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Critique Please - Code Talker personal response paper


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#1 bobbeym

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:12 PM

Success!!!  I finally got a fairly decent paper out of DS!     :party:  

 

Now the problem is that I have no idea how to grade it!  Help me critique it please?  I know it has some grammatical and punctuation errors.  I want to be able to comment on how to correct it without editing it for him but without sounding harsh and critical.

 

 

A.M.

6/24/14

Code Talker Response Paper

 

Code Talker tells the tale of Kii Yazhi, a Navajo who had been taken from home to go to “white man’s school”, as Joseph Bruchac, states it. As a letter to his grandchildren, he writes about what he had to go through, and what he had to endure through his life time, all the hardships, and all the pain.

Set in World War II, was a time where the motive of white people didn’t coincide with the tribe of Navajos. Through the turmoil, and the struggle, the value of what Bruchac writes isn’t immediately found in the event taken place in the story. The true value is that we are only part of a whole, especially if you are in the military.

 

Bruchac starts the book, telling his grandchildren how he was sent to boarding school, having to cut his hair, which was traditionally unfit; having his beautiful and homemade clothing and jewelry, which were never to be seen again. Kii Yazhi was given a new name, at this school, and soon became known as Ned Begay.

While in the school, the author tells us that, the whites would abuse Ned and other Navajos that wouldn’t speak English, as they hated the language. They feared being overthrown by them, and so when they would speak their native language, they would have to have a bar of soap put in their mouth, if that did not work, they would be beaten, and if that didn’t work they would be chained in a dark, cold, and damp basement with little to no food, or water.

 

Kii Yazhi, now known as Ned Begay, starts striving to know as much as he can about anything, and everything. He learns a lot about the Japanese, and how they “wanted to control the world, and Europe.” While at school one day, the Japanese launches a surprise attack, while listening to it on the radio, he soon decides he wants to join the Marines to help fight.

 

Due to his young age, Ned couldn’t join the Marines, but he soon though about lying about his age, which was a common thing, but his parents would let him. After turning 17, he finally gets his parents blessing to join the marines, and he makes it through boot camp, into the code school, and learned the “code.”

He soon gets shipped out to various locations, seeing all kinds of “new lands,” and new places. He gets shot in the arm, while fighting in Guam. He learns all kinds of new things, and so have I. Through Ned’s story, written by Bruchac, I learned about places and things I never thought I would ever hear of, nonetheless think about!

 

All in all, this story opened my eyes to the brutalities that happened to a set of people, who were not well known, yet proved to be very useful, in a war situation. Kii Yazhi, may not be real, but this story tells the tale of what did happen back in World War II, with the Code Talkers, who weren’t allowed to send letters, or even talk to their families until years AFTER the war!



#2 regentrude

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 02:25 AM

I am not sure what the assignment was. This is a summary of the book, but lacking in discussion. The "personal response" is a bit brief. What struck me most is that he did not mention anything about the actual code talking and explain what that was about.

Forgive me that I have not been following your posts carefully and am not sure whether this is a student dealing with learning difficulties or special needs; if this is not the case, I do not consider this high school level writing by a 16 y/o.

 

I am not attempting to fix the punctuation. he needs to review comma rules. I am merely marking the most obvious language mechanics/ grammar mistakes.

I would not grade this paper, since I would not accept it as a final proof read version. I would send it back for review and require that at least the actual mistakes be fixed before resubmitting

 

 


Code Talker tells the tale of Kii Yazhi, a Navajo who had been taken from home to go to “white man’s school”, as Joseph Bruchac, who is that? states it. As a letter to his grandchildren, he (who? refers grammatically to J.B.)writes about what he had to go through, and what he had to endure through his life time, all the hardships, and all the pain.

Set in World War II, was a time where the motive of white people didn’t coincide with the tribe of Navajos. Fragment, no subject Through the turmoil, no comma and the struggle, the value of what Bruchac writes isn’t immediately found in the event taken place in the story. The true value is that we are only part of a whole, especially if you are in the military. These two statements are extremely vague

 

Bruchac starts the book, telling his grandchildren how he was sent to boarding school, having to cut his hair, which was traditionally unfit (what does this mean?); having his beautiful and homemade clothing and jewelry  taken away? removed? No verb, which were never to be seen again. Kii Yazhi was given a new name, at this school, and soon became known as Ned Begay.

While in the school, the author tells us that, the whites would abuse Ned and other Navajos that wouldn’t speak English, as they hated the language. They feared being overthrown by them (who is they and who is them?), and so when they would speak their native language, they would have to have a bar of soap put in their mouth, if that did not work, they would be beaten, and if that didn’t work they would be chained in a dark, cold, and damp basement with little to no food, or water. Run-on sentence. Needs semicolons or breaking up

 

Kii Yazhi, now known as Ned Begay, starts striving to know as much as he can about anything, and everything. He learns a lot about the Japanese, and how they “wanted to control the world, and Europe.” While at school one day, the Japanese launches a surprise attack, while listening to it on the radio, he soon decides he wants to join the Marines to help fight. he is switching tenses in this paragraph. Needs to remain consistent - ether past or present.

 

Due to his young age, Ned couldn’t join the Marines, but he soon though about lying about his age, which was a common thing, but his parents would let him.run on sentence After turning 17, he finally gets his parents blessing to join the marines, and he makes it through boot camp, into the code school, and learned the “code.” switch in tenses within sentence

He soon gets shipped out to various locations, seeing all kinds of “new lands,” and new places. He gets shot in the arm, while fighting in Guam. He learns all kinds of new things, and so have I. Through Ned’s story, written by Bruchac, I learned about places and things I never thought I would ever hear of, nonetheless think about!

 

All in all, this story opened my eyes to the brutalities that happened to a set of people, who were not well known, yet proved to be very useful, in a war situation. Kii Yazhi, may not be real, but this story tells the tale of what did happen back in World War II, with the Code Talkers, who weren’t allowed to send letters, or even talk to their families until years AFTER the war! run on sentence. Bolding, caps and explamation ark should be omitted

 


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#3 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:46 PM

Hopefully Pen will read this (or you could PM her).  She is excellent at giving the kind of critique you want right to the student. 


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#4 bobbeym

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:31 PM

I am not sure what the assignment was. This is a summary of the book, but lacking in discussion. The "personal response" is a bit brief. What struck me most is that he did not mention anything about the actual code talking and explain what that was about.

Forgive me that I have not been following your posts carefully and am not sure whether this is a student dealing with learning difficulties or special needs; if this is not the case, I do not consider this high school level writing by a 16 y/o.

 

I am not attempting to fix the punctuation. he needs to review comma rules. I am merely marking the most obvious language mechanics/ grammar mistakes.

I would not grade this paper, since I would not accept it as a final proof read version. I would send it back for review and require that at least the actual mistakes be fixed before resubmitting

 

Reg, this is helpful, thank you.

 

DS has ADD-combo type but has always been behind in writing skills.  It's a combination of lack of focus, lack of interest, and just a natural weakness.  DS writes stream-of-consciousness. He'll create a sentence-based outline if forced but prefers to just write what comes out of his head and then go back and make it make sense.  (Hmm, maybe if I read it out loud to him he'll see how disjointed it sounds doing it that way.)  To be honest, I can't imagine how he managed to pass TAKS tests all those years in PS writing like this.

 

Writing comes naturally to me and it's been very difficult for me to teach it, even with step-by-step curriculum.  Ideally I'd outsource it but it's just not in the budget.

 

The assignment was a spur of the moment decision. Just to get him to write something, I told him to write a personal response paper.  I'll willingly take a decent summary though, since he couldn't even write an 8-sentence summary last September.  LOL 

 

My comment about grading was really more along the lines of how would I grade a paper in general, which goes back to the simple fact that I suck at teaching writing.  I didn't actually plan to give it a grade.
 

I do appreciate the comments you provided.  We're focusing heavily on writing and analytical skills this year and I found a good website with free graphic organizers I'm going to have him use, but this will help give me a starting point to work with him more over the summer. 



#5 freesia

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:46 PM

I also wouldn't grade his paper at this point. I would use it as a starting place and work with him to edit it. The very first thing I would have him do is to read it outloud to you--or you read it to him. He should catch a number of his mistakes that way.

I also agree that he should add something about what the Navajo code talkers actually did. I'm not sure from the essay that he actually understood that they used the Navajo language as the code.

Then I would make a list for myself of targeted skill to practice. Particularly because of his ADD, I think that outlines need to be a requirement, not an option. I would check the outline/graphic organizer before her writes to make sure they contain enough detail to support his points.

I have followed your posts about your son and I am so pleased that he is finally producing writing for you. I know it's been a struggle. He's made a start! Don't critique this first real try too much. Work on some things so he knows that editing with you is a normal part of writing, but if you correct too much at once it will be overwhelming and discouraging to him. Just make a list of the feedback folks are giving you in order to help make a map of how/what to teach him next.
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#6 bobbeym

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:11 AM

I also wouldn't grade his paper at this point. I would use it as a starting place and work with him to edit it. The very first thing I would have him do is to read it outloud to you--or you read it to him. He should catch a number of his mistakes that way.

I also agree that he should add something about what the Navajo code talkers actually did. I'm not sure from the essay that he actually understood that they used the Navajo language as the code.

Then I would make a list for myself of targeted skill to practice. Particularly because of his ADD, I think that outlines need to be a requirement, not an option. I would check the outline/graphic organizer before her writes to make sure they contain enough detail to support his points.

I have followed your posts about your son and I am so pleased that he is finally producing writing for you. I know it's been a struggle. He's made a start! Don't critique this first real try too much. Work on some things so he knows that editing with you is a normal part of writing, but if you correct too much at once it will be overwhelming and discouraging to him. Just make a list of the feedback folks are giving you in order to help make a map of how/what to teach him next.

 

Freesia, thank you!   He actually does understand that they used the Navajo language as the code because we had some great discussion about it, especially when we watched Windtalker with DH.  He just cannot seem to get it out of his brain and into written form.

 

We were actually talking last night about brainstorming, which he said he hates.  I told him that I planned to use more graphic organizers this year and he made a face at that.  When I pointed out that the bubble map he picked out to use for a Shakespeare comparison project was a graphic organizer, he brightened a bit.  Makes me wonder what exactly he thought a graphic organizer was.  LOL   I have organizers specifically for paragraph and essay writing and I hope that they will help break it up into simple steps so he can better see and understand how the process works.    I told him he needs to start thinking of what he'd like to do for English his senior year since I don't have anything lined up yet. He suggested OYAN as an option and I agreed that would be a good goal to work towards.

 

I do like the idea of a list of practice skills and need to work on creating one.  I remember reading something similiar recently that said to pick 10 things that the student needs to work on in writing and then focus on 2 or 3 to start with. When those skills have improved, move on to the next ones on the list.  Daily grammar review will be added back into our lesson plans since it seems like he's either not grasping it or just isn't paying attention.