In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.
Connect: I will say, “Yesterday, we put all our components together into a first draft of one idea we have generated so far. In a majority of students’ writing I saw that we understood context, reflection and point of view, today we are going to focus on capturing and conveying our experiences through concentrating on where we should add detail.
Teach: I will say, “In order to capture and convey my experience for the readers of our memoirs, I am going to practice the skill of completing another draft, of another idea and the strategy of stopping and thinking about how I have captured this moment. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Look through my notebook and pick another idea I have generated.
2) Plan out my memoir using the planning sheet
3) Start writing my idea by keeping in mind the context, point of view and reflection in my memoir.
4) As I start telling the narrative pice, I am going to stop and ask myself, “Am I capturing this moment so the reader is making a movie in their mind? In other words, is this a summary or a narrative?”
I will then show the students how I look through my notebook and pick another idea I have generated. I will then draft a quick outline. I will then start writing my memoir by keeping the Components of a Memoir Anchor Chart in mind as I refer to the anchor chart and the reminders of the rough draft sheet (I will have my first paragraph with my context, reflection and point of view completed so I am not writing in front of them for long).
When I get to my narrative I am going to stop and think, “Will my reader have a movie in their mind when read this? In other words, am I telling a summary or showing a narrative?” I will make sure my draft does allow this thinking to happen naturally and I will refer to the narrative vs. summary chart to help me through the moment.
Active Engagement: I will say,”You will now take your draft handout and you will say to your partner, yesterday I worked with _____idea, today I will work with__________idea. “ I will check for understanding, listening that each student has a new idea (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).
“Now that you have a new idea, quietly write down a new topic and it’s context, before you begin the rest of your rough draft.” I will check for understanding by quickly reading the first one or two sentence from every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to plan out a memoir, successful writers practice the skill of starting another draft, of another idea and the strategy of of stopping and thinking about how they have captured this moment. The process writers use is they pick a new idea, start writing keeping the structure of a memoir in mind and when they get to their narrative they ask, themselves “Am I capturing this moment so the reader is making a movie in their mind? In other words, is this a summary or a narrative?”
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to write out your second draft. They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. They should be adding all of the components of a memoir that are on the side of the rough draft sheet (context, point of view, reflection, narrative and then a reflection at the end).
As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for “writing” music (I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio) I will confer with them about their writing by using the possible conferences chart.
Partner Work: Students will be directed to share the part of their narrative where they were really concentrating on developing and capturing their experience.
Before you talk, hand out sticky notes or half sheets of paper with tape. Have an example ready or better yet, have a student read their best line to you while you draw it (if you choose this option, choose a student who has really captured and developed their narrative in order not to embarrass anyone).
I will say, “In your partner groups of two, you will both be sharing your writing. You will both take a sticky note and put it under the sentences in your narrative in which you really concentrated on developing and capturing your experience. Draw an arrow from the sticky note to the portion where you want your partner to begin reading, place your sticky note under the last sentence you want your partner to read. You will each draw a picture of the part your partner asked you to read. Show your partner what you drew. Give your partner feedback as to if they missed anything. You should be able to show them a detailed drawing. Then switch.”
Closing: I will have students share the pictures their partners drew of the part of their narrative. I will pick volunteers to share and explain their picture to the class. If you have a document camera, have students put it under the document camera and explain it to the class.
For today students will turn in their second drafts to me. I want to see if they are writing narratives, not summaries. I am looking to see what revising or editing strategy most students need for the next day.