What do you do in this situation?
A general note where you emphasize your unique plan to cultivate their children’s imaginations, critical thinking skills, and organizing abilities would send the message without being accusatory. Also, if you really wish to do the aforementioned (which is sorely needed in our educational realm), then you could make mention of your intention to recognize and grade based upon progress of the student throughout the period. You could assign outlines, brainstorm sheets, rough drafts, etc…
you could assign the reports, but request the students to personalize their papers.
if on a scientist or prominent historical figure, ask them to like or contrast their lives with those of their report subjects…
maybe ask them to indicate what they would’ve done differently had they been in the shoes of the ones they chose to research…
teach them good now, alright?
we go over the note taking together. everyone reads the same paragraph in a text, have them in groups. then, each group gives one sentence that best tells what that paragraph was about. it cannot be copied directly out of the book….then go on tell them, again, what it means and why you cannot.
have them do this for about a week, or however long you think they need. if it is a gen ed class, they will get it rather quickly. this is one of the techniques i use when teaching students with special needs how to go about taking notes and making outlines. you would be surprised just how many really dont know what they are doing. you can do this as class work to help them extend their writing or at a writing center and make sure you see their rough drafts. also using graphic organizers can help them a lot and takes them from the note taking step and on to putting their ideas into report form. you can do this as a class at first. i make one, fill it all out, read the material it was over. then i give them a blank one, i use overhead always, and then step by step fill it in as a class. after a couple of times, you decide, they can do it on their own and can be turned in with the report. lots of work, i know….sorry.
one side note: if they take the time to write and write well, it should also be published. like posted on the bulletin board for all to see and read. why write if it will not be read, right?
just a suggestion. it cant hurt! good luck, i know it can be tough.
Write from the point of view of a rain molucule, what happened to you today (make sure you include all cycles of the water cycle) (narrative)
Find an American you think represents three important aspects of being an American. Include the three aspects and support your answers. (Persuasion)
Write a creative story set in a certain ecosystem. Make sure your characters are animals that would live in that system. Make sure to describe the rainfall, vegitation, and temperature (story)
The internet has become the new source for all research projects. Parents are always ‘helping’. Encourage the students to be independent. Challenge the students to show how they ‘improved’ or combined information.
As they say on American Idol, “Make it your own”!
Another way is to make them reference, and they must write at least …..so many words in their own words.
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