When enough students ask you for clarification you realize that your assignment description needs improvement.
This is happening with the "case study" assignment in #edu506. I put case study in quotes because the assignment does not reflect our shared definition of a case study. My original error was calling a thing the wrong thing.
Instead of a case study where you are given a situation to consider, compare, or solve, students in #edu506 will do a collaborative essay.
Why A Collaborative Essay
- Research based methods for improving writing
- Prepare you to teach through inquiry in elementary classrooms
- Increase social presence in an online classroom
Research Based Writing Instruction
While it is based on research among older students the lesson of Writing Next ring true in elementary school (just as the best teaching in pre-school works in college).
The meta-analysis, a type of research that synthesizes multiple empirical studies, found eleven strategies that improve writing. Among the recommendations: collaborative essays and using the writing process.
The assignment, where you are writing two different essays ask you to consider to questions:
- Should we focus on content knowledge or comprehension strategy instruction?
- Should we level books in our classroom libraries and curriculum?
By working together on this essay you will gain practice and create evidence of growth around the ability to integrate multiple sources, use sources from class and optionally supplement these with your research, and present a well organized argument.
You will submit an essay around 450-500 words for each inquiry questions.
Prepare You Teach Through Inquiry
When teachers assign oprojects they often neglect students on the process of completing the inquiry process. As future elementary teachers you need to know how to teach through inquiry and how to teach argumentative writing. This assignment builds in opportunities to practice both. You will develop a plan to complete the assignment. Create a rubric to assess your writing, and finally reflect on the process. These are the same steps you will need to use as a teacher.
Develop a Plan
In terms of developing a plan and a schedule start at the due date 2020-03-17 and work backwards. Look at the tasks to be completed and choose a date for each. Develop a communication plan (face to face, phone Blackboard) and agree on a workflow (will you use Google docs, Office, etc).
Make a rubric
Then make the rubric. Look at the writing standards for fifth grade, specifically those focused on knowledge integration and argumentation. Choose 3-4 skills and develop them into criteria. Set what you think would be goal on each criterion.
Reflect on Process
You also need to create opportunities for students to reflect on their learning in order for learning to occur. Reflecting on writing and the inquiry process helps you grow.
Increase Social Presence
As we have discussed success in online classes takes your cognitive presence and social presence. I want us to use the group studies to focus on our social presence. Online learning does not mean learning alone. Stay in contact with each other, agree on a plan, and stick to the goals.