>Thanks for being awesome… or not

On the back wall of my classroom, I have a “Wall of Awesome.” This is where I post work containing written responses to short answer test questions that reflect my expectations for my students. These responses A. actually answer the question being asked, B. are written in complete sentences, and C. make sense.
These are some of the responses that did not make the cut.

Q. What are two things that Charlie does after the operation that show he is a genius?

A. What are lood think that he show after the operation that show that he a genius he is think and showing his feelts.

A. He approves on his reading.

A. He win to the mouse, and starts to speel right.

A. He proves his writing.

A. He read a book in 4 days. It was a big fatty.

A. He remember and a think.

A. starting to use big words, and

Q. How does Charlie’s understanding of his past cause him to feel sad or ashamed? Use two details from the story to support your response.

A. He feel that he didn’t like he mad good choses because he not starmt it make him fell bad about himself.

A. He rliza how people mad fun off him.

A. He was made fun of hes made fun of when hes a genius.

These answers came from the first few tests I graded. After reading these, however, I had to set the rest aside and not look at any more for a couple of days –I didn’t think my brain could take it. Tonight I plowed through the remaining 70 tests and I am proud to say, that after that first batch, they showed great improvement.


>Student Writing Makes My Brain Bleed

>I was cleaning out some old file folders and I came across this gem from my first year of teaching. I think it was during this activity that I had an epiphany: Not all people are natural born writers.

The focus of this lesson: I show the students a “telling sentence” and they take that topic, add great details, and turn it into a “showing paragraph.” I’m not sure they got it.

Telling Sentence: We took a risk.
“We took a risk when we was gonna jump from an edge of the building to the other. We could of fell and splat our brains onto the ground below.”

Telling sentence: My two friends are as different as night and day.
“One day there were two friends who liked different things like, one like night and the likes day.”

Telling sentence: The mood was somber.
“The mood was as mellow yellow as the drink in a can. It is so mellow that when you look at it, it will make you so mellow you will always never ever your always calm and tired and will always will.”

Telling sentence: It felt great to be alive.
“It felt and real wonderful and tremendous to be so grat and alive and lively to be so movely and happy and really energetic so that people could actually fell his happiness and will always be their.”

Telling sentence: We took a risk.
“We took a risk going to the bathroom at someone elses house. The tolit could over flow. Get clogged up from too big a poop that’s a big risk.”

Telling sentence: It felt great to be alive.
“It felt great to be alive because I could actiolly could smell feel stuff.”

Telling sentence: It felt great to be alive.
“It felt great to be alive. If I was dead I would be so bored.”