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 an essay using an outline. Today, we will put all our components together into a first draft of one idea we have generated so far. This is the first of three drafts. Each day we will write a new draft of a new idea and focus on a revising or editing skill."
Teach: I will say, “In order to plan out my essay, I am going to practice the skill of completing a first draft and the strategy of taking everything we have learned and making a draft. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Review what I wrote on my planning sheet and introductions
2) Read over a mentor text in order to see how an essay is put together
3) Place the parts in a logical sequence in my draft using the reminders on the side"
I will then show the students how read through the mentor text and think through how to place the parts of my essay in a logical manner. I will especially focus on how to write out my evidence, using the mentor text. I am using one of my student's examples (a student who finished one on her own early to get her grade up). I could also use the mentor texts that I used in the first lesson of this unit.
Active Engagement: I will say,”You will now take your draft handout and quietly write down your introduction and then go on to your second paragraph.” 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). I am reading to see that they understand the different parts of the sequence and if I need to re-teach a particular part.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to draft an explanatory essay, successful writers practice the skill of completing a first draft and the strategy of taking everything we have learned and making a draft. The process writers use is they review what they planned out, read over mentor texts in order to see how an essay is put together and then place the parts in a logical sequence.
Independent Practice: will say, “Now you are going to write out your first draft." They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. They should be adding all of the components of an explanatory essay that are on the side of the rough draft sheet 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 the possible conferences for completing a first draft.
Partner Work: Students will be directed share the second paragraph of their memoir. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share your second paragraph. Partner B, I want you to listen if partner A has logically put their claim, reason and two pieces of evidence together. Give your partner feedback as to if they missed anything. I should hear you say, “Maybe you could…. OR I like how you…” 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 drafts to me. I want to see if they added all the components of an essay and check on the volume of their writing. I am looking to see what revising or editing strategy most students need for the next day. If they are not completed with the first draft, they will complete it as homework, but before they leave and while I am conferencing I am taking notes about the aforementioned for tomorrow’s lesson.