I’ve previously shared what I’ve done for final exams in my Intermediate English Language Learner class (see My Revised Final Exams (And An Important Lesson).

This year, I was successful in implementing a bit more rigor in my Beginning ELL class, so I’m modifying the Intermediate Final and using it there (for most, though not all, of the students – students who arrived late in the year will do a far more simple assignment).

First, I’ll ask students to define a few terms: hook, thesis statement, topic sentence, conclusion, quotation marks. Here’s the sheet you can download.

Next, students will review all the essays they’ve written this year and choose two of them – one, preferably from earlier in the year and the other, preferably, a later one. They’ll they analyze each essay using an “improvement rubric.” This kind of rubric, unlike most, does not utilize deficit language and emphasizes what students have done instead of what they have not done. You can read more about improvement rubrics at “Instead of seeing students as Far Below Basic or Advanced, we see them as learners.” You can download the rubric my students will be using here, and here’s a partial screenshot of what it looks like:Final for beginners vocabulary words-1kg0j3j

Final for beginners improvement rubric-2e4415q


Then, students will complete a short series of reflection questions, which you can download here.  The questions are:

1) Look at the scores you gave yourself on both essays. Overall, which essay was your strongest? Why?

2) Look at the scores on your strongest essay. What did you do well?

3) Look at the scores on your strongest essay. What are 3 things you need to get better at next year?

4) In what areas of your writing would you like Mr. Ferlazzo or Ms Buric to help you with next year?

Lastly, students will then choose one of those two essays to revise and rewrite.

I’m always open to hearing suggestions on how I can make it better!

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.