Ms. Tara Manson, WMS seventh grade ELA teacher, implemented strategies she learned at EPIC day during pre-planning with her students. To introduce seventh grade writing expectations, Ms. Manson led students in a timed "honeycomb harvest," instructing students to link writing-related word relationships however they deemed appropriate, as long as they could defend their rationales. All students eagerly participated in the engaging activity until Ms. Manson called "time's up!" In the next step, students drew a large four quadrant "placemat" with an oval in the center. Ms. Manson assigned each student a quadrant and asked them to answer the question, "How do writers create a well-written essay?" Many students linked their written ideas to the terms they explored previously in the honeycomb harvest. After writing in their individual quadrants, group members collected similarities between their thoughts and added them to the center oval, then shared out to the class. The lesson served as an excellent formative assessment for Ms. Manson, as she was able to assess her new students' prior knowledge about writing. Ms. Manson simply served as a learning facilitator while students did the heavy lifting of this lesson, which required them to write, inquire, collaborate, and organize (all elements of WICOR). Clearly, Ms. Manson's professional learning transferred to productive engagement for her seventh grade Warriors.
Students provide rationales for their ideas about commonalities between terms in a formative assessment activity
Students jot down their individual thoughts about what it takes to write a well-written essay.