Saturday, April 14, 2007

Final Drafts, Progress Reports, and Showcase

The rough draft conferences are finished. Almost every student had a one-on-one conference to review their first draft. They each got to keep one copy of my comments and I kept a carbon copy. (Only three did not complete a rough draft....) This was the first time I've tried staggered due dates and I think it worked well.
Now, for the next step: the final drafts are due. Students should make revisions to the draft based on our conferences. The three pieces of advice I gave most often in conference were:
  • Add more quotes from people you interview to give a balanced approach to the article.
  • "Show, Don't Tell"--Be careful not to list directions that you expect the reader to follow. Give examples, anecdotes, and the experiences of others and yourself. (Note importance of quotes...) to allow the reader to see what to do, rather than be told what to do.
  • Use the Blending Exposition lesson from the source-book to craft paragraphs that blend paraphrase, quotation, exposition, and narration.

Otherwise, students may need to "jazz up" their subheadings, titles, and subtitles as well as clean up the grammar, spelling, and typos. See the full rubric posted in the Files entry.

Progress reports fall on the same day as this due date. So, students who do not turn in a final draft will receive an unsatisfactory score on the progress report. They will, however, have a chance to save their grade. We've created a due date window to allow for emergencies. Students may turn in the final draft with no penalty until Wednesday, April 18th.

One last note: Showcase was truly amazing this year! Our students' performances were strong and the show was cohesive--never a dull moment. Every arts area was well-represented: from air guitar, to piano solos, t0 the Jungle Book, to dancers spelling out LaVilla, to Stabat Mater, and the list goes on and on. When I watch our students perform, I wonder how they do it all. But they do, and that's why they are so special. Thanks for a great show.