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  • Brian Kelley

Messy Drafts > Polished Drafts


This page excites me. This page is alive and crackling with thinking and growing, isn't it?


There is so much worth hearing about in the rough hewn drafts in our students' notebooks. In many respects, this image more than enough for assessment--especially if the assessment is driven by the student tell us about the decisions he/she is making.


We can have rich conversations about organization, word choice, ideas, punctuation, sentence fluency. This image is from a notebook in my classroom and tells me so so so much more than a final, polished essay.


There was a time when I might look at this page and think "my gosh, look at all of these mistakes." But these marks are not mistakes, are they? They are the moves of a craftsman at work.


There is an opportunity here to change the way young writers see their work--to elevate them in their own eyes. To point to this, call it beautiful, to let them see us smile about this work, and to celebrate their ability to tell us what they can do...and then help them with what they want to learn how to do next.

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