Do you notice that in essay after essay, your students make the same mistakes again and again? It can make you want to pull your hair out! There is nothing more frustrating and draining than spending nights and weekends grading and giving feedback on essays, only to see the same mistakes and poor writing quality come across your desk all year long.
But as English teachers, we’re supposed to assign lots of essays, right? That’s what the expectation is, but the problem with assigning full-length essays repeatedly in middle school is that they do not give students the opportunity to truly hone in on any particular skill. Instead, it’s best to allow students to master one, or a few, skills and standards at a time.
If you want to see your students make genuine writing growth, it’s time to abandon the full-length essay craze, give yourself a break from non-stop grading, and instead assign targeted writing responses. Listen to today’s episode to hear our personal mistakes and the strategies we use now to get real results in students’ writing.
Tune in now to hear:
- [00:20] Caitlin’s personal experience (and mistake) early on with literary analysis
- [01:45] Why you shouldn’t assign a lot of essays (yep, we said it)!
- [02:30] What you should assign students instead
- [04:20] Why targeted instruction and practice is what your students need
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