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, “We have been working so hard on our writing, so now it is time to celebrate! When authors publish their writing, they have publishing parties. Today we are going to do just that. *If students are not completed with their final draft, I set aside the back part of my classroom for them to work on their final while the other students are in this activity.
Teach: I will say, “In order to celebrate our writing, we will read each other’s memoirs, I am going to practice the skill of goal setting and the strategy of thinking through my final draft to set goals for my next piece of writing. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Read over my final draft
2) Write a note to my reviewers as to what I worked hard on
3) Write a note to my reviewers as to what I would still like suggestions about
I will model for students how I read through my final draft and think about what I really concentrated on and what I would like helpful suggestions about.
Active Engagement: I will say, “Get out your final draft and silently read over it. On your “Wows and Wonders sheet” I want you to write what you worked really hard on and what you would like more feedback about. I will check for understanding by asking every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will ask the students, “What did you write down for your “wow” and “wonder?”
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers are always set goals for themselves, they practice the skill of goal setting and the strategy of thinking through their final drafts to set goals for their next piece of writing. The process they use is as follows: they read over their draft, point out to their reviewers what they did well and what they would like suggestions on.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to read over each other’s writing independently and quietly. You will only travel with your pencil. You will move one seat in front of you when I say go. You have 5 minutes to read over your classmate’s draft, you will only be able to read part of it. When you get to their writing, read the note they left you. You will only give feedback on what they asked you to give them feedback on.” During this time students will read over each other’s writing. They will most likely read parts of four drafts. As they are doing this I am either helping the students in the back who have not finished or reading a memoir with a student. The only conferencing I am doing with students is ensuring they are following what the student has asked them to give feedback about.
Closing: For closing today I have students complete the reflection on the wows and wonders sheet that directs them to set a goal for their next writing project.
I then set out nice paper (like scrap booking paper) and plastic sheet protectors. Students pick what kind of paper they would like and then I staple the sheet protector to it in order to showcasing student authors in the hallway.
I have them turn in all of their drafts, their rubric and their final draft. I do not staple it because I will run their final draft through the copier for their hallway display.
When they are all completed I give them a treat. I usually buy them donuts or cookies.