Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Facebook Paragraph Exchange

Monday was the big Facebook Paragraph Exchange day! In preparation, Irwin and I made student pairings assignments to ensure that "stronger" writers would be paired with "weaker" writers. We also developed a worksheet that students would complete prior to formulating their responses. The students began the day's activity by logging into the Pursuit of Happiness Facebook Group. Students then read their partners' paragraphs and analyzed its structure and what each paragraph was trying to prove/argue. The students were very engaged in the process and felt "more free" to offer criticism on someone's writing who was not a part of the class. However, the students were also very aware that their criticism needed to be constructive because (very soon) they would be receiving similar feedback on their paragraphs. Once the students posted their feedback, they, in turn, posted their paragraphs. Yet, they were very hesitant to post and many wanted me to review their paragraph before they submitted. What a difference a change in audience makes! For the students whose partner did not post a paragraph, I decided to re-assign those individuals to another student's paragraph. Since the total time to complete the activity was 1 1/2 hours, I did not want to have students sit idly while others were working diligently. And this is what seems to be one of the activities strengths -- the degree to which it is able to generate interest and excitement in the development a paragraph (in addition the proper ways of source integration)as well as provide a high level of accountability. I will be very interested to hear/see how Irwin's class responds...


  1. I'm really curious to know about (or read) the "worksheet" you guys developed. Would you feel comfortable sharing it? (Maybe by linking it to this post via Google Docs?)
    It's so sweet that they wanted you to check their paragraphs first! For me, this is the built in magic of social pedagogies: transformed sense of audience!

  2. I am also feeling this change in attitude from students looking forward of someone else waiting for their part to continue theirs. Somehow, it make them feel more responsible...

  3. I'm glad the assignment brought a sense of "carefulness" to your students! It seems Irwin also had a decent response from his. :-)