Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Topic: Teacher Comments on Compositions

10-second review: Students collect teacher’s end comments on a sheet of paper attached to the compositions throughout the semester or year.

Title: “Advantages of the Cumulative Comment Sheet in Composition Classes.” PJ McAlexander. College Composition and Communication (December 1988), 463-464. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “The teacher begins by attaching a blank sheet—preferably a bright color for higher visibility—to the first piece of writing the student hands in. After reading and annotating the assignment, the teacher writes the end comment on this sheet and labels it with the assignment number (‘Essay 1’ or ‘Draft 1,’ etc. and the title, subject or thesis. The most useful comments for these sheets include a summary of each essay’s major strengths and weaknesses in grammar, mechanics and content, and personal responses to content…. I encourage students to write responses to my comments if they wish to.” p. 463.

Comment: Through these cumulative teacher comments, students can perceive progress and note recurring problems, inconsistency and strengths. Another idea I wish I had tried when I was teaching writing. RayS.

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