I don’t know any teacher who doesn’t constantly feel behind. Especially when it comes toteaching writing. So, in Traits Writing, instead of pretending that there is all the time in the world to write and teach writing, we built in a week after every unit to catch up: Reality Check.
During that week many options are available, depending on where students are with their unit projects and how many still need to finish. There are two things that must be done during the Reality Check week: 1) finish the unit project if needed, and 2) introduce and provide instruction on the next mode of writing (narrative, expository, or persuasive–opinion/argument). The rest of the materials provided for the week are publishing options, both digital and print. Students should publish their unit projects in one form or another as time allows so we’ve built in lots of options and possibilities that maybe teachers haven’t considered before. And during the Reality Check, we’ve provided Test Prep practice–for those folks who want students to do a little work in this area as well.
It’s a week for the teacher to wrap up and set a new direction for what comes next, and a week to celebrate the wonderful unit projects students just completed. Most of all, it’s a week for everyone to take a deep breath before plunging into the next big piece of writing instruction. I hope it gives teachers catch up time so the next unit begins on a high note for students and the teacher as well.