Scaffolding Student Writing

I used to tell stories about my students on my blog: the ridiculous things they did, their responses to reading. This is my third year out of the classroom and I haven’t told many work stories. I miss talking about education and the things that happen in schooling spaces.

So I thought I’d revisit some of that love.

Fun fact about teacher me: I love to make graphic organizers. Canva is one of my absolute favorite websites for that (though I have also been known to hand draw them using Procreate).

Today I remade some old graphic organizers I used to use with my students because several teachers have expressed issues helping their students write about text. Claim-Evidence-Commentary is language borrowed from a Pre-AP seminar I attended years ago. I like that it is not a mnemonic – I’ve had students who roll their eyes and say, “Oh, we have to write a RACE,” or “We have to write a TEAR.” To which my response was always, no, you have to write a paragraph.

Claim-Evidence-Commentary 3 Column Graphic Organizer

But that’s not all. Another conversaiton I’ve had with teachers is about what comes after the graphic organizer. The graphic organizer isn’t the end-all-be-all. What are students going to do with the information? Are they going to have a discussion and need to organize their thoughts? Are they going to write something? Are they going to create something?

I mean, I’m all about a mind map (Mindnode is my jam, I even used it when writing my dissertation), but it serves as a means to an end rather than an end itself.

And so, Page 2. Please excuse my terribly written paragraph. I ran out of space on the graphic organizer, so I’m lacking in evidence for my second point. I chose to leave it rather than making the text smaller so the teacher I created them for has the opportunity to talk to her students about what’s missing in my paragraph and using sufficient evidence. (Also, this teacher teaches fourth grade, hence the topic choice.)

Paragraph Page

These are licensed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. You can find more information about that here.

If you’d like any of the individual images, either in .jpeg or .pdf, you can find those here.

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