Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Dress Code and Me - Section 3: Independent Practice


I suspect that the underlying cause of the students’ confusion was that the lesson tried to cover too much (1. using the conventions of letter writing, 2. writing an introductory sentence stating an opinion, 3. adding supporting details, and 4. creating a closing). I do this all the time, frustrating! Really, this is my big issue. Why do I try to cover so much at once. Really, my students stop me all the time and say things like, "Slow down." So, I needed to break this lesson in to three lessons to avoid the confusion.  Next year, I will do a lesson on the parts to a letter, model, and write. There will be a specific rubric just for the parts to the letter. That will be the only focus of the lesson. Then the following lesson will be about creating a topic sentence that expresses an opinion. Within that lesson will be modeling, and practice on the skill of writing the topics sentence.  The last lesson will be creating a closing sentence, modeling, and practice. There will be a specific rubric just showing the criteria for a closing sentence. So, in the future this unit needs to consist of at least three lessons.

I also recommend to repeatedly state the goal and the fact that the letter has to be an opinion. First graders are very unfamiliar with the concept of writing with an opinion.  I wish I reminded the class that they had to support their opinion with specific details. Some students were confused and wrote lengthy letters, but contradicted their opinion.  One student wrote that he wanted to change the dress code, but liked wearing shirts with a collar.  So, I found myself stopping to reiterate the idea of an opinion. I told the class that it is a feeling. It's just what you think.

I did have Proficient Work. He stated his opinion and had valid reasons supporting the opinion.

  Adjustments to Practice: Breaking This Lesson Down
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Dress Code and Me

Unit 14: Opinion Writing and Point of View
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: SWBAT write a letter expressing an opinion.

Big Idea: Make learning relevant as students express their opinion about the school dress code.

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English / Language Arts, point of view
  60 minutes
students in uniform
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