Finals began yesterday.
I like finals. I like the idea that my students have an opportunity to put all they've learned to work for them. I'm not so fond of the results, sometimes, but them's the breaks.
Thursday's finals were something altogether different.
My final is simple, students receive 10 possible writing prompts and must choose one. They brainstorm, plan an essay, write a rough draft, revise that draft and write a final copy. It sounds more tedious than it is. I try to select prompts that are interesting and the fact that there are ten choices is helpful.
Yesterday's results were astounding. I was walking on air. A student who has, thus far, sat through timed writings and ended up with a barely legible third of his page filled up gave me a full page including 3 similes. I don't know if I was more excited about that or about the fact he FILLED an entire sheet with his brainstorming. It was tremendous.
Many other students who have heretofore done little or nothing when it comes to planning and brainstorming filled pages with webs and outlines. There was drive, effort and ability.
"Look at mine," was not an infrequent thing to overhear. I am proud.
I announced Wednesday when we were finishing our review for the test that the top essays from each class would be posted here on the blog. It's going to be a tight race.