I felt like I had let my audience down. Just like my students, who are crushed when they get such feedback. Like when they find out that they wrote an expository paragraph more like a story. [Oh my. I would never let them get away with that previous "Like..." sentence].
Course correction time: I simply did a search for tips on blog writing. I felt so hemmed in by parameters and "rules", much like my students must feel.
I am taking to heart 60% of the tips, from sites such as these:
I wrote a blog in the same manner I would write a long letter to a friend. I did not include any links. It was not "skim-able." I had no bullets. And for shame....no bolded keywords. Sound byte writing is not an aspiration of mine, or a habit I want to slide into, so I may stick to the length.
Those types of lists are just what our kids need, when writing, which I have forever told parents and teachers. I call them checklists, not rubrics, because I want them to follow them all the way through the writing process.
I have developed many of my own, some specific to the needs of the student, and others just deeper than the average rubric. Many rubrics for writing assignments I have seen from teachers look a lot like this:
I drill down with kids and take each box apart, so that they are following a guideline/checklist with details such as:
- Did I use a strong verb in the concluding sentence? (if it is persuasive)
- Was I careful to limit my short sentences?
- Did I have at least two good "because" sentences?