Thursday, December 13, 2012

Performance Walls

Last year, I made this sample writing chart to help show my students what awesome writing looks like and to help them strive for higher achievement:

{You can read the original post here.} This was writing my class completed during a non-fiction writing unit integrated with our Science unit about animals.{This was also my first formal observation and the principal really like this writing lesson!} Enough with the back story..

The other day my VP said the words "performance wall" in a mini-workshop I went to and I had to stop and ask, "What is a performance wall?" Turns out, it's what I did above with the leveled samples! Not going to lie, I was pretty excited about that - now I have a fancy term for what I already do with my class.

Here's one I made to show the students how to achieve a level 4 in our latest descriptive writing task - my favourite animal:

Later, I will colour-code these samples to show the specific things seen at each level {i.e. periods will be blue, interesting words will be green, capital letters will be pink, etc.}. I kid you not, after we discussed these samples in class, I had about ten kids stay in at recess because they were really excited about adding detail to their writing and improving their rough drafts overall. Wwwwhhhaaattt?! I was so proud! And, let me add, this week was a little wonky in our room - I saw a lot of behaviour that I don't usually deal with. This Thursday lesson really made the perfect end to a long week!

I'll post the writing pack and modeled writing that we used to complete the entire writing process for this project. For ESL, I've been blown away by their dedication and a lot of the overall improvement, so I definitely feel it's worth writing about!

Have a great weekend.
- Amanda

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