1. Please note, that in the playlist of videos that served as examples, the George Watsky video is not appropriate for class past the first 60 seconds. Unfortunately all of the youtube directions for removing videos from playlists are not working.

  2. As always, you have filled me with equal parts inspiration and intimidation. I like the idea of doing the project with the students in real time. If I’m too busy to do this project, they probably are too. If it’s too hard or intimidating for me, it probably is for them, too. If I’m challenged and work hard and get something good, so will they.

    Thank you for modeling the courage of vulnerability.

    – John

  3. I enjoyed watching the videos. This was great. Last year I actually visited Lowell so these brought back great memories! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Matthew Laser


    This is a really great idea for an assignment. Is this an assignment that you have repeated several times? Also, if you don’t mind sharing, what kinds of things were you looking for on your grading rubric? Thanks, I think I am going to give it a go later on this school year.

  5. Paul Bogush

    If you told me that you would be grading my posts on a rubric that you created, I would have never even started blogging, you would never have even read this post.

    You don’t get kids to change who they think they are by having them strive to meet a score on a rubric. I can’t grade bravery, courage, and confidence…I can’t even begin to measure it. I could never ask a kid to step up and do the scariest thing they have ever done and slap a “C” on them. This is a unit that I use every ounce of my being to motivate and inspire. I am going to bring them to the “water,” but I can’t make them drink…I just give them lots of salt the week before :)

    I am not a fan of rubrics. What if I said that I was going to grade your comment and tell you all of the ways that you could have improved upon what you wrote? Would that have inspired you to leave one? Or go away…

    I believe the directions I used were these: http://goo.gl/ZyZ1q

    We did not use a rubric of “what are quality poems,” but we watched lots and lots of examples. We talked lots and lots about how to get the content into the poem and what content to cover. You can’t tell from the videos, but this is the limit to which my kids perform. After they do this I lose them for a month and can only do teacher directed things. It’s kinda crazy the emotional toll it takes…and it is always the one thing past grads talk about when they return for visits :)

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