long it takes me to grade—haha! Can't find what you are looking for? Not only did you fulfill the assignment, you also wrote a long-ish intro and answered questions that went beyond the prompt. Grade: A- Example 2: This is generally a good paper with a clear central idea. If, for example, you write, "I cannot understand where you are going here," or "I cannot find the direction of the paper," or "My difficulty here is the lack of a clear central point," the student should understand that his or her job has not been done, and yet should not feel under attack.
Do not tell students how YOU would write the paper. Notice that authors like Taylor, Sandler, and Rolston start right off with a substantive description or statement concerning what they will argue.
Essay feedback template
You can usually claim to have found something "interesting" or perhaps "provocative" that the student has said. Another common and related approach was to give a paragraph by paragraph regurgitation of the text. The student must make substantial revisions, not just grammatical edits. In English I ask my students to write a lot. We have all been there, and as dramatic as it sounds, we have felt that way every time report cards came around. A simple query that implies an "Are you sure about this? Which comments are most effective? Straub, Richard. It's important that personal comments are not belittling the student, but instead addressing any concerns along with encouragement. I then share the rubric with the grade and the rest of my general comments. The President and Fellows of Harvard College.
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