Reflection: Modeling Tell Me All You Know! - Section 4: Closure


Sometimes you assume too much. Or at least I do. Today’s lesson seemed to be fairly simple and I wrongly assumed that students would be able to complete it well without much support. Yes, they wrote about their topics, but no they weren’t able to do it well. Or at least not as well as I had hoped.


Many students wrote simple descriptions of their topic using only their senses. I learned how they perceived their topics based solely on what they looked or sounded like. Others struggled to do this and wrote a few sentences simply listing all they knew. While I didn’t expect any student to have extensive knowledge on their topic, I knew that many of these students knew more than they were letting on. It seemed as if many wrote what first came to mind with and as soon as they ran out of those initial ideas, they gave up.


Oh modeling. Why do I neglect you sometimes? If I were to do the lesson again, I would have completed the exercise with my own writing topic. I would have done a quick write where I listed or wrote everything I knew about the topic. But then I would stop, take a breath, and model thinking out loud once I exhausted all of my initial ideas. I needed to remind students that while it’s ok to take a break from writing in order to do some thinking, it’s not ok to just give up, put your pencils away and your heads down. Keep working! Keep trying! Think of your topic from a different angle or perspective. Maybe list a question you have about your topic or draw a quick sketch. Anything that might get those creative juices flowing again.  This exercise was a somewhat painful reminder that not only did I need to always include modeling in my lessons, but also that we still needed much work on developing our writing stamina.



  Modeling: Modeling
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Tell Me All You Know!

Unit 6: Non-Fiction: Structures and Features
Lesson 11 of 15

Objective: SWBAT write their own informational piece following the description, or list, organizational structure.

Big Idea: In the previous lesson, students learned how to identify if a text were written using the description, or list, structure. Today, students write their own passage using this structure and incorporating important key words.

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