In my class I try to implement students creativity whenever possible. Teaching World History at the sophomore level, my students enjoy learning outside the lines. I require the students to follow the prompt and create a graphic organizer prior to writing, as I want the prompt to be structured. I provide the students with the information via lecture, collaborative group work, and informative discussions in which they can implement into their writing. The graphic organizer I provide them with is one example however if that doesn’t work for them they may choose other methods to organize their thoughts.
In allowing my students to take different options or paths and getting to the same result my students feel as if I individualized the class to suit their needs. That is true, however that is just scratching the surface of the issue. Moreover, I allow them to organize their thoughts, as it is there to help them focus their writing. In viewing my AVID class students are required to take notes in Cornel style. There is a strict way in formatting their notes, which seems to work well with most students. However, I think that this doesn’t help all students as students have different propensities to learn. I allow my students the ability to work in a way that is efficient for them as long as I see the end results. There is a short term goal of the completion of the graphic organizer, but my main concern is the long term goal of completion of the writing prompt in which they formulate the information provided and get their ideas on paper.
I communicate with my students everyday whether simply stating the learning objectives and then starting a group project, lecture, or other modes of learning instruction. In the case of the writing prompt from the sample above I provide the students with an example of what I am looking for in the final prompt. I walk the students through a graphic organizer on the board using their notes and call on students for ideas to contribute to the topic. I then show the rubric and how I met the goals by using the graphic organizer. In doing so, my students have had solid writing prompts which drastically helped improve their writing from their previous writing samples.