Friday, August 26, 2016


One of the biggest challenges faced by teachers in the new world of teaching is modeling assignments for their students. I'm not referring to using prior students' papers, rather using our own work to help clarify our expectations. I think there are a few reasons for this:

1. Are we providing too many answers and too much support? (Coddling)

2. Is showing our work demonstrating an unfair expectation given that we are at a different stage in our lives and education? 

3. What if the students don't think it's good? Will I lose credibility in the classroom? 

I think all three reasons are credible excuses, but usually the benefits of modeling outweigh the negatives. Perhaps the only time I wouldn't provide a model is for a creative assignment, as creativity is more subjective, and I actually think students can exceed their teachers creative abilities if given the opportunity. Maybe I will change my mind about that. We will see. 

Here is an assignment that I recently modeled for my students. 

Read the following article and included excerpt.

Assignment: Fareed Zakaria wants to publish an update to his book “The Post American World” He makes many claims in the first chapter of his book and in the NPR article. Choose one claim and recommend to the author what changes or additions should be made to provide an accurate depiction in 2016. This is an independent assignment and should be completed individually. If you need help, please seek out the instructor (me!).

Paragraph 1: State the original claim in your own words.

Paragraph 2: Update Mr. Zakaria on whether his claim has stayed the same or is different. Use and reference (talk about) three sources that support your update.

Paragraph 3: Conclude with your recommendation on what the text should say.

Here is my model! I hope I get a good grade....

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