Friday’s are fun. Of course, I’m slightly alluding to a TGIF kind of feeling, but I also teach the same writing lesson 3 times in a row to all my classes on Friday. During the rest of the week, these classes usually alternate days, and last 100 minutes. On Friday, however, it’s 50 minutes…bam, bam, bam. What’s fun — definitely in a geeky kind of way — is that it gives me time to do speedy reflections-on-action from which I develop quick action plans to use in the class that directly follows.
During last Friday’s lesson, the plan was for the participants to start brainstorming ideas for their paragraph assignment due in a few weeks. I took a bit of this class time to briefly bring their attention to the 5-step-writing-process. During this lesson, they personally dealt with step 1: prewriting.
We brainstormed a few prewriting techniques (mind mapping, brainstorm discussion, freewriting…), and then they were off. The deal was to discuss their topic with a partner, and then freewrite for the remainder of the class. Easy enough, right? Well, I noticed a few glitches that I needed to clean up.
Below are the reflections I wrote between classes during my 10 minute breaks:
1st class: 9am-9:50 – Confused faces. Some slow to write. Forgot to CCQ the brainstorming process. What exactly should they talk about? Talk about the writing process, all the topics…? Why are they doing this? What does brainstorming look like? Try to elicit from the next class: Listen and and ask questions. Help the other generate ideas.
2nd class: 10am-10:50 – Talked about what brainstorming looks like. They answered as I had hoped. Gave a 5 minute limit per teacher for brainstorming. Added more time if needed. Gave them examples of what they might write about for each topic. I don’t think I did that with the 1st class.
3rd class: This lesson was much smoother, and they went into the prewriting techniques more easily. I did everything I did in the 2nd class. A lot more writing seemed to happen in this class.
And there you have it! Reflection doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. It can happen during class, between classes or after classes. All I know is if I hadn’t taken the time to reflect on the 1st class, the 3rd class would have suffered. Reflection saves the day again.
- Prewriting (howtolivethefreelancelife.wordpress.com)
- Quick. Quick. Tell Me What You Think of Brainstorming. Want another way to get high-quality ideas? (astdgoldengate.wordpress.com)
- “Brainstorming doesn’t work”? (matthewbenson.wordpress.com)