For the longer video project, you will shoot and edit a 5-7 minute video that can take a number of forms:
- a writing process video similar to the drawing you made on the first day
- longer literacy narrative video
- or a video essay that focuses on an area of your choosing.
In a blog post, describe the theme or concept of your second video… so far.
Lions and tigers and bears… oh my! Considering the title of this blog post, one might consider whether or not I’m actually on “break” this summer. With a lot coming up this week and no seeming slow-down in the next month leading up to NTAC, I have a lot, alot to do.
For the second video as part of my Writing Project portfolio, I plan on producing a short multimedia essay on avoiding formulaic writing and rubrics in the classroom. I’m interested in this topic since I teach in a project-based learning (PBL) environment and use rubrics to assess a vast majority of student work. There is a tempatoin, however, in falling into the habit of setting up rubrics that measure students products through counting. Quality is hard to measure, so the temptation to measure on quantity is very tempting, especially when you sit down to write your own rubrics. As I was reminded in the UIWP’s cornerstone text this summer, The Nine Rights of Every Writer by Vicki Spandel, “Rubrics mirror what we value, so it is important that we not leave out what we care about…Counting is simple. Thinking is hard — hard to achieve and, consequently, hard to assess. Formula lets us off the hook.” (p.101 & 121). I will use two of Spandel’s rights — the right to be assessed well and the right to go beyond formula — as my two values underlying an argument that formulaic rubrics are creativity killers. With any luck, I can steer away from targeting this solely at ELA teachers/facilitators at NTAC and instead engage a broader audience of content areas who will be facing new expectations for writing as we enter the age of Common Core.
I intend to use this as a video not just for UIWP but also as a potential script / practice-run for an Ignite presentation I hope to give at the New Tech Annual Conference (NTAC) later in July. I hope to use an acronym (I’m playing with some lingo from some rather nerdy sci-fi…mainly Battlestar Galactica) in order to help convey my point. The lingo wordplay may also give me something more than stock images to borrow from for my video essay.
I need to start looking for examples of bad rubrics and also assert my argument for how to avoid formulaic writing. I really need to find some research on rubricizing, too, to show that rubrics are not all evil, etc.. Eventually, I’d also like to add a contention that full engaging in the writing process is activating critical thinking skills, too. Somewhere out there, I hope to find support for the idea that critical thinking should be part of any writing rubric… I just have no idea how that would look.
I’m really worried this will not be even close to being done by the Friday deadline; of course, any video is always a multi-headed hydra. With some extras on the line, I hope I can pull this off!