I’m teaching a three-week summer school high school remedial English class. My goal is to have each student write as much as possible. So, to do that, I have created a journal assignment that is just a bit different.

The students have become food critics.

Each day, a new food is brought in by a student or me.

They need to bring something that they would like to eat, but something that most students may not have tried or that is unique.

We look at it, smell it, taste it, scarf it up, then write about it!

Well…I should say: blog about it!

Yes, each student has a blog on food!

First, everyone loves food and enjoys eating and discussing the food in the classroom!

Second, they get to see their writing PUBLISHED!

It has only been 5 days of blogging, but we have had a blast!

I’ve gone back and forth on how to grade this assignment! It may change next time, but for now, this assignment is graded in two parts: 50% of their grade is completion; 50% is content, organization, vocab and word choice, sentence fluency, and mechanics of writing.

I didn’t want them to fail because of their poor writing skills…they are in remedial English. I want them to enjoy writing. That is why 50% of their grade is completion, asking, “Did they follow directions?”

I still wanted them to be accountable to English standards…that is why 50% of their grade is everything else.

Having fun…already one week down! Two more weeks to go!

I have already seen an improvement in their writing!