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 planned out one idea for one essay, before you try that essay out in a draft form, we are going to practice writing introductions.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to write an introduction for my essay, I am going to practice the skill of trying out different kinds of introductions that will hook my reader and the strategy of using examples. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Have my claim and reasons in mind
2) Read through the different types of hooks I could use
3) Try out at least three hooks but always add my claim and reason
We will read the examples of different ways to hook your reader together. I will show them how I use the examples to think through a different topic.
Active Engagement: I will say, “You will use the planning sheet you started yesterday and use that claim and reasons to practice at least one hook for your introduction." I will look over the shoulder of at least three learners (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I am looking to gauge their understanding of the hook they are writing.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to introduce your essay to your reader in a way that hooks them, successful writers practice the skill of trying out different kinds of introductions and the strategy of using examples. The process they will use is as follows: have my claim and reasons in mind, read through the different types of hooks they could use and try out at least three hooks but always adding their my claim, reason and evidence.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to write out at least three hooks by using the examples on your handout." They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. If they are done, have them try out the other two kinds of hooks, or have them start drafting their essay. 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 using possible conferences for practicing hooks for introductions. This is the how I record my conferences on writing conference sheets. This is the writing conference sheet I use while conferring.
Partner Work: Students will be directed to share their hooks with their partner. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share your introduction. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A makes you want to read more of their essay. Give your partner feedback as to how they could draw you into the essay. You might say, “Maybe you could try..” 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 best hook, the one they think really draws the reader and has clear claim and reasons.