Building student understanding incrementally through writing…
What: In this strategy, students write one sentence to answer a question, perhaps an essential question or a question of their own. As students learn more about a topic, theme, or concept they revisit the question and their one sentence response and revise it using their newly acquired knowledge. This continues over the course of a lesson or unit, with revisions reflecting increases in student knowledge and understanding.
This activity is useful as a way to bring closure to a class period. It also can be used to review the previous day’s learning at the start of a class period.
Why: This provides students with a quick outlet to answering a question. In turn, it also allows for them to self-edit and build upon their response. As a result, students can see their understanding documented over a period of days. This also permits students who might benefit from the support of sentence frames or starters to revise and “own” a sentence as their own.
Example: Essential Question - How might a student solve quadratic equations?
A student can solve quadratic equations by factoring.
A student can solve quadratic equations using a variety of strategies, one of which is factoring.
A student can solve quadratic equations using a variety of strategies, such as factoring, completing the square, graphing, and the quadratic formula.
There are several strategies one could use to solve quadratic equations. A tried and true strategy would be the quadratic formula. When using the formula correctly, one will always be able to determine the number of solutions, as well as those solutions, either the exact values or the estimated values.
This can be a part of a student learning log or journal, or this can be used as a springboard for a longer-form writing activity.