This week, the freshmen in G17 worked on their first in-class project. Their task was to create an infographic representing the research they conducted on characteristics of a good story. The task proved challenging on a number of levels. Though technology provides access and opportunities, it also can be a roadblock, and students had to demonstrate grit as they overcame technical difficulties and taught themselves new web tools. The task was also different from their expectations for schoolwork in that I didn’t provide specific criteria for completion or models of past projects. My goal was for students to be positioned early in the school year to work independently and creatively. For some, this expectation was liberating while others experience frustration.
In the coming week, students will continue to think about the concept of story as we read “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst. Together, we will read the text, analyzing the elements of story that they researched in last week’s project. We will practice annotation so that students develop the skill of writing to learn. Students will also have their first readers workshop conference with me, and they will learn about the article of the week homework assignment that will become a regular aspect of the course.