Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Low stakes writing

Develop two ways to incorporate low stakes writing in your classroom. Be specific with how you would integrate writing with the concepts you want your students to master. Use the examples from your reading as a basis.

Low stakes writing is the type of writing that carries little or no weight on the student’s grade. Its goal is to put some ideas on paper regardless of what those ideas may be; the exercise is the end product. Low stakes writing is supposed to hone thinking skills, and as such, it can be a powerful learning tool. It would move students away from memorizing information without them knowing it. And because they are low stakes, the stress associated with paper writing disappears while maintain the learning objectives.

The concept that I like emphasizing in class is critical thinking and analysis. Keeping a journal on the material covered in class would be a good way to have students think about the material. Students could be asked to write why certain piece of evidence changed the way we understand a particular topic, or why should we care about a certain biological process. Another useful low stakes writing activity could be for students to write a think piece on the material that will be covered in class; what did they learned from the book or what else would they want to know about that day’s topic.

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