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Posted on October 19, 2014 8:07 pm
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MaZyjy
MaZyjy
Reps: 122
Make it realistic even though it is not real
Mrs. Brown gave her 8th grade students the following writing prompt from the released Ga Writing Test Prompts:
Writing Situation
The cafeteria manager in your school has noticed that many students throw away most of their lunches. She is concerned about this problem and would like to make changes in the menu based on what teenagers like to eat.
Directions for Writing
Decide how you would change the menu. Write a letter to the cafeteria manager to convince her that your changes will appeal to the teenagers in the school and reduce lunchroom waste.

The student cannot understand how to write on this prompt because he likes the lunchroom food. The teacher has walked him through the prompt and has explained that sometimes when we can't relate to a prompt, we have to make something up. This still confuses the student. Can you offer any suggestions to Mrs. Brown?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted October 19, 2014 8:11 pm

eWuNep
eWuNep
Reps: 101
I would ask the student if any of his friends don't like the food. It is often hard for students to think outside of themselves, but if they are able to make a connection to a peer it often makes the abstract concept more concrete. If the student's friends don't like the food, then ask him what they do like to eat, and have him work off of that knowledge.
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Solution 2
Posted October 19, 2014 11:01 pm

HyNusa
HyNusa
Reps: 80
On the GA Writing Test, students cannot choose what they want to write about or how to address the topic. They must write about what the prompt is asking and address the issues they have been asked to address. With saying this, I would explain to the student that even if the topic is something that he or she does not have an opinion to, or whatever the case may be, the students need to know to think about the prompt from an outside the box perspective. I would keep working on this and explain to the student(s) that its something they would change about the lunch menu, whether it be changing each meal to their favorite meal, or having soda to drink instead of milk. For other situations, I would just tell them to think about it from someone else perspective or what they have heard others complaining about, etc.
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raWubu
raWubu
Reps: 97
I agree with this solution. If the student had got this essay question on a test, the students needs to be prepared to answer the essay question anyway.
  Posted on: October 20, 2014 1:37 am

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Solution 3
Posted October 19, 2014 8:13 pm

Whitney
Whitney
Reps: 89
Instead of making this student write about something he does not understand because it does not relate to him, let him write a letter to the cafeteria manager stating his position and opinion. He could tell why the cafeteria should continue serving the food they do, but he could offer some ways or suggestions on how to cut down on lunchroom waste.
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raWubu
raWubu
Reps: 97
I do not like this solution. A student needs to be able to do assignments that they cannot relate to. Creative writing is important too.
  Posted on: October 20, 2014 1:35 am

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Solution 4
Posted October 19, 2014 8:20 pm

yMyTyq
yMyTyq
Reps: 100
I would ask the student to think of the nastiest food that he has ever tasted or to think of the meal that his mom prepares that he dislikes. Now imagine that this meal was being served in the lunchroom cafeteria today. That would be one way to explain the prompt.
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Solution 5
Posted October 19, 2014 8:30 pm

vyPety
vyPety
Reps: 105
I would talk to your students about issues like this before the writing test. When your students get to the actual test, you are not allowed to assist them, just say good luck and try their best. This is why it's important to try and prepare them before the test. Then, I would voice your concerns to your administrator, board, etc. That would be a tough question for many students because they also realize that in school their opinion about food and stuff doesn't matter much so I wouldn't think they would see the relevance in this writing. The prompts for these writing tests need to be more appropriately geared for students so they want to write.
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Solution 6
Posted October 19, 2014 8:10 pm

Mallorie Hyatt
Mallorie Hyatt
Reps: 96
Mrs. Brown may see benefits if she examines the test prompt for bias that may be preventing students to displaying mastery because they are being held back because of such cultural bias. If cultural bias is found, then steps should be taken to eliminate it.
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Solution 7
Posted October 21, 2014 12:49 am

umyhyT
umyhyT
Reps: 95
Ask the student what they would do if they did not like the food. Or imagine a place where they don't like food and use that as a source of inspiration.
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Solution 8
Posted March 11, 2015 12:50 pm

PaGuDu
PaGuDu
Reps: 101
When coaching students ahead of time, it might be appropriate to tell them to consider the prompts as fictional, if they do not apply. If they do not relate to the prompt, they should imagine that it does, and write as if they are writing a creative writing assignment.
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