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Attitudes, activities and assessments that move ‘Beyond the text response essay!’
Essay writing (whether under timed conditions or not) is prominent in English courses (7-12) across the nation, but too often teachers recognise that such essays/assessments
- show that students don’t understand how to answer or explore the nuances in a question
- highlight that students struggle to form a line of argument
- demonstrate that students don’t fully understand the text
- emphasise that students need to work on substantiating their claims with evidence
- reveal that students need to work on their written expression and grammar.
In this workshop we will explore the benefits of using a variety of formative and summative assessment tasks in English classes (7-12) that focus on student understanding, making connections, and fostering a sense of curiosity, creativity and imagination. We will explore how Visible Thinking Routines and other assessment tasks can help teachers gauge and assess student understanding, thinking and writing on texts before they complete a formal text response essay task.