Today I am grateful for my sore wrist. Well, no, not for my sore wrist, but for the reason it is bothering me a bit more than usual tonight.
I tried something new in class today – Editing Musical Chairs. Each student had to:
1.) find a partner
2.) describe his/her essay topic to that partner, and listen to the other person’s topic
3.) write down a possible thesis statement based on what you were told
4.) write down at least 2 questions/concerns that come to mind that the writer will have to address in the essay. Each student has to take a stand on an issue as part of their topic choice, so there is always a counter argument to consider.
After everybody wrote those things down for their partner, we switched and found new partners to go through the process again.
The activity went very well, with lots of good conversation about each student’s topic.
After two rounds, I asked the writers to look at the concerns their partners raised and write down which of their sources might address that concern, and how. If they had no source to address the issue, did they think it was important to find one? If so, where would they look? If not, why not?
This process brought us to the end of class pretty quickly.
I am so thankful that the idea worked.
Now, about my wrist. I just spent the last two hours reading over this work and writing my own comments and questions for each student. And that was just for one out of the two writing sections I teach. There were so many great ideas exchanged that I had lots to comment on. I wrote a page of notes for every student.
My wrist hurts.
I am grateful that this risk I took in trying out an activity I’ve never tried before worked and produced such thoughtful reflection on their topics. I am thankful for these bright and skillful students I get to work with each week.