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ConnerBourgoin

AssessmentProject

DuringtheformalpaperwritingactivitythatallfreshmenatFHSarerequiredtogo
through,oneoftheparagraphsisacounterclaimparagraph.Thecounterclaimparagraphis
taughtaftertheintroductionparagraphandtwoclaimparagraphsaretaught.Needlesstosay,an
issuethatIranintowhenreceivingthefirstdraftsofthecounterclaimwasthatthestudents
simplyjustwrotea3rdclaimparagraphwheretheydidntactuallydiscusshowtherewas
anothersideoftheargument,butthenturnitaroundandhelptheirargumentwiththeexactsame
example.
ThegradesoftheearlydraftsaremeasuredbyJohnCollinsFCAs.ThethreeFCAsare
thefollowing:50pointsforquoteset,whichmeanstheintrotothequote,theanalysisofthe
quote,andifthequoteconnectiontoargumentisbothclearandcounteringanothersideofthe
argument.30pointsisfortheparagraphbeingcoherent,whichmeansthatthereadercanfollow
along,grammarissound,etc.20pointsisforwhetherornotifthequoteisanappropriatequote
fortheargumentandifitiscitedinMLAcitation.Thefirstparagraphisusuallygradedharshly,
sincestudentscannothaveagradeinthegradebookuntiltheyscorean85orabovebasedon
thesethreecriteria.However,withthefirstdraftofthecounterclaims,asseenbelow,students
scoredbetweenthe40stothe60sforthemostpart.Onlyonestudentclearedthe85mark.This
wasmostlybecause,beyondthesloppinessofanyfirstdraft,studentsdidnotevenhavea
counterclaimparagraph,thereforenotfulfillingmostofthe50pointrequirement.Forruleof
thumbbelow,itshouldbenotedthatifthescoreswerebelowa75,itprobablywentbeyond
normalqualitiesofafirstdraftandfailedtobeacounterclaimparagraphaltogether.Ifitwas
betweena75to85,theargumentwasnottrimmed,andifitwasan85,therewerestillsome

editstocomplete,butforthemostpart,theparagraphwasacounterclaimandapassable
paragraphforthereaderandtheevaluator.

Afterdraftingmylesson(whichisattachedintheemail),Ihadstudentstryitasecond
timewithmyfeedbackandmyeditsinhand.Iwasactuallyexpectingresultstobeonly
marginallybetter,sincetheideaofcounteringaclaimisactuallyaverycomplexone,andI
knowthatmyselfasastudentwasnottotallycapableofdoingthisuntiljuniororsenioryearin
highschool,buttheresultscamebackverypositive.


Asyoucansee,studentstilldidnotclearthe85FCAmark,butthatistobeexpected.All
papersthatcamebackhadapropercounterclaimfortheirseconddraft.Abouttwothirdsof
studentsdidclearthe85percentFCAmark,whichwassuccessful.Forthosethatdidnt,they
alsoessentiallywroteanewparagraphfromscratch,sincetheirwholequoteandexamplewas
notsalvageable,sotheseresultsofbeinginthehigh60sor70sareextremelyimpressive.
IfeelthatthewayIcarriedouttheadjustinglessonplanwassuccessfulbecauseIhadan
Idemonstration,whichwasshownthroughtheworksheetstwoexamplesofhowtowritea
counterclaimandhowNOTtowriteacounterclaim.Then,thewediscussionoccurredas
theyansweredquestionbyquestion.Theyouoccurredafterstudentswenthomeandedited
theirpapers.Ifeelthelessonwasalsosuccessful,forstudentssawwhatwasright,andconnected
theirpaperdirectlytothoseparagraphstheyoriginallywrote.Iwasgladthattheideaofa
counterclaimcamemucheasiertothestudentsthanIanticipated.Thestudentswereverycalm
andthoughtfulduringthislesson,andtheywerepatientwiththeirpaperscomingtobecomea
verywelldonepieceofwork.