Of Mice and Men - The Final-Final

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Discipline

All subjects

Grade Level

6-12

Type of Activity

Individual, Proofreading, Editing

Objectives

Students will improve their writing and editing skills by making corrections/improvements to their work based on teacher feedback.

Overview

The Final-Final is designed to reinforce feedback on student writing. Too many times students ignore or forget the feedback given to them on their writing assignments. The Final-Final requires students to take action on that feedback and to resubmit their work for a last round of teacher feedback.

In order for the Final-Final to work, students must be given detailed feedback. While a rubric is useful in getting students started and laying out the expectations of the assignment, a rubric does not give specific enough feedback to students—particularly those who are struggling or emerging writers (after all, what is a student supposed to do with “Sometimes makes grammatical errors”?).

As with the entire writing process for an essay, the Final-Final is a step which contributes to the overall grade of the project.

Don’t be intimidated by this process; it is easier and less time consuming than it sounds!  

Materials Needed/Preparation

  • Decide on a method of assessment (see examples below).
  • Include the Final-Final description and method of assessment on the assignment description.
  • Ensure that students are clear that the Final-Final is part of their grade.

Estimated Time 

3-15 minutes grading time per student assignment (depending on the length of the assignment)

Procedures

  • Students submit a written assignment for grading.
    • This would normally be considered a final draft. Pre-writing, outlining, rough drafting, and any other part of the regular writing process has been completed as usual.
  • The teacher grades student papers.
    • Detailed feedback and commentary.  
    • Avoid being an editor! Mark errors, but don’t fix them. At most, explain the error.
    • For more advanced writers, go beyond copy editing. Comment on the student’s use of logic, use of sources, etc. Suggest ways to improve the paper.
    • It is highly suggested that this grading be done electronically. If not, make photocopies of the graded paper, return the original, graded copy to the student, and keep the copy for later.
  • Return graded papers. Give students a few days to a week (depending on the length of the assignment) to submit a Final-Final.  
    • Students are to go through their papers and make all of the necessary corrections, including corrections/improvements that are not merely cosmetic (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.).  
    • Students are graded on how well they make these adjustments (see the samples below).
  • Compare the final draft to the Final-Final and return a graded, Final-Final.
    • In this step, avoid re-reading and re-grading the paper unless this is absolutely necessary. Quickly scan the student’s paper to assess if the “suggested” changes have been made.

Post Activity/Takeaways/Follow-up

  • Post Activity
    • Grammar, sentence structure, and writing activities based on common errors found in grading the final draft.
  • Takeaways
    • Because students edit their papers immediately, individual students should come away with an understanding of what specific writing elements they need to work on.
  • Follow-up
    • On future writing assignments, compare individual student work for progress. 

Assessment

There are a variety of options for assessing the Final-Final. The overall purpose is to improve student writing through feedback. Below are two sample assessment scales:

  • Sample 1: Total Points Possible:  10
    • This is a traditional approach. Make the Final-Final worth 10 points towards the overall project grade. A student who fails to submit a Final-Final cannot possibly earn an “A” on the project.
      • 0 points: Nothing done, Final-Final not submitted.
      • +5 points: All of the cosmetic changes have been made (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.), but no major improvements to the paper have been made (logic, use of sources, stylistic concerns, etc.).
      • +10 points: All of the cosmetic changes have been made (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.), AND the student has improved the paper based on the suggestions and feedback made by the teacher on the graded final draft.
  • Sample 2: Negative Points Possible!
    • In this example, students don’t earn points if they fail to complete the Final-Final; they also lose points on the overall project grade! Not only is it impossible to earn an “A” without submitting a Final-Final, the student’s grade actually lowers as a result.
      • -10 points: Nothing done; the Final-Final is not submitted.
      • 0 to +5 points: Most or all of the cosmetic changes have been made (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.), but no major improvements to the paper have been made (logic, use of sources, stylistic concerns, specific examples, etc.).
      • +10 points: All of the cosmetic changes have been made (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.), AND the student has improved the paper based on the suggestions and feedback made by the teacher on the graded final draft.

Common Core State Standards Met

  • Writing Standards 6-12
    • Text Types and Purposes: 1, 2, 3
    • Production and Distribution of Writing: 4, 5, 6
  • Language Standards 6-12
    • Conventions of Standards English: 1, 2
    • Knowledge of Language: 3
  • Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, and Technical Subjects 6-12
    • Text Types and Purposes: 1, 2
    • Production and Distribution of Writing: 4, 5, 6