For our next unit in writing, we'll be doing "expert projects." The idea is that the kids choose something they consider themselves to be "experts" in (video games, drawing, taking care of dogs) and write a little book all about that thing. It's really fun and I'm looking forward to modeling my "expertise" in running.
Our genius administration decided that, just as we give pretests in math, we should do a kind of pretest for this unit. This is known as "Writing On Demand," and in the past we've given the kids one full period to write a complete "small moment" story and then grade them on it. This time around, though, we were supposed to instruct them to write an expert project book, which seemed a little ridiculous. We were e-mailed a rubric for grading, which I'm still not entirely sure what I'm supposed to do with, given that it seems fairly obvious that their 50-minute Writing on Demand effort will be far inferior to what they could produce in a month-long unit. That's a lot of extra grading for a "duh!" effect.
Anyway, though, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of what they were able to produce. 95% of my class did this same expert project writing unit in first grade, so they were able to draw on that knowledge and include some nice effects. Here is a sampling of my favorite excerpts!
"I know all about reading in reading you need a book to read and when you are dune with the Book take a nuther book out. if you like reading a lot you can read allmost every Day or allmost every year."
From an "all about babies" attempt: "Then she did poop my grandma had to clean her butt. With baby whips." Baby whips? Ouch!
"Do you want to run fast. like sonic then try as hard as you can. Whare Jordens, Nikes, Levis. then if your in a race you can do it. Now let's get started step one...get one of thease Jordens, Nikes, Levis & try hard to run with them step two try to get style's on your shoes step three run & what i mean by run is run super super super fast or maybe you might be even faster."
"People love run because they don't want to be fat."
"Rule to not get bitin by a shark: Do not bring jreley to the bech." (If anyone can help me decipher what he means by 'jreley,' I would love your assistance.)
"The play station game is the best first I am going to show you the best game ever that goes with the playstation you need to buy it. It looks like this and in the next page I am going to show you how to use the control. In the beginning the X is for racing square is to slow down of course you don't want to do that because you race with challanger."
"I am a expret at singing frist you have to do vace warmups unlless you are doing jazz. then you pick out a song to sing or you could make one up. Then you sing! Last if they like you you could have a chance at being a star at singing!"
"I'm a exbrt at reading I can read up side down, with my eyes clowes." Really?
And now a sampling from that small section of my class that kind of really knows what they're doing:
"To make birthday cake First you need all of the ingredents. You need flour, eggs, cake mix and milk. Then mix it all together. Then put it in a pan. then take it and put it on a tray. Then make the frosting. use whatever kind of frosting you like for example chocolate. Then when you mixed it all up put it in the oven until 9:00. When your done share it with your family and decerate it."
"I am a expert at art if you want a big painting you use a fat brush if you want a small painting use the skinny brush you should use ole you pass stell [oil pastel]. you should only use crayola crayons you should use the paint brush lightly so you don't wast the paint. you should use pencils before you use crayons because you can mess up. use the crayons lightly so you don't mess it up do all thees tips and you will draw grat."
"I am an expert on how to make peperroni pizza. all you need is cheese peperroni and some tomato sause. first you need to put the tomato sause on the pizza. then put the cheese on the tomato sause. then if you like peperroni pizza you can put the peperroni on the pizza. then you can put it in the oven or in a microwave you put it for two minets and then take the pizza out of the oven or the microwave. you now have a really good pizza now you can eat your fantastic pizza."
"I know all about swimg it is very simple and esay. I will tell you what you need. The first thing is to put on a pair of Goggles. The secend thing is a swiming cap some pools are very clean and they don't want hair in the water. Third thing is a bathing suit you can't go swimg without a bathing suit. This is how you swim you put your figers together and kick your feet strait if you don't you will sink and go noware. When you want to flaot you could move your hands and feet how ever you want. If you don't learn how to flaot it is go to be a problom. Another thing about floating is to relxt at then you will sink into the water. When you float backwards you have to put your chest up high. if you don't you will sink deep down into the water. and you have to relax. you have to put your head up for it could be looking up to the sky and you will not sink. this is how you swim." Can you tell this one was written by Leah?