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 brainstorming ideas for our explanatory essays. Today, we are going to plan out an essay so that we are organizing it with a claim, reasons and evidence.
Teach: I will say, “In order to plan out my essay, I am going to practice the skill of using a graphic organizer and the strategy of taking everything we have brainstormed and organizing it. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Gather all the parts I have brainstormed for my essay
2) Ask myself, “What is my claim? What are my reasons for this claim? What is my evidence?
3) Place the parts in a logical order on my claim,reason and evidence planning sheet.
I will then show the students how I think though each part and look back in my notebook for them. I make sure I show my thinking about the kinds of evidence I could use. Here is an explanation about how one of my students puts claim, reason and evidence together:explanation of claim,reason and evidence by Mustafa
Active Engagement: I will say,”You will now take your planning sheet and quietly write down your claim with one reason and two pieces of evidence.” I will check for understanding by reading the work of every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I am reading to see that their claims, reasons and evidence match each other.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to plan out an essay, successful writers practice the skill of using a graphic organizer and the strategy of taking everything we have brainstormed and organizing it. The process they use is gather all the parts they have brainstormed for their essay, ask themselves, ““What is my claim? What are my reasons for this claim? What is my evidence?” and place the parts in a logical order on my brainstorming sheet.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to use the planning sheet for one of your essay ideas. When you get done with your planning sheet, start writing out your evidence.” They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. (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 using possible conferences for planning an explanatory essay.
Partner Work: Students will be directed share their planning sheet. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share claim, reason and evidence. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A has claim, reasons and evidence that make sense together. Give your partner feedback by saying, “Your claim, reason and evidence all match or _________did not match, maybe you could….”. Then switch.” .
I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.
Closing: For today students will turn in their planning sheets to me. I want to see if they have claims, reasons and evidence that match each other or are redundant to inform my lesson for the next day.