Bump It Up Walls ~ Attempt #2: Part 2

So… I had a great conversation with my wife, the brilliant grade 1 / 2 teacher, as well as another great fellow teacher, Tammy C., both of whom have done Bump It Up Walls numerous times.

Here are their steps for a B.I.U.W. in their elementary classes:

  1. Write a piece of writing together on the SMARTBoard or on the overhead, etc. The teacher deliberately includes flaws in the written piece. (TIP: Tammy suggests turning spellcheck and grammar check off so the computer doesn’t highlight the flaws so that the students have to find them.) *** I believe this would count as the Level 1 exemplar.
  2. Then go over the definition of the piece of writing you are learning. (elements of a paragraph, descriptive writing, etc.)
  3. Develop a rubric for this piece of writing and show exemplars.
  4. Create a chart or poster with writing prompts, tips, perhaps a checklist of the ‘necessary ingredients’ for the particular writing piece.
  5. Focus on one sentence: pick a sentence (Question: does the teacher pick or do the students pick?) and say: “Pick a sentence that needs ‘bumping up’. How can we take this sentence and bump it up?”
    [** It was at this point that both Michelle and Tammy said that the students will need the teacher to provide a very narrow focus. So if the writing piece is on descriptive writing, then Tammy suggested just focusing on one of the senses, such as sight, sound, smell, etc. ]
  6. Rewrite that sentence (Question: as a class?). As the paragraph is being re-written, remind students of the basics / required ingredients in a sentence.
  7. Put that sentence back into the paragraph. Invariably, the students will see that the rest of the paragraph also needs ‘bumping up’ now that the polished sentence has been re-inserted. *** I believe that Tammy suggests that the paragraph with one ‘bumped up sentence would now count as a Level 2 exemplar.
  8. Break the students into groups with 1 sentence per group. (TIP: I believe Tammy has the sentences already printed out and put onto chart paper or printed on 11 x 17 paper.) Each group is given one colour of marker, crayon, pencil crayon, etc. Each colour group then has 3 minutes to think of some way to ‘bump up’ that sentence. The students use that coloured writing implement to write their suggestions right on the page.
  9. Staying in the colour groups, the sentences are then traded with another group. This time, the groups only have 1 minute to see if they can add any other suggestions to the original groups ideas. (TIP: Tammy suggests that one trade is sufficient. Too many trades and the students quickly run out of ideas and then get disengaged.)
  10. Put up the sentences on the board and re-assemble the paragraph. *** Tammy suggests that this re-assembled paragraph would probably work as a Level 3 exemplar.
  11. For the next day, the teacher then types out / prints out this new ‘bumped’ up paragraph. The discussion now is ‘How do we get this paragraph to a Level 4?
  12. (QUESTION: How does this work then go up on the wall for it to be a visual?)

Still to be continued…

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2 responses to “Bump It Up Walls ~ Attempt #2: Part 2

  1. Pingback: Bump It Up Walls ~ Attempt #2: Part 3 | mistercooke's teaching blog

  2. I really like the idea in # 5 about narrowing the focus. I found that my ENG4U students were pretty good at using the rubric themselves to give VERY specific feedback about the piece of writing (and, in this case, I wasn’t using a whole piece – I had just typed up three-sentence excerpts from their own diagnostic pieces, so I was already narrowing the focus for them) but I did find that my Literacy course students still wanted to give feedback such as “spell better” or “write more” – which didn’t come from the rubric and weren’t very helpful. My Literacy course students are currently writing a review of a restaurant that we visited earlier this week – I’m going to do exactly that once they get their formative piece done. I’m going to take one sentence and then be very specific in making the words more descriptive in appealing to specific senses.

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