It's quite common to hear people talk about how students benefit from having a genuine audience for the work that they do in the classroom. Personally, I have always agreed with this because it just makes sense. But I am beginning to experience for myself just how much of an impact an audience can have. My latest classroom podcast
featured some student samples that were based on the writing trait "Word Choice." Normally this would hardly be a topic worthy of blogging about, but I was pleasantly surprised by two occurrences:
1) Every single student completed their written assignment on time and
recorded it for inclusion on the podcast.
2) Many of the students, upon hearing the completed podcast, engaged in some pretty honest self-assessment of their writing. Some of the work was high quality, but some is quite raw and in need of much refinement. What impressed me the most was the student awareness of what I was observing. Even at a grade 5 level many of these students were developing a plan for improvement because they "want their audience to be entertained." Wow, powerful stuff!