In Your Own Words (IYOW)

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January 16, 2016 by morningcamequickly

IYOW-Poster-JPEGI remember the first middle school class I gave a project too where they had to research some answers and write up a little something. This was a gifted class and I expected some decent stuff. WRONG! The work the majority of the students turned in was plagiarized right from the book or website.

I don’t know what it is about music that makes students think it’s not a real class. Is it the fact that most of the time we only count to 4 or that we don’t read much because the refrain keeps on repeating? Well, with that project, we didn’t have time to redo and since, I suppose, I hadn’t specifically stated to write it in your own words, I just wrapped it up. Don’t worry, I mentioned it to them though.

And for the next project I introduced IYOW. In Your Own Words. IYOW has become my friend. It makes more work for the students, but I truly think it is helping my students learn the information better. You will see in projects I do, like the Music Career Jump Project, I use IYOW. Students have to read, then copy it directly from the source, and then re-write it in their own words. And it is all there on the paper for me to see.

Oh, there will be grumbling at first. But then, it becomes the norm. As they see the information, write it, and re-write it they become more familiar with it. If there is an oral presentation part of the assignment, they become a little more prepared and fluent with their topic.

This simple sign is just a small reminder to students to write “In Your Own Words” or IYOW as I say in my classroom. Post this sign as a visual reminder to your students. Say IYOW as a fun, verbal reminder for students to present their own work. There is nothing fancy about this sign, because I think students need to learn this skill, and IYOW is pretty straight forward. Download it for FREE here. Get it posted today!

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